I asked a friend of mine, who teaches high school, to share some of the things that she does with her grandchildren. (We share the same birthday but were born in different years. She’s the younger one . . . sigh . . .) Priscilla writes:
“Trust me, I am not a particularly fun grandmother. (Editorial note: WRONG!) My grandchildren do think their grandfather is a terrific playmate, but I am mostly the one who settles disputes, answers difficult questions and lets them draw on my board at school when they surprise me here.
“I will suggest I try to give each grandchild a special day and activity so they can have one on one time. Last year I took the youngest to Build a Bear workshop and lunch. I took my granddaughter, the oldest, to tea at the Grand America and the middle one went boating with us one afternoon. I have also taken them to Christmas plays and the Halloween concert the Symphony puts on. They really love eating cookies in grandma and grandpa’s bed with their grandpa because they know their grandma doesn’t allow food anywhere but the kitchen. And I have a set of BINGO cards from the Internet for various holidays like Halloween, Valentine’s Day etc. They think that’s fun to play.
“Actually the most fun is simple stuff like bubble baths, chocolate milk and trips to the Purple Turtle drive-in (in Pleasant Grove, Utah). The best thing about grandchildren is that they love you unconditionally and just being with you is fun, and vice-versa. If only one could bypass children and go directly to grandchildren.”
I love the things that she mentioned. Halloween at the symphony? Most interesting! I think she points out a timeless principle: it’s the simple stuff that builds bonding relationships between grandparents and grandchildren. It’s the love and acceptance that grandchildren feel.
If you are interested in themed Bingo sheets, DLTK’s Custom Bingo Cards is a great site that allows you to custom build your Bingo playing cards. You can select how many spaces (3 x 3, 4 x 4, 5 x 5), if you want pictures or numbers, and different themes. Themes included are Pokymon, Veggie Tales, spring, summer, autumn, winter, ABCs, animals, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Halloween just to name a few. (Be sure to print out the call out sheet.) The site also has the ability to create a blank Bingo card so you print blank Bingo cards and then put on your own pictures.
So, here’s a great idea for a grandma kit.* Print up several blank Bingo cards and one for the call out sheet. Purchase stickers and put them in the squares. Laminate the cards. At a local dollar store, find small items for markers. Put the markers and the cards in a Ziplock bag.
When your grandchildren come for a visit, pull out this grandma kit for something fun to do. If your grandchildren don’t live close by, mail them the kit.
It would also be fun to put pictures of grandma and grandpa and other family members on the squares. (Hey! This would be a fun activity for a family reunion!)
Viola! You are ready for some Bingo fun with your grandchildren!
*grandma kit — activity items that will fit in a gallon sized Ziplock bag, cloth bag, box, manila envelope. These kits are stored until grandchildren come for a visit and are pulled out to be played with –or sent to grandchildren who live far away.