Tag Archives: Advice

Dandelion Pie

dandelionI used to work as a computer lab supervisor at a local high school. (That’s where my love for technology started!) A friend and coworker from that job wrote me and shared some of the fun things that she has done with her grandchildren. Roxann wrote:

“I have done several things but I think the main thing is that grandchildren just like to feel special.

“We make cookies. But sometimes we made something different. Kenzie likes to make bread and knead it.

“Gabe likes to have a date with just the two of us. We do a movie and dinner about once a year.

“Porter likes me to allow him to bring a friend when we have a date.

“I have the kids pick dandelions in the spring. They bring them in to me and I put them on the stove and make dandelion pie.

“After they have stirred the dandelions and sugar for awhile, they leave and I replace it with lemon pudding and make lemon meringue pie.

“I also have pajamas and tooth brushes for each of them at my house. That way they can spend the night at a moments notice.

“We do puzzles and finger painting.

“We just barely made a snow fort in the back yard.

“I don’t do anything spectacular but we have fun. I have taken the kids to Disneyland and to the circus, but they never talk about those activities.”

Dandelion pie.What a fabulous idea!! My husband and I have two acres of land. At times during the summer, there is a carpet of yellow from all of the dandelions we have. I wonder how long our grandchildren’s attention span would last when picking our dandelions. I just might have to make a lot of lemon meringue pies on lots of different days!

Bon appetit!

Bingo Fun

Bingo CardI 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.

Grandma Gay Shares Her Ideas

I have a remarkable neighbor, Gay. Gay is always kind and nice. Caring and giving. Serving family and others. An example of goodness and integrity. I admire and respect her greatly. Someday, I would hope to be like her. The other day, she shared with me some of the things that she has done for her grandchildren. She wrote:

“I think traditions are important and create memories that carry on. We have a monthly family home evening on the first Sunday each month for all our our children, their spouses, and all the grandchildren. Each family has an assignment such as a story, an activity, music, or treats. We sing happy birthday to all who have a birthday that month and have a report from each family on their activities, honors, and plans. We have been doing this for many years and have scaled down a bit lately because our numbers are so great. Many of our children and grandchildren who live close visit on Sunday night on a weekly basis and we fix waffles when they come.

“One Sunday in connection with a family home evening, the grandchildren and I planted sunflower seeds. All summer, they watched the sunflowers grow. The grandchildren loved it.

“We have a reunion each summer at Bear Lake and it is a highlight of the year. The grandchildren really look forward to it. Activities include building sand castles, playing with water toys, having a treasure hunt, holding a tennis tournament, playing basketball, and having a piƱata for the little ones. The night before we leave, all adults are treated by grandma and grandpa to a raspberry shake. (Note: Bear Lake, Utah, is famous for its raspberries!)

“We have an Easter egg hunt at our house for all the grandchildren the Saturday before Easter. Each family brings filled plastic eggs and the older ones hide the eggs. We usually have a wiener roast and picnic afterward in our back yard.

“I have made a play tent to go over a card table, made cookies with them, read to them, and I make play dough that they like. And of course being available to baby sit is a good way to bond and to strengthen relationships. Just knowing you love them is the most important.

“We keep in touch with those who live far away with a phone call every Sunday and a visit when we can, along with birthday and e-mail cards, especially on holidays.”

Thank you, Gay, for sharing!

I loved the idea of having a tent that goes over the card table. Before I can do this with my grandchildren, I guess we’d better get a card table with sturdy legs! I also liked the idea of planting sunflower seeds and growing sunflowers. Not only is it fun watching them grow, it would be fun eating the seeds.

I’ve been thinking that since we have plenty of garden space that it would be fun to let the grandchildren have a spot where they can plant either flowers or vegetables and watch them grow. I’ve seen where you can put a growing pumpkin in a milk jug. Let it grow and fill the jug. After a while, cut the jug away and the pumpkin will be square and keep that shape for the rest of the growing season! I think that would be fun to do.

We just had another snowstorm two days ago so thinking of spring and planting things and growing flowers and vegetables is very appealing right now. I think I’ll start planning my garden . . . .


Bonding Time With Grandchildren

It is so great when grandmothers share their ideas. I appreciate all of their wonderful ideas! Kay, from Jacksonville, Florida, has shared with me one thing that she does with her grandchildren. Kay writes:

“I do love being a grandmother. You get to have all the joys of a child without the day to day work involved. Plus you know just how fleeting the magic years are and appreciate them all the more.

“I pick up the two grandchildren that are in elementary school every Monday and we go for ice cream. We talk about everything important in their lives.”

There are three key points here. First, she provides stability in her grandchildren’s lives. They know that every Monday after school, their grandmother will be there waiting for them. This is a basic routine that they can count on and look forward to. (Of course, Grandma might get sick occasionally, but that is different from saying you’ll be there and then not showing up.)

The second thing is ICE CREAM!! It’s a rare child who doesn’t like ice cream. Grandmothers always seem to be connected to comfort foods. Going out for an ice cream cone is a relatively inexpensive treat to give your grandchildren. And, just think of all of the dairy products that you provide them ! :-) Of course, it’s best to check with their mother first to make sure that she is comfortable with you giving them ice cream.

The third thing is that Kay talks about everything important in their life. Not hers. Not her best friend nor their parents’ lives. Kay talks about what is going on and happening in her grandchildren’s lives. This makes them feel special and important. They understand that grandma cares about them and what they are thinking, feeling, doing, experiencing. I’m sure that it isn’t done in a Gestapo kind of way. More of a I-care-about-you way.

Isn’t it amazing how such a simple thing as picking up grandkids every Monday and taking them for ice cream can be such a bonding experience! Maybe it’s also that realization of just how fleeing those magic years are . . . .

Happy grandparenting!
The Digi-Gram