The school year is coming to an end. Parents plan ahead to fend off the “I’m bored” complaints. But what about the grandparents who are expecting a visit from their grandkids? If you need help to find ways to keep them busily happy—or happily busy—during their visit, here are some fun ideas to entertain your grandchildren this summer. No electronics required!
Pre-schoolers can have fun with just about anything. Their minds are open to new ideas and experiences.
- Create recyclable art. Save up your empty paper towel and toilet tissue rolls, empty boxes—from cereal to shipping containers—egg cartons, bottles, jigsaw puzzle pieces, and other recyclables. Stock up on crayons, washable markers, construction paper, kid-friendly scissors, and glue sticks. Then, create models, art, picture frames, banners, signs, and even a small village.
- Present a treasure hunt. Gather up some tiny treasures—a box of crayons, candy, a medal, a small figurine, and a small framed photo of the two of you. Place each one in a resealable bag and then wrap it in tissue. Hide them around the house or in the yard. If you have more than one grandchild, wrap the gifts for each child in their favorite color and tell them to only hunt for their assigned tissue color.
- Read together. There’s nothing as lasting as sharing a reading a story with a child. Cuddle up and read your favorite children’s book. Tell your grandchild why this book is special to you. Talk about the characters and ask your little one how he or she might change it. Be sure to give your grandchild a copy of the book before they leave!
- Go to a local park or playground. Kids need activity. Let them run off that energy at a nearby playground. Even better, look for a splash pad to cool their jets on a hot summer day!
Elementary-age grandchildren have begun their fascination with electronics. While it’s easy to let them watch a movie or play on a smartphone or tablet, use this time to stimulate their minds. They’ll have a far more memorable visit with you!
- Make a family tree. Before the family arrives, gather up family photos that go back as far as you can find. Make color photocopies. Identify the people in each photo by writing names and dates on the back. With your grandchildren, explain who these people are and how they lived. Using a poster board, make a family tree together.
- Send them on a scavenger hunt. Come up with a list of scavenger hunt items you want your grandchildren to hunt for—something of a particular color, shape, number, letter, or size, for example. Maybe you send them to find things that belong in a pair (peanut butter and jelly, salt and pepper, socks, shoes). Find something that has the letter “Q” in it. Use your imagination and make it challenging.
- Build something together. Does your grandchild like to do puzzles, build with Lego, or make models? Find a project that fits their skill level, but not too easy. Assemble it together.
- Have an Alice in Wonderland day. This classic book has so many ways to have fun with your grandchildren! Play croquet and have a tea party. Get some hats at a thrift store and decorate them with felt, feathers, craft foam cut-outs, jewelry, and more. Make tissue paper roses and paint them red.
- Teach them a new hobby or skill. Do you like to paint, draw, knit, craft, bake, or build with wood? Share your passion with your school-age grandchild. Explain why this activity makes you feel good and the things they could do with it. Then let them experience it for themselves.
‘Tweeners (approximately 9 to 12 years old) and teens have begun to sharpen their skill at eye-rolling. It’s time to show them how fun you are—without the need for spending lots of money and giving into their electronics habit.
- Get outside. Find an activity to do outdoors—from taking a leisurely walk through a scenic area to kayaking, horseback riding, hiking, or biking. Go fishing or take a picnic to a beach or lakefront area. Geocaching is a fun way to go treasure hunting by using the GPS on your phone (yes, it’s electronic, but the fun part is the hunt!).
- Attend an event. There’s a positive energy that happens when people come together to celebrate an outdoor event. Find a summer festival, and enjoy the food, fun, and activities. Attend a ballgame or outdoor concert. Encourage your grandchildren to join you in a fun walk or run.
- Bring out the classic board games. There’s a reason that games like Scrabble, Monopoly, Life, Trouble, Clue, Yahtzee, Sorry, Bingo, Rummikub, and Trivial Pursuit have lasted so long. They’re simple and fun! Have a game night with snacks and board games.
- Promote the importance of volunteering by bringing your grandchild with you to pitch in at a local charity or charitable event. Talk about the importance of this organization—what they do, why it’s important. Helping others is a lasting value to impress upon children of any age.
Epcon Communities provide a friendly atmosphere that welcomes visitors. Our single-family homes are designed for entertaining—with an open concept design and often have a private courtyard. Each neighborhood is unique, typically with a community amenity, such as a clubhouse, pool, walking trails, and other features. Our floor plans also feature an optional second-floor bonus room, so if you plan to entertain grandchildren and other family members, you’ll always have plenty of space. Our low-maintenance lifestyle also means you have more free time to enjoy your visitors. Check out our new home communities, now in 18 states around the country.