Time spent with grandparents is precious. Besides the obvious love and bond between a child and their grandparents, the relationship is significant for the insights into life both generations can offer each other.
Planning a special day out or trip with grandparents can be hugely exciting for a child. Build a memorable experience around even the simplest of outings and make a day to remember with these special ideas.
1. Kids love getting mail. Finding an invitation in the mailbox to spend a special day with Grandma and Grandpa is a great way to build anticipation. The outing could be as simple as a picnic at the park, a ride on the train, or for the older child – something they’ve been wanting to do for awhile, like a visit to an amusement park or somewhere like MOTAT.
2. The invitation could include details of the destination and method of transport, maybe a brochure for the activity, or even a map of how to get there. An older child could appreciate a simple itinerary with times and words they may recognise. Mark the date on the calendar and let the countdown begin!
3. Allow a bit of spoiling – reserve certain treats to have “only with Grandma’. This creates a simple but memorable tradition; with the added benefit being the sugar high can be at the grandparents’ house and not yours!
4. Make sure grandparents are familiar with a child’s routine and give them tips to manage any tricky behaviour that might occur, for example tiredness, any fears or anxieties, meal time rituals etc. At the same time, trust grandparents to manage things in ways that seem natural to them. Remember they did a fine job raising you, so they’ll no doubt cope with whatever the day brings!
5. Pack a digital camera and photograph the outing, from both generation’s perspectives!
6. Use photos and other souvenirs to make a memory book to document the day. Click here for ideas on how to publish your own book.
7. Encourage your child to draw a picture or “write” a thank you letter to put in the post. Grandparents could then send a post card in the mail, as a reminder of the outing.
8. Special outings could become regular events in kindy and school holidays, adding to the sense of family tradition and building on the memory bank of “things we do with Granny and Grandad”.
Published 12 July, 2013