Whether it's for Grandparent's Day or any other day of the week, just getting to sleep over at grandma and grandpa’s house is a big enough thrill for most kids that any activities fall by the wayside. Everything you may plan out for the night may be trumped by looking through your makeup drawer or sorting your silverware. Kids find everything at their grandparents’ houses new and interesting. So if you have chores to do, involve the kids. They’ll think its fun.
Sorting is always a good idea. If you pull out a batch of laundry and ask your grandchildren to sort the socks, they’ll think it’s the best game ever. Give them a chance to sort some socks while you fold laundry. Then make sock puppets out of any lone socks you find. Add felt embellishments and googly eyes. Hold a puppet show afterwards.
Allow kids to rifle through your drawers. Jewelry drawers are kid magnets. Let both boys and girls look through your jewelry if they seem interested. There’s nothing like a new drawer of goodies to spark the imagination. Show them your charm bracelet, personalized jewelry or high school ring. They’ll remember it and ask to see it again and again. Anything that is special or different will remind them of you from now on. Even those red plastic hoop earrings from the ‘80s will become meaningful to them.
Bake something. Kids love to help out in the kitchen, but when it’s with grandma’s bowls and her chocolate chips it’s so much more fun. Be sure to eat the cookies hot out of the oven with cold milk. These are the memories that your grandchildren will have forever. If there’s a famous recipe in your family, teach it to them and let them help make it. While you have a captive audience, you might as well pass down a tradition or two.
Depending on kids’ ages, they may be happy just pulling out an air mattress and reading books with you. The novelty will go a long way. They may tell their parents they had the time of their lives when all you did was cuddle and read to them.
Let them do one thing they are not allowed to do at home, within reason. If mom says no ice cream in the living room, let them have a small bowl while watching a movie. You’ll be the favoritest grandma and grandpa ever. Just don’t break too many of your daughter or son’s rules or they may not be too happy with you. But within reason, it’s all in good fun.
Is there a holiday coming up? Use it as an excuse to make decorations or to set up the Christmas tree. Kids love seeing what is in grandma and grandpa’s attic and basement, so let them help take out decorations that have been stored and that maybe they have never seen.
You will be a favorite if you actually listen to your grandchildren’s stories. Sitting with a bowl of popcorn and talking is often the only activity you need. Watch a movie that can become “your” movie together. And they’ll ask to watch it every time they come. When they’re older, you can give them their copy and they’ll always remember they watched it at their grandparents’ home.