Urrgghh, so your adult kids have gone all hippy and woo woo on you and you feel like your hands are tied every time you want to babysit the Grandkids…. and then they freak out over the food you serve, the activities you do and the outings you go on.
Well here’s a list made especially for you (the Grandparents), to help you navigate the wrath of hippy parents! And as a bonus, most of these things are free so you can use the money you usually spend on your grandkids on a nice bottle of wine for yourself afterwards… cos lets face it, after a day of babysitting grandchildren who doesn’t need a wine!
- Take them to feed the ducks – sure the bread has to be gluten free, spelt, organic wholemeal bread – but do it anyway!
- Make a cubby house under your dining table – pull out the old sheets and blankets, drape them over your dining table and fill up underneath with pillows and cushions – yeah cool!
- Make a real cake with them! None of this packet shit!!! Eggs, flour, milk, sugar – that’s all that has to be in it! Really!!! Decorate it with real whipped cream and strawberries – or just dust it with icing sugar – simples!
- Pull out the fine china and have a special afternoon tea with water, (yes water!) strawberries and that cake – freaked out about using your fine china? Go and buy them some beautiful teacups and plates of their very own, and if you don’t want to fork out the cash, get them from the op shop – that’s where their parents buy most of their stuff so they’ll be used to it!
- Cut up a huge watermelon and slurp it in the back yard – make the pieces so big the kids have to hold it with 2 hands
- Put on the dance music and have a disco – umm actually cancel that – I know how old you are and your taste in music… better not!
- Go out in the garden and do nothing. Just watch them and marvel at what they collect and do – let them take the lead and be amazed! Trust me!
- Grab some fat chalk and draw all over the paving – don’t freak out it will wash off! Just don’t use permanent chalk – oh wait that’s whiteboards!
- Take them to your favourite park as a kid and tell them what you loved to do there.
- Give them heaps of cuddles and hold their hand – kids love to feel loved and this is one really awesome way! You can’t spoil grand kids enough with cuddles and holding their hand when you go for a walk. Except if they are 15 then it might be getting a bit weird for them!
- Go to an op shop, find the biggest twirly skirt and twirl the day away.
- Skim rocks at the beach or throw pebbles in a lake. Take string with you, find a stick and make a fishing rod – yep I know you won’t catch anything – but why should this fishing trip be any different to any other!
- Ride a bike. Do you know how impressed I was that my Grandma could ride a bike!
- Get a copy of an Enid Blyton book and read it to them on a pile of cushions… okay you can sit on the couch if you must!
- Get out the crayons and paper and sit next to them and draw pictures – and adult colouring is all the rage now… it’s about time you got on trend with something!
- Ask them to sing you a song they learnt in kindy or school (and try not to giggle too much when they mess up the words – hilarious!) While you are at it, teach them some songs you learnt when you were little – if you can remember that far back!!
- Put on the sprinkler in the back yard – yes your boring old normal every day sprinkler! These kids will be running around and honestly THEY DON’T CARE if it’s not coming out of a cheap plastic elephant sprinkler – they are just impressed that it’s wet. And it’s sparkly in the sun!
- Show them photos of when their mum or dad were little and share stories of what their mum and dad were like as kids – just don’t pull out ALL of the ones with the bad 8s fashion please!
- If you MUST take them shopping, take them to the fruit and veg shop and let them pick out their own fruit! You will absolutely blow their mind if you give them a choice of watermelon, mango, oranges, pineapple, cherries, strawberries or apples!
- Have a picnic – get outside, get the rug and sit in the sunshine – or under a tree – whatever! Lie down on the grass and pick shapes in the clouds. Just try to not fall asleep!
- Make their day magical! It doesn’t have to be movies, TV, junk food, computer games, tablets, iPads, smart phones or play cafes. Give them imagination, creativity, your time and love and they’ll remember it forever!
Side note: Ask mum to send over a second set of clothes – they’ll love you for it! Watermelon is super easy to wash out so don’t freak out if they get it all over themselves!
(Note this is not an exclusively summer activity…. You will get bonus points with the Grandkids if you do this on a cold day… (Remember – they have a change of clothes!!)