Remember making Valentine mailboxes for school back in the day? We either had to decorate a shoebox at home or perhaps we decorated at school. Can't remember, but it was ever so much fun. I wanted to share that experience with my grandkids. I knew they would be doing that at school, but I thought it would be fun to have one for their house to send Valentines to their family.
Easy enough. I just invited them over one afternoon for cookies and fruit drinks and an hour or so of creating a family mailbox. I covered the box in wrapping paper before they came. I wanted them to be able to take the lid off easily. I instructed them to place it in a central area along with some store-bought Valentine cards. They needed to tell their family that it was available and to just grab a card and write a note to a family member, and then place it in the box. At the end of the day, the grandchild would get the cards out of the box and deliver to the family members.
So we decorated that afternoon and I sent them home with the box and some Valentine cards. We had fun!
Craft time with the grands:
It's always fun to get together with your grandkids, and really fun if you can take time for a craft. Believe it or not, besides being just plain fun, you are also~
Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! Such a great time to have some fun with your grandchildren and nieces and nephews. Just do it!
Encouraging your grandchildren to spread the love!
I admit it. I'm a hopeless romantic. I love Valentine's Day--always have, always will. And I love sharing the various traditions with my grandchildren. I'd like to rephrase the lyric to the song--let there be love on earth and let it begin with me. With these activities, hopefully we can encourage our grandchildren to share the love and fun of Valentine's, not just with their friends and classmates, but with their family as well. We all need to be reminded to tell our parents and our siblings how much we love them and what we appreciate about them.
One year when my grandkids came over for some Valentine crafts and fun, I sent them home with mini-dry erase boards to use with their family. I asked them to set it up in a family area, and encouraged them to write notes on the board to each other--their parents as well as their siblings. The dry-erase boards were simply made from wooden frames with a glass. Perfect dry-erase board. Here, I'll show you:
I'm sure it's pretty self-explanatory. You write whom it's "To," mom, dad, sister or brother. Then under the line that says, "I loved it when you," write something you love or appreciate that they did. I had seen a similar framed sentiment, but it said, "I love you because..." and I didn't want my grandchildren to think they were loved just because they DID something. I feel they need to understand that love is unconditional and simply "IS." But of course they can love and appreciate certain behaviors from others.
Another way to do this is with sticky notes. This would be fun as well. Simply get together with your grands and make Valentines for family members. Then suggest they stick them on their bedroom door or place them on their pillows. Besides cutting out and making Valentines, supply them with sticky notes and cards to take home. And once again, they can do this in the days preceding Valentine's and make sure they include everyone: mom, dad, siblings. Just another way to encourage communication and writing with a purpose! And it's just FUN! Who wouldn't love to discover a love note on your pillow, bedroom door, or bathroom mirror.
What if your grands don't live in town? No problem. Just mail them the mini-dry erase board, and FaceTime with them explaining where to set it up, and how it works. Isn't all our technology simply wonderful. We can still do these things even if our loved ones are out of town.
If you do use the mini-dry erase board for your grands, be sure to include NON-TONIC dry erase markers. I checked online and the Crayola brand is non-toxic and washes clean from hands and clothes.
Also a reader suggested just laminating a piece of card stock for the message board. This might be easier for the little guys to write on, and perhaps a cheaper alternative. And please don't think this suggestion is just for older, school-age grandkids. The little guys love delivering love notes too. They can scribble or draw on their sticky notes. I'd say it's especially fun for them.
Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! This winter weather has us all with the blues. Valentine's Day is the perfect day to shed some of those negative thoughts. Have fun!
And please share any ideas of things you've done with your grandchildren......and even your own kids. I love hearing from you!
You know you don't have to use the mini-dry erase board just during Valentine's. You can use it all year long. And the sticky notes on doors? That can be done on birthdays or other special days. Spread the LOVE!
Plan an excursion with your grandchild! That can get you out of the January doldrums real quick!
Got cabin-fever? Maybe you're able to get out, but it's too cold and you simply don't want to leave your home and hearth? Then plan a trip with your grandchild to take someday. I've read that even just planning a trip can add points on your happiness meter. In fact, they say planning a trip often adds more to your joy bucket that actually taking the trip. Nevertheless, being with your grand is always fun, so plan something for the next time you can be together. And I'm not talking about some grand vacation. If you're lucky enough to have a grandchild in the same town, plan an excursion in town--even if it's just sending them a formal invitation to come to your house for tea! The possibilities are endless.
I do have three grandchildren in town; and we're lucky to have a trolley that travels around our town center. We love to ride that trolley and stop at the mall and the library. How lucky are we! But perhaps your community has a bus service, and while riding the bus may seem uneventful to you, I'm guessing it would be grand fun for a young grandchild! Plan something around that!
I related in earlier blogs how I got my grandson a camera when he was about four years old. And that camera has been passed down to his sisters. With each one of them, I've planned a photo-safari on one of our excursions and snapping pictures of various landmarks and sites. Each one of them has created a book using those pictures. Today I'm writing about my youngest granddaughter. We decided to do an ABC book of her hometown. That meant we had to create a list of everything we could think of in our town--one for each letter of the alphabet. I let her do the entire list. Then we went out to take our pictures.
I realize you could stop right there with the trip. But I am ever-the-teacher, and I like to add a book to the time with my grand. It's important for so many reasons:
Plan that trip!
Here are some ideas, but you'll come up with a lot more:
Enriching the experience further by creating an ABC book!
Here are the basic steps:
Just do it! Plan a trip with your grand.
Even if you don't live in the same town, plan a side-trip with your grand when you visit them. It's great one-on-one time. If they come to visit you, same deal. Plan a small excursion in your town...just the two of you! And if you can take pictures and make a photo-book of those pictures, even better!
I've listed these book-making websites before. Give them a try:
It will eventually get warmer and the snow will melt. I'm looking forward to February and all those Valentine activities! Yippee! Come on February!
Through the SEASONS of the year with Gigi!
Got some free time after the holidays? That's a great time to record those family stories either with a video or a book.
Saving family stories with a VIDEO...
On several previous blogs, I've shared making a book either for or with your grand of a favorite family story or adventure. Another way to save those family stories or experiences is with a video. I have a Mac so that is easy for me to do with iMovie. But I notice there are other places to do this as well, such as animoto.com and wikihow.com. More about those two websites below.
Several years ago, we took our granddaughter to see her great-grandparents. I snapped many pictures of our experiences while we were there--from the trip to the airport, to the car ride to her house, to baking and sewing with her Mema, and on and on. I usually document such things with a book, but this year, I chose to share via a video essay. I burned DVDs of the video and sent one to my mother-in-law and one to my granddaughter. I also made it available on youtube and Facebook.
Here it is. Hopefully it will inspire you to create such a movie:
Saving family stories with a BOOK...
I've addressed this before in my blog--making books about a particular family experience. Besides preserving the moment for posterity, it is a great idea for a young grand who's learning to read. They're more tempted to pick up the book and begin reading if it's about them and something they have experienced. Even better if they help you write the book as they look at the pictures. And as I said, how fun for them to someday read to their kids and grandkids. The circle of life!
This book was with my youngest granddaughter. We took her to see her great-grandmother as well. One of the side-trips she took with cousins was to see a butterfly exhibit and movie. Hence the title, "Adventures of the Butterfly Princess." I just look at all the photos I've captured and see what title the pictures suggest. Butterflies played a role in this story, so I went with that title.
Preserve those family stories and trips!
You can do this in a multitude of ways--with a video slide-show, a video scrapbook, a published book from a bookmaking website, a scrapbook with pictures and mementos, and even a recorded audio retelling. And if you've done any or all of these, please share. I'd love to see your product and so would my readers I'm sure. A sweet friend had a copy of a video slide-show her son-in-law had made of his first daughter's birth. The girl is now 25; my friend showed the video at Christmas. She said that really made their Christmas Eve special. There's no end to the blessings that come your way with such a recording. Just do it!
Happy 2018! Wonder what the seasons of this year will bring?
Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!