I know everyone loves to celebrate the coming of spring and the various springtime holidays. I've listed some of the activities that my grandchildren have enjoyed over the years. Maybe there might be at least one you can add to your repertoire.
I usually have my grands over on Saturday before Easter for a day of fun. My husband and I try to have a number of activities for the kids to do, so that the adults can visit and enjoy the spring weather. Here's our list: (And I added another list on March 28th--see below)
Dyeing eggs. No explanation here. You did it as a kid, and I'm sure you've helped your children and grandchildren dye eggs.
Decorating cookies with a springtime theme. You can get cookie cutters in various fun shapes--eggs, butterflies, and flowers.
Decorating cakes with a bunny burrow theme. If you read my blog, you know I'm all about decorating gingerbread houses at Christmas (or New Year's or Valentine's Day for that matter), so you know I had to do a take-off on that with a springtime theme. Here's our bunny house:
Decorating plastic eggs. That's fun too! Last year as the girls are getting older, and not so much into dyeing eggs, we got together and decorated plastic eggs. Then we put various Bible verses on strips of paper and tucked them inside. We delivered these to a local nursing home going from room to room to deliver and visit with the residents.
More plastic egg decorating. This year we even invested in one of those egg decorating machines. That was very fun and easy for my four-year-old grandson to manage. Unfortunately I just have one photo of him at the helm of the "Eggmazing Egg Decorator", but I'm sure you've seen the commercials. It was a very fun activity and the older grands enjoyed it too.
Lighted Easter eggs! This year we added a new activity--hunting Easter eggs after dark. You simply insert a battery-powered tea light into the largest plastic eggs you can find.
Miscellaneous games we've played over the years. Always fun to add several activities to keep the young grandchildren entertained. One year we had several "stations" the kids could visit. We raided the kids' toy box and retrieved a Matchbox Racing Track for one activity. And we've even been known to go fly a kite after the festivities!
Website for that egg decorator:
Website with more ideas for springtime-themed house decorating for those who long to decorate gingerbread houses in the spring!
Spring is such a great time for family fun at the park or in your own backyard. I know many of you get together then. Please share photos, game suggestions, and favorite family recipes. I always promise to share.
Thanks for reading!
Addendum~ (March 28th)
This week's blog was about "gramping," going camping with your grandchildren. A friend wrote that blog, and it got me searching for other fun games to play when camping. It's spring and I know many of my grandparent friends will be taking their grandkids (and even great grandkids) camping. So here we go:
More games to play when GRAMPING~
o Making coffee and hot chocolate and drinking it.
o Roasting a hot dog
o Telling scary campfire stories
o Catching butterflies
o Playing horseshoes
o Cooking breakfast
o Blowing bubbles
o Putting on insect repellant
o Catching a fish
o Spotting a deer or bear
o Skipping stones on a lake
o Paddling a rowboat
You get the idea. Just think of lots of fun camping activities, write them on slips of paper, and each team draws a slip and acts it out. You can even make it more fun by inserting various animals doing the action. Examples: A bear making coffee or an ant roasting a hot dog and so on. Besides team members trying to guess the action, they would have to guess the animal as well. Sounds fun to me!
I hope you'll go gramping and play lots of outdoor games with your grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and friends. And really, all these games can be played in your own backyard or neighborhood park. Thanks again to my friend Gail for "stirring the pot" and reminding us all of the joys of camping with our families.
I'll end with my favorite camping giggle:
I don't always move to the other side of the campfire, but when I do, the smoke follows me.
Were you aware there's a new term out there? Yes, it's "gramping," and it means grandparents camping with their grandchildren. Not sure I like the word--but I sure like the concept! And it's SPRING, y'all! Let's go GRAMPING!
Last spring my friend Gail went camping with her grandchildren. They did the cutest, kid-friendly activities (see above photo for a sample--playing with glow-in-the-dark balloons), so I HAD to ask her to share this experience in my blog. Here's Gail~
"Growing up as a young family, my daughter, my husband, and I enjoyed camping. We started our tent camp outings at state parks because as rookies, we felt safe and comfortable. We love running water, electricity and restrooms! Camping afforded us the opportunity to slow down, unwind and get reacquainted. Other benefits that my family of three enjoyed: being outside, learning about nature, and playing together. Bottom line--we were making memories. Now. . .fast forward a few decades. . .
I had the pleasure of tagging along with my daughter, my two grandchildren, and a group of friends on an overnight campout last March. It was the first time in many years that we had 'tent' camped. My grands were only two and four years old on their inaugural camping trip, and we all had a blast!
More from Gail~
"A lot of fun was packed into two days and one very cold night tent camping at Lake Georgetown. One of the biggest 'hits' of the weekend was the glow-in-the-dark balloons, bracelets and sticks. This was not my idea, but it was a good one. A friend got them at Walmart (probably a seasonal item). Here's the list of things we did:
You get the idea--we simply enjoyed each other's company. And the best part? MAKING MEMORIES, of course!"
I'm guessing all you need to go gramping is a weekend. That's probably all the little guys can handle, and I'm guessing that may be all the grandparents can handle as well. But what fun! Let's all give camping with our grands a try. And as I always say, if you've already gone on camping trips with your grandchildren, please share activities and PHOTOS. We'd love to see them!
Happy Spring, Everybody!
P. S. And thanks, Gail, for this fun blog post!
Final note: All butterflies captured were gently released back to nature.
Look for things to celebrate!
I'll admit it. I love looking for things to celebrate. If you've ever experienced a life-changing illness or event, you know what I mean. You realize life is rather short and one needs to "seize the day." When you're checking the calendar or recording in your date book, do you ever notice some crazy holidays? I checked out some of the things to celebrate for March. Check it out~
May you always have~walls for the winds, a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire, laughter to cheer you, those you love near you, and all your heart might desire. Irish Blessing
Irish girls leave a trail of magic wherever they go.
A salute to the Irish!
Just have fun with it!
I made Irish stew...or rather I should say, Irish BEEF stew. In doing research for this blog, I found out that Irish stew is made with lamb. So what we've been eating all these years at our house is actually Irish beef stew. And put some lime sherbet in a punch bowl and pour 7-Up or ginger ale over it--makes a good green punch for the kids--they love it. And of course, decorate shamrock shaped cookies for dessert. Nothing better!
If you're into doing crafts with your kids, I found some fun ones:
For making a pinwheel shamrock with the little guys, here's a fun site~
And one I'd like to try with my older grands involves painting rocks for the Kindness Rocks Project. I hope we can get together over spring break and paint some rocks with a St. Patrick's Day motif.
To all the days here and after--may they be filled with fond memories, happiness, and laughter. Irish toast
Happy St. Paddy's Day, friends! And if you've done some fun St. Patrick activities with your kids or grandchildren, please share. And if you've got some good Irish recipes, share those as well. I love to hear from you!
Have you shared your beloved hobby with your grandchildren?
I have to some extent...such as it is. I do a dab of writing and I like to scrapbook. But my niece Lisa shares a hobby with her granddaughters that I am so in awe--Lisa quilts and she's passed down the skill to her granddaughters. How wonderful! Here, I'll let her tell you in her own words:
It began with a promise to help their Girl Scout troop get sewing badges. Once they had a taste, every visit became...."Memo, can we sew?"
True quilters are "fabriholics." The first time I took the girls to my fabric closet, they said in unison, "Ooooohhhh, FAB-RIC". It was then that I knew they were quilters at heart.
Any day spent quilting is a good day!
One yard of fabric, like one cookie, is never enough.
My girls would come to spend the weekend. Their short attention span meant I could only get one or two seams out of them before they would run off to see what Poppa was doing. I definitely didn't want to force them to stay and sew, but I did encourage them to finish each block before moving on to something else. While they learned to quilt, I used the sewing as an opportunity to teach them about other terms as I showed them my quilting rulers. I explained about triangles, angles, and squares that made up each block. I let them choose their own fabrics to express their own personalities. In time, I even let them pick which block they wanted to make. I admit I got frustrated with them a time or two and pressured them to stay and finish a block rather than running off to play with Poppa. I also admit I might have been critical of their sewing, or fussed when they didn't listen to me.
I tried to remember that it really didn't matter how it looked. if it was really bad, I could fix it for them. Or--even leave it, so that they could look back at it later in life and see their own first mistakes. I looked for the middle ground--instill in them a desire to do quality work, but not be so hard on them that they would begin to hate sewing. I also learned that it was less frustrating to split them up and work with them one-on-one. One would spend time with Poppa while the other sewed, and then switch out.
At the beginning, I had to prepare everything in advance, so they wouldn't have to wait while I cut and ironed fabrics. If things weren't ready, I knew I would lose their attention. Later, they were capable of doing much for themselves. Eventually, they ironed for themselves, and yes...from time, to time, someone got burned.
And so it went, one block at a time, we constructed the quilt and the memories.
At the end of each weekend, they would hang their blocks on the design wall, and take a picture to memorialize and share the event. When we finally had enough blocks, we put them on the design wall, locked down the layout and took a picture.
One weekend I took the girls with me to an organized quilt retreat and with the help of my friends Gaye and Joyce, we cut sashing and handed it to the girls to sew together until the tops were finished. Attention spans were longer by then, and they actually stayed focused on the project long enough to finish.
However, quilt retreats are notorious for all the soft drinks and candy for the taking. One of my granddaughters slipped away and found the dark chocolate and Dr. Pepper. I remember she tossed and turned that night for hours....finally flopping over and saying in frustration, "I could play all night." I laughed and told her it was the caffeine and sugar and she should probably stay away from those things in the evenings because she was obviously sensitive to them just like her Memo.
Once the quilts were finished, we entered them in a quilt show, It was amazing how proud they were of their quilts, standing by them during the show to tell people about them. That was a fun day. Now that they have finished their first quilts, they don't seem anxious to start another. I won't push them. In time, they will come back and say, "Memo, can we sew?"
To quilt is human, to finish divine.
Blessed are the children of the piecemakers....for they shall inherit the quilts!
Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!