Father's Day is coming! Why not involve the grandchildren in an activity for daddy or granddad or both? A teacher friend posted a questionnaire she did with her students for Father's Day. I loved it, and decided it would be great for me to do with my grandchildren. They had made a book for their mother. Now it was dad's turn! Here is the questionnaire:
Questions about my Dad
1. What is something your dad always says to you?
2. What makes dad happy?
3. What makes dad sad?
4. How does your dad make you laugh?
5. What was your dad like as a child?
6. What is his favorite thing to do?
7. What does your dad do when you're not around?
8. If your dad becomes famous, what will it be for?
9. What is your dad really good at?
10. What is your dad not very good at?
11. What does your dad do for a job?
12. What is your dad's favorite food?
13. What makes you proud of your dad?
14. If your dad were a cartoon character, who would he be?
15. What do you and your dad do together?
16. How are you and your dad the same?
17. How are you and your dad different?
18. How do you know your dad loves you?
19. What does your dad like most about your mom?
20. Where is your dad's favorite place to go?
The kids were over one weekend in May. Their ages at the time were 8-12, so they were old enough for me to give each kid a copy of the questions, and send each to a corner to write their answers. That way they weren't swayed by their sibling's response. But this would also be fun to ask the little guys who aren't reading/writing yet, and you record their responses. The answers for dad can be sweet and sentimental, but they can also be good for a chuckle or two.
And you know what I did. I made a book. I think it just makes a wonderful keepsake for dad. But you can certainly just tuck the questionnaire, along with their answers, in a greeting card. Either way, what a treasure for dad or grandpa.
Here are some sample pages from my son's book. As you can see, I just used photos I had on hand, or else some appropriate clip art.
Cover for book~
I then took the pictures I had used in the book, and made a collage for the cover:
My husband and I were traveling on Father's Day last year, so I wasn't with them when my grandkids presented their dad with the book. My sweet daughter-in-law snapped a picture of them giving their daddy the book. They gathered around him to listen to him read it. I think he was pleased. . .
Sometimes grandparents have to take the lead! Parents are so busy with the day to day details of raising children. And this time of year is especially crazy what with their children finishing out the school year. Both parents are often working as well, so it's hard for mom or dad to sit down with the kids to do a craft or write with their kids to give to daddy or granddad. This is where a grandparent can take the lead. It's important that we as grandparents model this--that giving something of yourself, whether writing and creating, is the best gift you can possibly give a loved one.
We enjoyed making this book, and I've tried to give you time before Father's Day to actually do just that. I have a Mac, so I used the iPhoto application. But here are some photo book-making websites:
I hope you'll find the time to get with your grandkids to create something for their dad, grandfather, favorite uncle or other "daddy" in their life. Just getting together with your grandchildren is great, and to create something for a loved one together is really special. And as I always say, please share your ideas and things you have done for Father's Day. We always love to hear.
"I want to congratulate all the men out there who are working diligently to be good fathers, whether they are stepfathers, or biological fathers, or just spiritual fathers." T. D. Jakes
Also. . . remember you can use the contact page to write me, and I'll be glad to send you the questionnaire.
School's out for summer! How about a road trip with your grandchildren?
Take it from this gramma, this is a great idea. I have thoroughly enjoyed these ventures. And consider making it with just ONE grandkid at a time. Great bonding time. I read where some grandparents had a custom of taking each grandchild on a trip when they reached the age of ten years. They thought that was the perfect age, as the child was old enough to even help with planning. It happened to work out for us to take our grandchildren when they turned five. My husband had a conference in Austin, and so we invited our 5-year-old grandson to join us. Then we did the same when our granddaughters each turned five.
Our middle grandchild's trip to Austin/San Antonio. Have plenty for them to do in the car.
We did all the touristy things while in San Antonio: the Riverwalk, the Tower of the Americas, took in a play at the Magik Theater, the zoo, and rode the barge along the river. Here you can see she was wearing down a bit, but ever so much fun!
In Austin while Poppa was at his conference, we did the same as we did in San Antonio; we made like tourists and visited museums, the Japanese gardens, and went for swims in the hotel pool. All great happenings for little kids.
When our youngest granddaughter was five, she got a trip to a neighboring town just a few miles away. Doesn't matter to the youngsters--a road trip is a road trip no matter how near or far.
Only thirty miles from home, but we stayed in a hotel and took her to see "Frozen on Ice." We even bought gimmicky tourist souvenirs as you can see in our selfie--it adds to the whole road trip/tourist experience.
We took in the whole "Houston" experience. Here we are at an amusement park and she has on her souvenir hat. It was great fun!
Here she is at the aquarium restaurant with Poppa. I hope this short road trip with our youngest granddaughter really added to her memories. I know I had fun!
We took our youngest grandchild on a road trip to Lubbock. Now some of my readers may be asking--what is there to do in Lubbock? Oh contrare, there's a lot to do. Especially for a four year old. Here we are at Prairie Dog Town. See the little prairie dog over to the right?
Here he is at a Lubbock amusement park. When you go on a road trip, even if it's just to the next town, look for all they have to offer. You might be very surprised. This kid-size park was just perfect for our grand--he loved it!
Riding the chair lift with his grandpa! Nothing better! Fun for him, and WAY fun for us!
More ideas for a road trip:
When my oldest grandson was five, he was really into knights, and castles, and the Middle Ages. We gave him a road trip to Dallas and to the Medieval Times Theater. What a great trip even for us old folks. The pomp and pageantry is spectacular. This too was a great trip!
We even paid a little extra to get him knighted! Very fun!
We ate with tankards and trenchers and our fingers just as they did in Medieval Times while we watched the jousts. Such a great trip!
Show them your old stomping grounds on a road trip!
One spring we went to a wedding in the Lubbock area. We decided to make a road trip out of it for all three of our grands. We showed our grands the world of our childhood. We took them to Palo Duro Canyon, and to a great museum that was our favorite when young.
Cliff overlook at Palo Duro Canyon. We really made like tourists doing all the touristy things--we even took a jeep ride through the canyon.
Great museum and very kid-friendly!
We were sure to show our grands the caves and trails that we hiked when we were young.
Why do a road trip with your grandchildren? Or great grandchildren or perhaps nieces and nephews?
Phyllis Karas: "Why do I love to travel with my grandchildren? Why, who else would my husband and I most love to spend our free time with? Who else would see the world with such fresh and innocent eyes as these three beautiful little people? It doesn't matter where I am with my grandchildren, I treasure every second of our time together. And when we are traveling together, leaving our usual routines behind, it is heaven on earth."
Carol White: "Grandparents are the keepers of family culture and heritage that gets passed from one generation to the next. One of the keys to that is creating memories and imparting knowledge that can only be gained through the actual experience of travel. They will soon forget the items that we buy them, but taking them places and doing things with them, they will never forget."
Another great interactive exhibit at the Perot Museum. Racing a prehistoric sea creature with his dad on a road trip there.
Please share your road trip ideas that you have done with your grandchildren. And I hope I've sparked some ideas for you to take a trip with the little guys in your family. A trip right in your own town or to the next town can be worlds of fun. A sweet friend in Amarillo took her grandson to the Panhandle-Plains Museum in Canyon a mere 15 miles away. Don't overlook how fun something like that can be. They enjoyed it so much, that they took another road trip--to the Charles Goodnight Historical Center. You really can't put a price-tag on something like that. Traveling and exploring with your grandkids is simply the BEST!
How about making small gifts for the residents of your local nursing home, and doing it with your grands? Such a worthwhile endeavor!
The seed of this idea actually came from my sweet sister and role model. My sister volunteers on Wednesday at a local nursing home. She and her husband go with their Sunday school class to a nearby nursing home to attend a Bible study there. They greet the residents and visit with them, and my sister sometimes teaches the lesson. I've wanted to visit a nursing home with my grandkids, and going with my sister and brother-in-law seemed like the way to begin. My granddaughters and I wanted to take small gifts, so we decided on small packets of tissues with a Bible verse attached. Since we joined the Bible study group, it was easy for us to mill about the crowd before the lesson started, greeting them and offering our small gift.
I figured it would be difficult for my granddaughters to just go up to a resident and begin a conversation, and truth be known, it's hard for me too! But approaching them with a small token makes it ever so much easier. So that's just what we did. And I don't have to tell you how the elders in attendance love seeing the youngsters. My sister quite frequently takes her great-grandchildren (even when they were toddlers and an infant.) The ladies (and probably gentlemen too) love holding and cooing with a bouncing baby!
And visiting on Mother's Day is the perfect time!
As I mentioned above, taking a small gift to the residents when you go is a special treat--for the giftee and the giver! Individual roses or another flower would really be sweet on this day! But here are some other ideas.
Suggestions for gifts:
Making the gift tags:
I invited my granddaughters over to create the gift tags, and then to attach them with stickers (they love stickers!) We were going to write favorite Bible verses, but they ended up with favorite lyrics from church songs.......among them, "Jesus loves me." I actually printed them up on the computer as they dictated--we thought it would make it easier for the residents to read.
One year we were able to visit the nursing home at Easter and took plastic Easter eggs which we had decorated with form stickers and glitzy decals. We placed a Bible verse inside each egg. That was a big hit too--both in the making and in the delivering.
Where to get those small gifts?
I actually used a local party supply this last visit. In the children's birthday party section, they have packets of ten or more party favors. Some of those work great--like small, individual note pads, heart bracelets and other trinkets that would be appropriate for nursing homes. Target has those $1 bins at the front of the store. And there are mail-order places like Oriental Trading. Even getting together with your grands and creating gift cards or book markers from scratch would be wonderful!
Happy Mother's Day to all my readers! Since this is a blog with grandparent ideas, I know you're out there! Seriously, have a wonderful day. It's not Mother's Day yet, so you've got time for some of my writing or craft suggestions. Otherwise, just take it easy (you deserve it) and savor the day!
Until next week!
Great book about this subject for the little guys:
"Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge" by Mem Fox
And finally--this just in!
Pictures of my sister's granddaughters and great-grandkids on a recent visit to a nursing home. My sister was unable to go this trip, but her daughter took the pictures. Thanks, Tracy, for sharing your photos.
Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!