Tell your stories! We're the link between the generations.
How many times lately have you said something like this. . . I wish I'd asked my mother what it was like on the Homefront during World War II. I'm sorry I didn't ask my grandfather about Vietnam. I regret not asking my parents about the Great Depression. I should have asked my aunt about the Kennedy assassination. And the list goes on and on.
And it's likely that your children and grandchildren won't think to ask you. But that doesn't matter, you can write about it, and leave it for them to read. Someday they will really appreciate that.
And another thing!
We're still in a pandemic! I know a lot of you have had your vaccine, but health specialists are telling us don't get out there yet. We're still being cautious and staying home a good deal of the time. After almost a year of this, you're probably looking for something to do. Such a good time to write or record your memories. Good for you and good for your family--JUST DO IT!
You find writing about your childhood to be tiresome? Pick a news event that you lived through and write about that. That will recharge your batteries!
Want to know how to do that? Perhaps these tips will get your started.
Simply write down any and all big news events from your lifetime. And yes, you can google it. I did. Just look for world news from any decade, the 1970's, 1980's, and so on. You'll find some things you hadn't thought of.
Just choose one that you have many memories about. And you don't have to start in writing your account--just jot down any facts or anecdotes that come to mind.
Here's my random list about Watergate:
And the list can go on. . .you get the idea. The next step is to decide how you want to record it for posterity.
A mini-book. . .
I chose to make a mini-book about some of my "Eyewitness to History" events. It satisfies two needs of mine. My need to do something "artsy-crafty," and my desire to write my memories down for my children and grandchildren.
I keep all my mini-books in a large box that I purchased at a craft store. I'm a visual learner myself, so I'll just show you with pictures:
Please, please, please understand. I do not share this with you to brag or pronounce, "Look what I've done!" As I've stated many times in this blog, I've never had an original idea. The seed for this was planted by an Austin friend who did mini-books in her classroom with her students. I also got the idea from a friend who makes beautiful greeting cards from gorgeous papers and fabulous images she finds. To get one of her cards is a treasure. I wanted to try that craft for myself, and I chose to do it with these little books.
I also share because it might give you an idea of what you can do with your stories. I think that is what life is about--live and learn and pass it on!
And finally I did this blog today as I think it serves two purposes. This is a blog mainly for grandparents, and we are of an age where many of us want to share our stories. If you haven't started writing some of your stories down, perhaps this will encourage you to do so. And I find mini-books to be such a fun craft. In these days of the pandemic, perhaps you are looking for a craft--this is a fun one--something to occupy your time.
I'll close with a testimony from a high school friend, Tricia. I copied her comment (with her permission) from a Facebook post:
"I've been hand writing a book for my daughter who will share with grandkids or anyone else someday. Just stories about my family, first memories, etc. Really just those stories we tell our kids, but in writing. It was her suggestion. Been fun to reflect on my life too. Working now on adding my feelings and thoughts about monumental world events during my lifetime."
Blogs I've previously written about mini-books and memoir writing:
"Each of us is a book waiting to be written, and that book, if written, results in a person explained." Thomas M. Cirignano
*Whoops! I almost forgot. I titled today's blog, "Telling Your Stories, Part III". I have no idea how many blogs I've written on this subject. I fudged on that title.
A home craft just in time for Valentine's Day!
Last week's blog was about using photos for your gratitude journal. I listed suggestions for photos garnered from the internet. But it occurred to me that we could also put those photos to good use so others could enjoy them as well.
Craft idea #1~
Simply frame your photo. My husband took this picture of a monarch butterfly visiting the milkweed in our backyard. He liked it so much, he framed it. That's easy--we can all do that, and I'm sure you have.
Craft idea #2~
Use those photos for notecards, particularly those nature photos you take on your walk. Simply find those photos and gather them up. Decide which ones would look good on a note card.
You can either have your favorite printing place print up your photos, and then simply glue them on your notecard. You can find blank notecards at craft stores or stationary supply stores. They even come with envelopes.
I am fortunate to have a printer at home and the PrintShop program downloaded on my computer, so I can create my cards at home. I just use card stock, and can make them any size I want.
Craft idea #3~
Make postcards! Then you don't need envelopes and you can save on postage. How delightful for friends and family to receive one of your postcards in the mail.
Same technique. Just find those nature photos from your walks or from vacations and make postcards. Look for those panoramic views that would lend themselves to a postcard size. And my PrintShop app has postcard-making in one of their projects, so all I had to do was download my photos to that. But if you buy card stock and make your own, a typical postcard is 4x6 inches.
Important reminder: When making postcards, DON'T use photos printed on photography paper. Print those postcards on card stock or have your local print shop do that.
Craft idea #4~
And I think this craft idea is the most fun of all, and can be used for gifts for the upcoming holiday--Valentine's Day!
I did this myself to give for gifts on Valentine's. I chose to use family photos rather than nature views. I made one coaster for each of my immediate family. I made four--one for my daughter-in-law, one each for my two sons, and one for my husband. I imagined that they could use them on their desks at home, work, or school. I chose photos that would appeal to each of them, in this case, a family photo, an individual photo and for my husband, a picture of all his grandkids.
The how-to's of making coasters using photos~
Now mind you, I've never had an original idea. I just googled crafts using photos and discovered these ideas. I only share with you in case you might not have thought of it. That's how I get ideas besides googling and looking on Pinterest. Oftentimes my readers share with me or one of my friends will tell me about their latest project. My motto is, live and learn and pass it on!
Now back to how to do this. The website said to get some of those 4x4 ceramic bathroom tiles. Guess what? When I went to my big box home improvement store, THEY DON'T HAVE THEM ANYMORE. But I told the clerk what I was looking for, and he said he had 4x4 samples of flooring. And guess what? They were FREE!
I found images that would work with that 4x4 size. The one of the four grandkids that I was making for my husband didn't lend itself to 4x4. So I printed it out 2 1/2x4 and I think it looks just fine.
Finally. . .
Print your image on card stock (DO NOT use actual photos printed on photography paper) and simply decoupage them on the tile. Paint Mod Podge on the tile and place the photo on. Use a roller or ruler and press out any air bubbles, etc. After you let that dry, spray with several coats of spray acrylic. And you're done. I'll post a "how-to" website at the end of this blog.
And there you have it. Now you don't have to leave those "pictures of gratitude" on your phone. You can share them with others. When I found this idea on Pinterest, I knew I had to share.
Until next week!
The website with the 'how-to's':
Back to my blog!
I've missed you people. We've been through a crazy ten months what with this pandemic and all. It was hard for me to get to my keyboard and write a blog during this time. My blog is about grandparents and grandkids and that was hard to write, what with most of us grandparents being isolated from our families due to Covid. But things are looking up a bit, so I'm writing my blog again. Besides, it was on my new year's resolutions--tee hee.
A reminder about Gratitude Journals~
I've written about gratitude journals before. I also think they are/were a great way to get through this pandemic. When the days seem long and you can't be around friends and family, you can go to your gratitude journal...or START ONE! It's like the old church hymn--"Count your blessings, name them one by one..." But I was reading about a twist on this. Take some pictures for your gratitude journal. This piece of advice posted on Facebook reminded me of this endeavor:
There are at least three ways to use photos on your cell phone to make you feel gratitude.
The first one is listed above, simply take photos as you go through your day. Now mind you, you don't have to do this every day, but sometimes. It is fun to go back and look at photos. Sometimes on Facebook, a friend will suggest posting the last picture on your phone, or the 12th...whatever it is. I always get a kick out of going back to see what was the last photo. It's just small things like this that get us through the day and bring a smile.
The second one is about using a list of specific photos to take as you go on your morning walk or as you travel to the grocery store (wearing your mask of course!), or bop around the house. Here's a silly list to complete as you take those photos:
But wait! There's more!
The third idea is to simply have a photo gratitude journal that is nothing but photos of things you love or enjoy. Or just slip those pictures into your regular journal. It's all about living in the moment and realizing your blessings. It simply makes you happier!
My precious 90-year-old mother-in-law loves photos of her kids, grandkids, great grandkids and soon to be great-great grandkids! She doesn't want photos texted to her. She wants what she calls "hand copies." You know, photos she can hold in her hand. When we send her pictures, she keeps them all in a box, and delights in pulling out that box and going through those photos again and again. I think a lot of us do that. So you might try it--keep a PHOTO gratitude journal.
One last idea for picture-taking that I happened onto~
This one was billed for young parents, but of course it's great for us grandparents too, when we are fortunate to have our grands or great-grands visit once again. I think there are some great ideas on here. I'll post the link at the end of my blog.
And there you have it! A different take on gratitude journals using photographs.
I think in the past year we've gone through some difficult days--from the pandemic to the trying times in our nation. I'm always looking for something that will put a spring in my step once again. I think a gratitude journal is one way to go. Try it, you'll like it.
And as I always say, if you have some ideas for gratitude journals or family photography, please share. I love to hear from my readers.
Until next week just sign me, Gigi of Gigi's Seasonings.
"Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality really is." Anonymous
The website with ideas for taking candid shots of your children:
My other blog about gratitude journals:
How about we make a nectar list! It's the opposite of a bucket list, and really rather fun!
I think we all could use a distraction. Yes, a distraction from this pandemic. . . we're going into the seventh month of this. And we're right in the middle of a very contentious election. We need something fun, or at least different, for our brains and psyches. I think a "nectar list" is just the thing.
What is a nectar list, you ask? I read about it in the Huffington Post a few years ago. The author of the article, Sierra Vandervort, describes it as making a list of things you've already done. She says, "We need to reflect on the good things that have come to us in our lives. Even if you don't feel like you've done anything huge with your life just yet, I guarantee you can find something to look back on and be proud of."
She further stated that the idea for a nectar list came from an urban dictionary. She read "that sweet nectar was slang for 'to live' like kick the bucket is slang for 'to die.'"
I started trying it out in my journal and it's rather fun, and frankly therapeutic. And you don't have to have traveled the world to put things in your list. It's places you've been/seen, people you've met, experiences you've had from childhood to now.
I'm stashing my copy of my nectar list in my journal or smash book for my children and grandchildren to read after I'm gone. I'm putting silly things from my youth and childhood....mostly so they will know and come to realize that I wasn't always a stuffy old grandma. They need to know I was young once like them and lived for fun times and laughter.
So trust me when I say it doesn't have to be things like, walking through the ruins of the Roman Senate or hiking up Pike's Peak. Here is just a silly list I made of my childhood. Oh yes, and be sure and embellish it with fun descriptive phrases--you want them to be able to SEE what you did. Tee hee. . . .
Examples from my list:
Making your list as an adult; you can embellish those too! Or not!
Once again you can add typical adult things to your list, like giving birth to a baby using the Lamaze method. Or paddling canoes on Town Lake with your family and being unable to paddle because you were laughing so hard.
The author of the article on nectar lists added some silly things to her list: spitting out a wad of gum from the top of the Empire State Building. Or finding the premier recipe for mac-and-cheese. The items you put on your bucket list can be such things. Makes it fun for you, and fun to read!
But wait! There's more! Maybe you HAVE traveled to some great places here at home and abroad. Of course, here's your chance to add them to your nectar list.
Here's a peek at my list:
Start your nectar list NOW! And during this pandemic when we are not getting out much is the perfect time to start such a list.
I'll end with a family picture. This trip was on my bucket list. I always wanted to take my grandkids to a local state park that I loved as a child. And I've been able to take all four of my grands. So this trip was on my bucket list and now it's on my nectar list--one of the SWEETest things I've done. I encourage you to start your nectar list today.
Huffington Post article from which I got my nectar list idea from several years ago:
Calling all grandparents! Be sure to share your hobby with your grandkids no matter what it might be--quilting, snorkeling, painting rocks, golfing, tennis. It's all good, and very rewarding to share.
My husband enjoyed teaching and playing golf with our oldest grandson. He was so enthusiastic about it that I asked him to do my blog a couple of years ago. Well, we've added to our in-town family since then, and he's been golfing with two more kids. Here, I'll let him tell you about it.
Earlier I wrote a blog (for my wife) on sharing my love of golf with my grandchildren. It actually focused on my experience of teaching and playing golf with my oldest grandson. What joy those days were. Last year my youngest granddaughter decided she wanted to learn the game. And as it was with my grandson, it was such a joy to teach her the game of golf and then actually play a favorite course.
We started last summer, it was hot, she survived, but then school started, and it became difficult to find time to play. But this summer she made it clear to me it was time to start up again. We went to the driving range and then played. Like her brother, she is left-handed and so you can imagine how difficult it is trying to “reverse” your teaching to accommodate a lefty. And she has grown over the year. Then we noticed the clubs were too short—or she was too tall for them! What better birthday can you give a young athlete than a new set of clubs. She has a July birthday, so we surprised her with clubs. And then we were off to the golf course.
But there is another story. In my last blog, I mentioned I came across a set of starter clubs. At that time my youngest grandson was only four years old. But I decided I could not pass on these clubs, so I bought them, and they sat in the garage. Earlier this summer, my grandson, who is now six, asked when he could start playing. Six years old seems awfully young, but we went to a local park and he began to hit golf balls. Teaching him how to swing a club was a challenge at first, and then he just started hitting the ball—straight and with some distance. After three days, I decided he was ready for the big time—a real driving range at a real golf course. He continued hitting the ball with consistency. We tried the putting green. He did well. The next day we went back and spent time on the chipping hole. He was just developing a very good swing—both driving and chipping.
So I felt he was ready to play the game. Of course, I am concerned about ensuring he does not slow down the golfers behind us. In the beginning he would tee off about 50 yards from the green. Then 75 yards. Then 100-125 yards. Each time he decided when it was time to move further back. And then he started hitting from the front tees on the par three holes. That was a big thing!
I was wondering how many holes he could play until he was ready to quit. Was he really going to enjoy this? Boy, was I surprised! The kid is six years old. He was focused. He consistently hit the ball straight and with some distance. He began to understand and analyze what club he needs—long iron or short iron. When to use his wedge. When to use his putter. I just loved to hear him say, when he was close to the green, and getting out of the cart— “wedge and putter.” And off he went and off I went to hit my ball. He never complained about the heat or the time it took to play. No matter what, he was going to play 18 holes.
Now he does have his own rules. He is not sure of scoring other than he knows it just has to go into the hole. At the end of the day we are tied (I am not keeping score) only because we both got the ball into the hole. But he has decided his score should be based on how many putts it takes to get the ball into the hole after he gets on the green. And did I mention the front tees on the par three holes? He has had legitimate bogies from the front tees. He plays fast, sometimes running from one hit to another. No slow play—if anything we catch up to others. He just loves playing golf and each time we play he gets a better understanding of the game.
And what a joy it is to play with him. He is always talking and asking questions. And talking about anything that comes to his mind. We do have a problem though. He loves nature. We have been taking nature walks all year. And sometime on the golf course, he veers into taking a nature walk. He just wants to see those turtles and egrets.
We have been taking care of our grandson on a daily basis due to the pandemic. So this has allowed us to play golf. Maybe twice a week. When my older grandkids heard about this, they wanted to play too! And having all three of them on the course at the same time is really a blessing and just a joy. They all play well together. My oldest grandson is always helping his sister and even helping his younger cousin. And of course, that six-year old cousin/grandson, is also giving them pointers—since he is a six year old and knows it all!
A big thank you to my husband for doing my blog this week. What a blessing for him to play golf with his grandkids. I'm thinking it's like heaven on earth for him.
Please consider sharing your hobby with your grandkids. It will reward you tenfold!
The first blog my husband wrote when he just had one golfer to accompany him to the course:
Your children are your rainbows. Your grandchildren are
your pot of gold.
How about creating a birthday video for a family member in another town? Or a family member in the same town, but socially distanced? I've gotten some ideas from many of you, and the one I'm writing about today is from my granddaughter.
I've seen on Facebook and heard from friends about how they are coming up with new ideas for birthday greetings during this pandemic when most of us are practicing social distancing. I've loved the drive-by car lines with posters and streamers wishing the birthday boy/girl fun greetings for their day. Some of you have even done Zoom with family on a special day.
My granddaughter came up with a birthday video for the honoree.
My granddaughter simply called or texted family members for her dad's birthday video. She asked us to do a short video greeting to him wishing him a happy birthday. Then she just took all the videos and edited them, putting them into a master video. She used the application InShot which is available from your app store. Previously for her videos, she used the application that is usually available on your iPhone called iMovie.
And there's more:
My granddaughter also did a video for her sister on her birthday. She could easily add existing pictures on her phone of her sister besides all the family's birthday greetings. She also did a video on her uncle (we have a lot of July birthdays :) and added some childhood pictures of her uncle that her mother had. She simply scanned them and added them to the video.
Post the completed video on YouTube for all to see--well, for all the family to see.
You can either send the link to your out-of-town birthday boy or show at the family birthday party. We actually went to my son's birthday party (wearing our masks of course), and watched the video in the comfort of their living room. It was fun and good for several laughs.
Here are some links that might be of help. You can actually just google something like, "How to do a simple video for at-home viewing." What would we do without google? There's no need for me to explain the technical stuff of such an endeavor, when there is such wonderful online help.
Here's the one for InShot:
I'm sure most of you use YouTube, so you're very familiar with it. It's on YouTube that you'll want to post your video to view it on the big screen and so you can send the link to other family members so they can see the birthday video. Once you get to YouTube, if you haven't already subscribed to it, you'll want to do that so you can post your video and get the link. Just like on all apps and websites, there is the trusty "Help" button that will tell you all you need to know to do this. And since this is a blog for grandparents, you could just ask your grandkids--they'll know what to do. LOL
Happy creating! It's fun creating a family video. If you haven't ever done such in this age of wonderful technology, you'll want to start! And it further bonds your family. We all like to savor the great times of the past and celebrate each other on their birthday!
Add some fun to a family birthday celebration! Play a match game!!
There are tons of such games and questionnaires online. I simply googled it, and came up with these questions. I gave everyone a sheet of paper with the questions on them, and we were off! We did three different questionnaires, and there were prizes for each game. Whoever matched the birthday guy got to select a prize from the treat basket. I took the easy way out. I just got candy that I knew were family members' favorites--everything from Junior Mints to Skittles.
Biography questions about the birthday honoree.
I started with questions about my son's life. Oftentimes there are some obscure ones that his children might not know--like......what was the name of the family's dog? Or who was he named after? And the one that had us all trying to tally--how many first cousins does he have? That one was surprisingly tough!
What are his/her FAVORITES?
This can be harder than it seems. Try it with your brother or sister or your spouse. Many times you'll be surprised even when you've been around them for years. For each of these games, after everyone had completed their questionnaires, we started with the birthday boy reading his answers. You checked off the ones you got right. Whoever had the most matches got to go to the bowl of candy treats.
The last game I billed as the Lightning Round!
The final game we played was a quick one. I called it the "Lightning Round," but when you look questions up on line, it's often called, "This or That."
Have some fun! Yes, even during this pandemic. We managed to stay six feet apart and even wore our masks. And adults like party games and digging a favorite candy bar out of the prize treat bowl the same as kids. Honestly you could hear people saying things like, "Oh, a Snicker!" Or, "Gummy Bears! My favorite!" Remember what Michael J. Fox said, "Family is not an important thing. It's EVERYTHING!"
"To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there." Barbara Bush
I almost forgot. A couple of years ago, we played such a game for my sister and brother-in-law's 50th anniversary. So a match game works for anniversaries too. Simply come up with questions about the couple and their marriage and you've got a fun time to be had by all. I even did a blog about it. Check it out:
A fun craft idea to do with the kids/grandkids as summer ends and those kids return to school!
Here is another fairly easy craft to do that takes advantage of your kids' creativity and imagination. The items needed (besides art supplies) are your cell phone camera and a printer.
You'll need to ask them to name all the jobs they'd like to have when they grow up. Or take advantage of the pretend time and your observations of that time--what are they always pretending they want to be? My grandson LOVES dinosaurs, so I was pretty sure he'd want to be a paleontologist or a dinosaur hunter. He also loves sharks, so I knew he would be up for a "pretend" encounter with sharks. We brainstormed some other ideas and then we were set to go!
Take some fun photos!
We got his boogie board and pretended it was a surf board. We tried to make it an action shot, like he was actually on the water. Then we printed that picture out, cut it out, and glued it on the drawing paper. He then filled in all the details of surf and sea and those dreaded sharks.
We did the same with some poses of him pretending to hunt dinosaurs. We had the photo of him in an astronaut's suit that we had made at the museum last year, so we just went with that. He still had to draw the rocket, moonscape, and the view of Earth, the "Big Blue Marble."
Another variation of this theme:
An added idea is to take a portrait shot of your child or grandchild. Then just use this headshot. Enlarge it quite a bit. Glue that on the art paper, and then your child has to create a headpiece around it. Again, we brainstormed: Indian chief, Roman gladiator, king, or action hero.
Just have FUN! And let your imaginations run wild!
His grandfather and I actually participated in this last assignment. His poppa took his headshot and became a native American chieftain. I drew Cleopatra's wig, headpiece and jewelry around my headshot. We had a laughing good time!
I know many of you are not having close contact with your grandchildren at this time because of Covid-19. And many of you do not live in the same town as your grands. Simply send them an art box with details for this project. How fun to mail them an art box as a fun summertime surprise. Include crayons, paints and craft paper. It can still happen. And then when everyone finishes their masterpieces, you can share on FaceTime.
As my sister always says, "Life is what you make it!" Life with your kids and grandkids should be fun--even during a pandemic!
One way to deal with stress--A BRAIN DUMP!
I've had this idea for a blog for a while. Originally it was before the pandemic, when we were so busy with life and a myriad of activities. Then Covid-19 hit, and we were sheltering-in-place, and I thought I didn't need to write such a blog--we weren't going anywhere. But of late, I've realized that during this pandemic, our stress levels have heightened. Probably more than ever, people need some tips on how to deal with all this. So I've decided to proceed. . .
One way to deal with this time is a "Brain Dump." It's basically what it sounds like--just pour out your thoughts and worries in your journal or on a piece of paper. The seed of this idea started with a gal I taught with years ago. She taught fifth grade, and when her students would come in the classroom stewing over something that happened either last night or during their morning, she would encourage them to write it down on a piece of paper. She called them, "Stinkin' Thinkin' Thoughts." After they had written what was bothering them, she asked them to wad them up and throw them in the wastebasket. Actually she might have even had a basket specifically for this purpose with the label, "Stinkin' Thinkin' Thoughts".
Another way to deal? A "Brain Dump" worksheet!
My friend simply had her students throw the paper away, but another way to do it, is write down all those things that are bothering you, or else all those "to-do" items that are nagging at you. Write it all down and take a look at your list. Are there some items that you can deal with? Make a plan for them. Are there some things simply out of your control? Put them in your prayer box or journal, and leave them to God, and get on with your life.
And as always happens when I'm researching ways to deal with stress and those thoughts that are racing through one's mind, I discovered a technique called a brain dump worksheet. There are tons of articles on line about this, and lots of examples of brain dump worksheets. I'll give you some links at the end of this blog. But I've also included my own worksheet above.
This way, you can organize those chores, worries, and concerns in an organized manner and make a plan to deal with them. What could be better?
Find a cozy spot for writing.
I like my little recliner in my den. I keep my ink gel pens at the ready and my basket of journals. You can tuck your brain-dump worksheet in your journal so it's always handy. Writing your thoughts down in a comfortable retreat is all a part of bringing down your stress level. Add some easy listening music from Pandora and you're set.
If I'm really trying to be serious about my organization, I might sit at my dining room table. That spot (at the dining room table) has been a favorite since I was a kid, and sat at my mother's table to do homework. I like my dining table as it affords me a view of our front flower garden. Sorry that the morning sun was streaming through that window today. You can't see the flowers in this photo. Oh well, another blog perhaps. :)
One more item to share!
Again, as always happens, I saw an item this week in the Houston Chronicle from one of my favorite columns by Marci Sharif. I'll include a link to her column, "Feeling Matters," at the end of this blog. One of her tips for dealing with an item on that nagging to-do list is to "JUST DO IT." That can clear up a lot of stress in your life and calm your racing mind if you'll simply get it done!
Here's what she said in her column this week mostly addressed to busy moms (But hey! We grandmothers are busy too! And for sure we have stress.) If this doesn't inspire you to get a handle on stress and those racing thoughts in your head, I don't know what will: "If you tend to carry a lot in your mind or do multiple things at once, you're probably used to feeling stressed and overwhelmed. It's exhausting, I know. This way of operating is a recipe for being less effective all around. It eats away at spontaneity, creativity, and availability to the people around us... So, I've done some reflection and research."
Ms. Sharif goes on to say that she wanted to know the best ways to clear out mental clutter. "I'm less interested in tips like meditation, and getting more sleep and minding my diet. These are good pieces of advice, but I've yearned for practical strategies on how to orient and and action steps for a clearer head." You've got to read her article. Here's the link:
More websites about brain dumps:
Go forth and conquer those racing thoughts in your head. These are trying times what with the pandemic and political unrest. We all need some tips on how to deal. Hope this blog has helped.
I'll close with a quote from George Burns:
"If you ask what is the single most important key for longevity, I'd have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn't ask me, I'd still have to say it."
Hello! I've been gone a while!! No, I didn't have Covid-19, but I did homeschool my grandson when the schools closed. That kept me really busy. Besides, during this difficult time, I didn't think my readers would want to read a blog about. . . Fun with Gramma. We had other things on our mind, didn't we?
How about some summer crafts with the grands? I would often do arts and crafts with my grandson during homeschooling. Makes the day go faster, and hey! Who doesn't like art? Seriously, as we all know creative arts and music are just as important as the core subjects, often enhancing those subjects. I visited other blogs and good ol' Pinterest to find ideas. Today I share some of them with you that you might do them with your grandkids when they visit. And if your grandkids are not in town, or still not visiting because of the coronavirus, put some art supplies in a box and mail to them. You can tell them about it during phone calls and FaceTime. Do whatever you can to have some share time with your beloved grandkids or great-grandkids.
I picked out these art and craft activities as they mostly just involve markers and color books or drawing paper. Things you probably have on hand when they visit.
Now that most of the states are open again, perhaps you can visit a craft store to get any other supplies you might need.
Can't get into the public swimming pools or the parks? All the more reason to do some crafts at home. Kids need to have some fun this summer. Arts and crafts with parents or grandparents seem the way to go. So let's get started.
# 1 Tracing your hand and then coloring:
Yes, the old standby--tracing the child's hand and coloring. I saw this on Pinterest. Have them trace their hands in black marker on one page of those design color books. And then all they have to do is color within the black line. Fun for the kids and a very striking piece to put on your refrigerator or their parents' refrigerator. We just put on some favorite songs, relaxed, and colored away. Very nice activity for a hot summer afternoon when they can't go outside anyway.
#2 Tracing random items from around the house
to make a design and then COLOR:
Another super easy one! Just trace the shape several times on the paper being sure to overlap the shapes. Then color with markers, crayons or colored pencils. Another project that turned out so pretty.
We just gathered up cookie cutters, and cutters from the Playdoh set, as well as some of our craft sticks. Another easy project, but also very zen-like. It will get grandmother and the child in a very relaxed state. (Insert chuckle here.)
#3 Crayon-resist with crayons and watercolor:
Watercolors seem to be in every grandparent's craft box for when the grandkids come. But if you're like me, you've probably discovered that watercolors can be frustrating for the younger kids. Watercolors go all over the page, and not where the child wants it. Drawing your picture in crayon first eliminates this frustration. Another idea I found on a teacher's blog. I drew the small rectangle first and then all my grandson had to do was draw (in black crayon) the grid-like lines and then put a shape in the middle. My six-year-old grandson happens to be very adept at drawing hearts. But the child colors the heart first, and then uses different watercolors on the outside of that shape. This enables the center shape (in this case, a heart) to show up.
This is another one that turns out so well. My grandson was very pleased with his creation. I even found an old frame, and we framed one for his dad and one for his Poppa.
I also made photo-copies of his hearts as they are the perfect size to send notes to his great-grandmothers.
#4 Stringing beads for a wall-hanging:
My grandson loves to string beads. I think perhaps he developed his interest from watching his big sister make bracelets. Nevertheless, before this coronavirus even hit, he asked me for some beads. So this is something we had on hand, and when I saw this idea on Pinterest, I knew we had to give it a try. We found the small branch on our morning walk, and his Poppa drilled some holes for the strings, but I don't think that would even be necessary. Just wrap the string around the branch, and you're good to go. It doesn't even require a long string of beads. We just knotted the string after five or six beads and skipped a space. Another one that's fun, relaxing, and you've got a great sun catcher for your patio when you're finished.
And there you have it--four fun and relatively easy craft projects with the kids or grandkids. Such a fun summertime activity with our grandchildren. If they come to visit, and your time is limited, each of these tasks took only one hour to complete. Honest. And if you're lucky enough to have those grandkids visit, it's a nice memento to take home in remembrance of your time together.
Please feel free to share my blog with your grandparent friends. But of course, these ideas are for any kid, parent, grandparent or great-grandparent. So share! Thank goodness others shared with me. Until next week, as they always said on "Hill Street Blues," let's be careful out there.
"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." Pablo Picasso
Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!