How to Be a Fun Grandma With Your Grandchild

Being a grandma can bring out the child in you. It's fun to plan activities when your grandchild visits overnight or for the weekend, and if you use just a little imagination, the results can keep little hands busy and happy through the entire visit. To have fun with your grandchild, here are some of the things you can do.

Dine out. When my 6-year-old grandson comes to visit grandma, I plan a trip to one of his favorite restaurants. We're not doing anything extravagant; his preference is usually happy face pancakes at IHOP. You can try this too. Eating out adds a little variety to the visit and makes a child feel special. The one-on-one time both grandma and grandchild share together is priceless.

Get breakfast ready the night before. One of my grandchildren has loved to get his own breakfast since he was a toddler. It helped me realize any child can feel good about a task if it's manageable for them. Here's what you can do: After tucking the child to bed, set the table with a bowl of dry cereal covered with plastic wrap, a spoon, fork, cup and a napkin. In the refrigerator place a small plastic container with a serving of milk, enough for the cereal and to fill the cup. Cut up some fresh fruit and put it in another container right next to the milk. A grandchild will love to get his or her own breakfast while grandma gets ready for the day.

Plan a morning activity. Grandmas know that little hands like to stay busy, so find a bit of space at home where you can keep toys and books. This is one of the nice things about being a grandparent; the toys you have frequently feel like new ones to your grandchildren since they are not played with every day.

Take in a movie together. I check the movie listings before any of my grandchildren visit. It's a nice change from a DVD and again gives grandma and the kids some time to enjoy an activity together. If not, and depending on the time of year, we might bake cookies, rake leaves, set up the splash pool, go to the local children's museum or even to an orchard to pick apples.

Make dinner together. Helping with the preparation of a meal is great practice for grandchildren and they can be a real help. If there is something age appropriate for them to do like stirring ingredients together, washing and tearing lettuce leaves for the salad, or setting the table, they will usually love helping a grownup.

Wrap up the evening. After dinner is a bath followed by quiet time. Wind things down by reading books together before the lights go out. Your little one will be plenty tired and eager to come back to see grandma.