Preparing for a Weekend Visit with your Grandchildren

A weekend visit from your grandchildren can be like a fresh breeze in your dull everyday existence. It can rejuvenate you and bring out the hidden child in you. But without good preparation, the same visit can become a troublesome experience for you and a dull and boring time for your grandchildren. Here are a few tips to prepare yourself and your household for a weekend trip from your grandchildren. The tips are age specific as children change quickly with age and so do their requirements.

Babies

Babies require a lot of attention and also a lot of special items. You should stock on baby food, diapers, formula milk and wipes. You should also arrange feeding bottles, baby spoons, pacifiers, preferably a baby bath, towels, washcloths and a few chewable toys appropriate for their age. Also ask their parents if they have any specific requirement and whether there is any medicine you should keep handy.

Toddlers

Toddlers can be real fun. At the same time, their newly learnt mobility makes their safety a prime concern. You have to thoroughly baby proof your household to keep them safe. Vacuum your carpet and floors carefully. Don’t keep any dangerous object like knife, needles, nail clipper, glues, medicines, pesticides, insecticides or even medicines within their reach. Remember to check under your furniture. Get down low and see around if anything risky is lying around. You should even keep your toiletries at a safe height as toddlers would rarely miss the chance to suck on a lipstick, chew a comb or prick themselves with your hair pins. While they are with you try to keep your bathroom door closed to save them from tasting soaps. Like babies, they also need diapers, baby food and toys. You needn’t always buy expensive toys. They will be equally happy if you give them some colorful plastic spoons, plastic bottles and colorful papers to play with. But remember to keep all plastic bags out of their reach. You can keep some picture books and read stories to them.

Preschoolers

At this age children learn to talk and express themselves. They also love to listen to and tell stories. They will also be able to demonstrate their love for you through voluntary hugs and kisses. They are often more manageable than toddlers. Although they will not follow all your instructions, they will try to follow some of them. It’s difficult to keep a preschooler seated for a long time at one place, especially during meal times. So be prepared for a messy house. They love new toys and they can also participate with you in your activities. They love to feel useful and if you give them some task to do they will easily overcome their anxiety from staying away from parents. Take them to your garden and let them help you in their own way. Preferably buy a garden glove of their size. While cooking, give them a plastic butter knife and a few pieces of vegetables and ask them to cut and prepare some food for you. Remember to bring their favorite soft toy and blanket as at this age they get attached to these things and may not sleep without them. Keep some small muffins, cookies, juice and any other snacks they love ready for them as they may not eat properly at meal time and need a snack later. Although they are easier to keep safe than toddlers, yet keep sharp objects out of their reach as they may be curious and hurt themselves.

Elementary

At this age the children are extremely active and it can be difficult to keep up with them. Take them to some nearby park where they can play. Keep some crayons, coloring books, pens and pencils ready for them. You can also buy a building block set or puzzles and together work on them. That will keep them engaged for some time. Again, children love stories and you can brush up some old fairytales and fables to tell them. You can also tell them stories from your past life; just remember to make them relevant and sound fun. Learn about their favorite food and drinks and arrange some. They are usually more adaptable to newer environment than preschoolers. You can also watch their favorite cartoon together. That will bring them closer to you.

Tweens

Children of this age are often moody and their interests often change seasonally. The best thing that you can do is to try to know what they are interested in at this time. You can buy them some video game. The internet and online games are often their favorite pastime. But remember to keep an eye on them while they are surfing. You can plan to go to some water park or theme park as these places are often a hit with tweens. But again, it is safer to check out with them first before planning anything.

Teenagers

Teenage is a time when the children are growing up so much so that they do not consider themselves children anymore. To have a successful weekend with your teenage grandchildren, do not impose yourself on them. Let them plan where to eat, where to go and what to do. Give them the responsibility and let them feel you depend on them. Tell them your constraints and treat them like adults. Also let them have some privacy and let them spend some time alone talking on phone or chatting on net. They love you and yet their age makes them restless and they behave in a difficult manner. Have patience and keep your sense of humor. Try to see a comedy movie together or have some funny conversation. Talk about their special interests and yours. Who knows it may be the beginning of a rare friendship.

Sources: 

Grandchildren.com

Toddler safety