7 Things You Need to Do With Your Grandchildren at Least Once
Is it any wonder we Southern grandchildren love our grandparents so dearly? When Dad said no to cookies at the store, Grammy would bake you two dozen from scratch. And when Mama was busy running around the house to get things done, you could always count on Granddaddy to sit down and paint a picture with you. From piling your plates high with fresh-out-the-oven biscuits, to spoiling you rotten with snail mail for no special occasion, to smothering you with perfume- and peppermint-scented hugs, Southern grandparents know, like nobody else, how to love their grandchildren well. Here, we've rounded up 7 things that all grandparents need to do with their grandchildren at least once.
1. Read a favorite childhood book together.
Put away the screens, and pull one of your childhood classics off the shelf for a little bedtime reading. From The Secret Garden to The Wind in the Willows, these literary staples – and their endearing casts of characters – are beloved across generations. Keep the tradition going by reading a whole series, like Anne of Green Gables or Little House on the Prairie, or gifting your grandchild a new book every Christmas to read together the next year.
2. Bring out the old family photos and home movies.
Set up the projector to flip through old slides, or snuggle up on the couch for a home-movie marathon. It's a fun way for your grandchildren to steal a peek at their own parents as children ("Mom used to look like that?!"), and you'll get to blow their minds with the knowledge that there was once a time when iPhones and digital cameras didn't exist ("Say what?!").
3. Teach them how to make your signature dish.
Most of the great Southern grandmothers I know have never followed a recipe. They take a little bit of this, and a pinch of that, and voila! They've made the best pound cake at the church bake sale. Tasty, yes, but not so easy to replicate. Set aside an afternoon to teach your grands the art of a perfectly flaky piecrust or a deliciously buttery biscuit (and make sure they take notes!). They'll be so glad you did.
4. Plant a garden together.
Whether you've got a fragrant rose garden out back or don't have much of a green thumb, there's no bonding experience quite like getting your hands dirty together. Plant a row of squash in your backyard garden, or go with something simpler, like creating a small container garden with marigolds and zinnias. You'll have fun watching it grow together, too.
5. Plan a special outing.
When there are multiple grandchildren and just one or two of you, quality time with only one grandchild is hard to come by. But if you can carve out an afternoon for a special solo outing, it's a time y'all will cherish forever. Head to the aquarium to see the otters; go to the next town over for an ice cream cone at the new scoop shop; or spend the afternoon at the neighborhood park. However you choose to spend your time together, your grandchild will love having her grandparents all to herself!
6. Tackle an arts-and-crafts project.
Whether your medium of choice is yarn, a piece of wood, or a blank canvas, channel your inner artists to create one-of-a-kind artwork together that your grandchildren can keep as a special memento of your time together.
7. Try something that they love.
From sticking their fingers in glitter-filled slime to caring for their Hatchimal (a toy that hatches and then "grows" through three stages of life), kids get a kick out of the craziest things. Make their day by giving something that they love a whirl, even if you're a little wary of it. Who knows? You may enjoy those mystery-flavored Oreo cookies as much as they do.