Holidays with your grandchildren are a wonderful opportunity to bond with them and get to know them better. Even though it might have been many years since you planned a holiday with young children or teenagers, with a little forethought, it can be a great experience for both you and them.
Holidays at Your Home
If you are planning on having your grandkids stay over at your home for the holidays, here are some tips to help you make it a success.
Discuss Ground Rules with Parents
Understand what rules your grandkids need to follow whilst they are staying with you. Discuss things like food and sleeping habits, access to TV and the internet and any other regular habits which their parents would like them to continue to observe during the holidays.
Child-Proof Your Home
If your grandchildren are young, you will have to look around your home and make sure it is safe for them. Install security barriers in dangerous areas like the kitchen, put sharp objects, medicines and household poisons away, secure heavy or unstable objects, install door stops and protectors, ensure your windows are secure and have grilles and cover any sharp corners and electrical outlets with safety covers.
Stock Up on Food They’ll Like
Ask your grandkids and their parents about the types of food they like to eat. Stock up your pantry and fridge with some of their favourites. Get recipes for their favourite meals and prepare them for dinner once in a while.
Prepare Some Entertainment Options for Them
Go to the library regularly with your grandkids to choose books that you can read to them, or they can read themselves. Buy or borrow some board games, plan to bring them out for some fun activities like badminton or bowling.
Go Online to Find Kid’s Activities
Look out for holiday camps, workshops or learning activities which they can do with you. Maybe they are interested in gardening, then a guided walk through the botanic gardens and a terrarium workshop might be fun to do together.
Arrange Playdates with Your Friends’ Grandkids
If your friends are also having their grandkids over for the holidays and they are about the same age as yours, arrange for some playdates so that the kids can get to know each other.
Allow for Lots of Downtime
Remember that your grandchildren are probably very busy during the school year and that their days are filled with lots of work and activities. The holidays are a great time for them to relax, so don’t feel pressured about needing to plan lots of things for them to do. Let them have plenty of free time to unwind and recharge.
Going on a Holiday Trip
The same considerations about establishing ground rules with parents before going on a trip with your grandkids would still apply, but you might want to consider some of these additional preparation tips.
Make sure that you get copies of all important documents such as birth certificates and passports. Ask their parents to provide a letter of guardianship or consent which will allow you to authorize treatment if there is a medical emergency or if authorities overseas have a question about your relationship with your grandkids when you are travelling with them.
Ask Your Grandchildren for Ideas
Ask your grandchildren about what they would like to do and where they would like to do. Get them involved in planning the itinerary and discussing what to pack for the trip.
Look for Child Friendly Destinations and Trips
Look for tour packages which are designed for families with children or choose a destination which is child friendly. Some other options you might want to consider would be holidays on a cruise ship which has lots of family activities onboard, or a camper-vanning holiday which allows you to enjoy the camping experience, but still have the support and comfort which a camper van can provide.