Ready Set Grow

Every grandparent enjoys a unique position in their grandchildren‘s lives. You don’t have to strive to be special. You’re special by definition. You can come into your own as a grandparent, if you put your own distinctive stamp on your role by being inimitably who you are. If you do, you’ll find you have a devoted fan in your grandchildren. Start sharing an activity that you enjoy (gardening) or a hobby  (bird watching) or you may have a particular skill (perhaps drawing, knotting, needlework, or playing tennis), which you can share with your grandchildren. This can provide an opportunity for them to go with you into a world all of your own, one that only you can introduce them to.

The great thing is that you will have boundless enthusiasm for the activity. That’s infectious, and your enthusiasm will rub off on to your grandchildren.You will communicate that energy to your grandchildren so that it becomes a thrilling journey you take together, with you as benevolent teacher and your grandchildren as willing students.

If you enjoy activities together when your grandchildren are very young, they’ll grow up thinking of you as an exciting companion, someone special who shares special pleasures with them. Children are very sensitive to this act of joyful discovery and, as soon as they’re able, they start to bring little gifts of that same kind to you.

 You form your own virtuous circle, where you respect what each can teach the other, and it will probably last for life. In my experiences I’m constantly surprised and delighted by the way my grandchildren push my interests further than I could have taken them on my own. Right now it’s The Cat In The Hat… Go Go Go on an adventure with my grandson’s Jeremy and Jesse!

And of course you open up your grandchildren’s world in a way that’s special to you. It can be anything, from finding out about insects to stamp collecting or jewelry making. The possibilities are endless. Aren’t they?

Encourage your grandchildren in all sorts of different activities. It’ the doing it together that counts.Grandchildren enjoy putting a plant seed in a used yogurt container, or a small plastic tray is fine for planting seeds together. You can teach your grandchildren what plants need to grow.

They can help you water them and you can show them where the perfect place is for the seeds to get the right amount of sun, soil, and you can track the seeds’ growth at each visit. Choose seeds that grow quickly and dramatically, like purple flowering morning glory’s.

 Even better collect the seeds from seed heads in your garden and plant them. Then your grandchildren can get the idea of the circle of life in a very simple way. When the seeds turn into flowers you can let the flowers dry out and use a flower press and turn them into a dry flower collage for the whole family to admire.

 Grandchildren also enjoy looking at things under a microscope. Dead insects and spiders that they find are a particular favorite. But so are plants.The underside of the leaf of a fern with all the rows of seeds is very exciting when seen in up close. Even newsprint looks thrilling through a microscope. The things grandparents do out of love! There is no one else except my grandson’s that could get me to look at dead insects much less spiders under a microscope. Oh! That’s just gross isn’t it?

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