Written by Deb del Villar, Director of Communications
Summertime is usually a great time to have adventures with the grandkids. So what makes an adventure grand?
The words “unusual”, “exciting”, “remarkable”, and “bold” define the adventure, along with one that encounters risk, danger, and exploration of unknown territory. It’s an activity filled with the spirit of adventure.
To be grand in scale, the adventure needs to be magnificent, important, wonderful, fascinating, and imposing. So what kinds of things can grandparents do with their grandchildren this summer?
This question was asked of many of our grandchildren just last week. The answers given were quite a shock. What they considered a grand adventure with grandad and grandma was very different from the above conditions. While their answers were different, common elements were shared.
- The grand adventure had to be time spent with the grandparent doing something fun.
- It had to include times when conversations and just being together were paramount
- Many included time alone with the grandparent without the presence of siblings.
Almost none of the answers included huge expenses or elaborate trips; it was instead about spending uninterrupted time together. There is a wide range of options available to you from spending little to unlimited resources on your grand adventure.
Enjoy the listing below of ideas from our grandchildren as well as others. No matter the age, gender, or interest level, may you find at least one that you can do this summer!
Ideas if Grandkids Come to You
*Many of these can also be used if you travel to see the grandkids.
- Print out or email ahead of time travel games for them to use in the car – there are lots of free sites to download travel games
- Hold a Cousins or Grand Camp
- Movie night on the lawn
- Strawberry picking and making jam
- Take a painting or pottery class
- Kool-aid dyed hair
- Hike to a waterfall and swim
- Day trips to area sights like zoo, library, park, art gallery, museum
- Serve at a ministry
- Attend a concert or drama in the park
- Bike trip
- Kayak or tubing excursion
- DIY project – build something they can take with them
- Nature hike
- Bird watching complete with their own binoculars and book
- Ancestry/genealogy search – also ones that help you find the graves of important historical people you could visit (Findagrave.com)
- Sleepover – this is an adventure in and of itself if the grandkids are still little – also will give the parents an opportunity for an adventure without the kids
- Camp out in the backyard
- Teach a skill or hobby
- Picnic at the park or the backyard
- Take ballroom dancing classes
Ideas if You Travel to the Grandkids
- Beach trip – beachcombing looking for shells and sea glass, and watching sunrise and sunset
- Mountains – fishing, hiking, canoeing
- River or lake – tubing, kayaking, paddle boarding
- A project around the house you could do with grandkids to help parents, with permission first
- Water balloon battle
- Squirt gun painting on driveway, sidewalk, or on paper
- Scavenger hunts – Bible scavenger hunt or nature or sound, there are many options available
- Attend a flea market – give them a specified amount of money to purchase an item then make it into a family treasure
- Make reservations at a fancy restaurant – dress up and teach etiquette
- Do star gazing – identify constellations
- Build and set off rockets
- Catch butterflies – identify them and set them free
- Teach games you played when younger like hopscotch, marbles, jacks
Ideas if You Take Grandkids With You
- A special trip with grandkids when they reach a milestone
- Rent an RV and go to a National Park
- Prepare ahead travel games that relate to your family history – for instance, need to find the first car you drove/bought, license plates of states you have traveled in the USA, and ways you have traveled like bus, plane, or train; you can also play some of the games you played while traveling and share your travel stories
- Create a playlist for the trip with them contributing to the list
- See what unique things are happening at the location you are traveling to– maybe get to meet a famous author at a book signing or famous artist at a gallery, attend Shakespeare in the Park or a live theater production
- Go on a train ride
- Try something daring like zip line or tandem parachute jumping
Ideas if You Cannot Get Together
Maybe you are unable to get together due to geographical distance, health, schedules, or other barriers. Here are some ideas that could be sent by way of mail.
- Adventure in a box – Let your imagination guide you
- Make it Monday – recipe along with ingredients or paper or wood craft
- Try it Tuesday – fun new game or food
- Wander somewhere Wednesday – idea for an exploration in their area that they could do, scavenger hunt paper included to find or spy things along the way
- Thoughtful Thursday – service project they could be involved in, collect food for pantry, clothing or toys for shelter
- Fab n’ Fun Friday – movie night complete with popcorn, favorite candy in box or fixings for s’mores, and a songbook to sing at the campfire
- Surprise Box – think through the ideas suggested above and what you could include in a box that will allow the grandkids to experience the fun with you while still not physically together
- Send an adventure DVD with snacks to enjoy while watching it – purchase one for yourself so you can watch it too
- Adventure in a book – send along books filled with adventure, include your favorite from when you were a child, and you could even find time to read it to them by way of technology
Whether your adventure is grand according to the opening criteria or according to our grandchildren, remember to think about fun, the quantity of time together, and time alone with grandparents.
Think intentionality as you spend this precious time with them in person or long distance. Use this opportunity to pass on your family and faith stories. Many of the ideas will lead naturally into times of conversation about God and family. Capitalize on them for His glory and their good.