Ideas for Quality Time

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Preschoolers and Their Grandparents

Spending Quality Time With Grandparents

Even when they are very little, children recognize – and enjoy – the special bond they have with their grandparents. Why? Well, let some little people count the ways:

"I love my Pop-Pop because he takes me fishing." – Alec, 2 1/2.

"I love Mom-Mom because she takes care of me and plays Barbies." – Jade, 3.

"Grandfather is fun when he lifts you over his head." – Max, 3.

"Gramma smells good." – Anthony, 2.

"Grandpa knew Dad when he was little. I think that's funny." – Jack, 3.

"Mom-Mom always loves me, even when I make messes." – Chelsea, 3.

"I love Nannie cause she loves me!" – Anita, 2 1/2.

Enjoying Kids the Second Time Around

"One thing I like is that after a long day visit, I can send them home dirty if I don't have enough energy left to bathe them." – April Lee Schmidt, "Gamma" to Daniel and Caitlin

"Personally, I like interacting with my grandkids in the out-of-doors. We take nature walks – sometimes just out to the backyard – where I strive to inspire an inquisitive nature in them. Together, we explore and learn about small bugs, puddle rainbows, a variety of plant life, pebbles, feathers and so forth." – Patricia Fry, author of Creative Grandparenting Across the Miles: Ideas for Sharing Love, Faith and Family Traditions and "Nana" to six

"What I like about grandparenting is that you can enjoy your grandchildren more than your own because you know they are only spending a short time with you, so you are able to put everything aside for that time and fully enjoy them." – Mary Lebeau, "Memere" to Cameron and Cassandra

"I spend more quality time as a grandparent, because the time is limited. I always have a project or craft to do when my grandsons visit. I didn't have time for that when I was raising my sons. " – Anita Danowitz, "Bubby" to Evan and Darren.

Grandparents' Hall of Fame

  • Grandpa Munster – Patriarch of that freaky family on Mockingbird Lane. Nothing was really scary about Grandpa (Al Lewis), except his zany inventions!
  • Granny Clampett – Everyone's favorite feisty hillbilly, Granny (Irene Ryan), kept the young'ns in line down by the cement pond.
  • Grandma and Grandpa Walton – Stoic but lovable grandparents of the clan (Ellen Corby, Will Geer), they were role models for the entire family. "Goodnight, John-Boy!"
  • Grandma Moses – Mother of 10 whose renowned painting career began at age 70. Anna Mary Robertson proved there is life after wet wipes and sippy cups!
  • George and Barbara Bush – The country's "first grandparents." The former president and first lady watch over their grandchildren – and their grandchildren's privacy.

Memory-making Outings

  • The park – What's better than fresh air and green grass? Most grandparents cite a walk in the park as their favorite outing with the kids. Just tuck the tikes into a stroller and off you go – and the park has great benches if Junior needs a rest (or Grandpa wants to get off his feet for a minute!).
  • The movies – Many children see their first movie with their grandparents (and, yes, most of them are to see something Disney!).
  • The zoo – Kids and animals are a natural, so take the kids to check out the lions, tigers and bears. (Farms and petting zoos are great, too!)
  • Home sweet home – Remember "Over the river and through the woods?" There's something magical about being "over at Gram's," where generations can bond in the comfort of their favorite rocker. Everyone loves a sleepover at Gramp's – a treat for kids and a welcome break for Mom and Dad!

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