Wednesday Tips #18 2014

2014-09-01 22.14.05My grandchildren love to draw, paint, colour and generally pursue artistic projects. From an early age I have made drawing materials and a variety of surfaces for them to draw on available. It is worth remembering that a drawing activity for a very young child is much more satisfying if the marks can be made easily. To this end I have a collection of washable, felt tip pens in various colours and thicknesses. (For my own sanity I keep the waterproof markers in a completely different place well away from small fingers!) Clean up of smudges and overflow is easy with a piece of old newspaper placed under the drawing surface. As the children get older I introduce coloured pencils, crayons and pastels into the mix. When the drawing is finished I always ask the child to tell me about their picture. The one in this photo is “Mummy”.

 

Wednesdays at Gam’s
Providing daycare for grandchildren: What really works
Available from http://www.bookpal.com.au RRP $24.95

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Wednesday Tips #17 2014

vietnamese boatMany grandparents experience concern  that their special treasures on display will be inadvertently damaged by grandchildren when they visit.  My grandchildren spend time with me every week, so to minimise anxiety all round, I have a simple solution which works for us. My grandchildren are not permitted to play in the formal living area of my home. Instead, the casual area is their domain with a toybox  they can access easily, a book box containing appropriate material and various other toys and activity options. The low storage unit is called “Gam’s Fiddle Shelf “and it is here I put interesting things for the children  to inspect, handle and explore.   Simple things like a large magnifying glass, interesting rocks, feathers and shells all provide interest. In addition I add small souvenirs from my travels and tell my grandchildren the stories about their acquisition. Currently a model of a Vietnamese woman taking her fruit and vegetables to market by boat is a favourite. The children know they will always find something interesting to see and hold when they visit, with no fear of being told not to touch. Not only are they exploring using all senses but their language is being extended when we talk together about what they have discovered.

 

Wednesdays at Gam’s
Providing daycare for grandchildren: What really works
Available from http://www.bookpal.com.au RRP $24.95

Wednesday Tips #16 2014

monopoly

I remember learning to play Monopoly when I was young and many hours were spent wheeling and dealing property with friends over school holidays. Fast forward about 60 years and there are  now junior versions available of this popular game . Although operating on much the same principle as the original game, these don’t take nearly as long to complete. A game like this is perfect for sharing with a grandchild on an afternoon too wet or cold to play outside.  Miss 6 and I have begun to discuss strategies for having a better chance of winning. Do you pay to get out of gaol or stay there to minimise your chance of paying your opponent? Do you aim for multiple properties of the same colour to double your chance or do you space your properties around the board? Great fun and a learning experience as well.

Wednesdays at Gam’s
Providing daycare for grandchildren: What really works
Available from http://www.bookpal.com.au RRP $24.95

Wednesday Tips #15 2014

2014-07-28 23.46.39

Even when the weather is cold my grandchildren and I spend time in my garden. One of their favourite activities is to feed my goldfish. The fishpond is a simple arrangement made from a large ceramic pot and is easy to look after with the occasional clean out of weed and top up of the water when needed. During the really hot weather I place a plank of wood across part of the pond to minimise the increase in water temperature. I am also lucky to have neighbours who are happy to take over the feeding regime while I am on holidays.

Wednesdays at Gam’s
Providing daycare for grandchildren: What really works
Available from http://www.bookpal.com.au RRP $24.95

Wednesday Tips #14

2014-08-04 23.28.42

I was never one to push gender specific toys for my children . My  boys had the opportunity to play tea-parties, dress-ups etc if they so wished and in fact often did so, while very young, with the daughters of my friends. The same applies to my grandchildren. Both the boys and girls have enjoyed playing with the model train and cars, dressing the dollies and taking them for a walk in the pusher, playing with bats and balls, building with blocks and having tea parties with the soft toys. All too soon it seems that peer pressure and advertising pushes the girls one way and the boys the other in their toy selection.

Master Two enjoyed feeding the baby doll the other day as a change from  playing with the cars and trucks but I guess it won’t be long before this option will  be unattractive to him!

 

Wednesdays at Gam’s
Providing daycare for grandchildren: What really works
Available from http://www.bookpal.com.au RRP $24.95

Wednesday Tips #13 2014

Photo0062 One of our favourite places to visit for my grandchildren and I is the zoo. In Victoria we have three sites under the directorship of Zoos Victoria.

Admission to all three sites is free for children during weekends and State school holidays, however, a membership to Zoos Victoria allows free entry every day, 365 days a year. A family membership can make a wonderful gift for Christmas or special occasion. It also means it is economical to visit often and for a particular focus rather than having to spend a whole day overloading senses and experiences. Little and often means that my grandchildren really absorb what they are experiencing and are learning about conservation of flora and fauna while having fun at the same time.

The site at Healesville specialises in the conservation of and research into  Australian native animals and birds. On this particular visit to Healesville my grandchildren and I enjoyed “the World of Parrots” with the children very excited at being able to feed the lorikeets some nectar.

Wednesdays at Gam’s
Providing daycare for grandchildren: What really works
Available from http://www.bookpal.com.au RRP $24.95

Wednesday Tips #11 2014

skittles

Some time ago I purchased a set of plastic skittles at a local Op Shop for the princely sum of $1. (I find that this type of shop is a great place to add to the articles for activity options with my grandchildren). Well it was $1 very well spent. Last week Master 2 and I had so much fun with them! I set them up in front of a closed door so they wouldn’t skittle too far away when hit as of course I had to do the resetting each time. With a small plastic ball there was no chance of danger to the door or child and we played again and again with him learning to roll the ball from a seated position.
Not only a lot of fun,(“more peese Gam!”), but great for aiding hand/eye coordination development.
Wednesdays at Gam’s
Providing daycare for grandchildren: What really works
Available from http://www.bookpal.com.au RRP $24.95

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