Every summer when I was little my dad, my brother, and I would pack our suitcases, all dad’s fishing gear and we’d head to grandma and grandpa’s house. Our visits would last anywhere from a couple of weeks up to the entire summer. Dad worked for a large company and would always get two weeks vacation and often “change-over” would come during summer time so we would spend plenty of time “up north”. (We lived in Illinois; grandma and grandpa lived in Adams, WI)
On a couple occasions my brother and I would get to spend some time with them without dad being with us and we always had a great time. I can remember my grandma reading to us from a story book every night. Over the years I can imagine that she probably re-read some of those stories many, many time. Then just before she shut out the lights she would have us say our evening prayers:
“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep and if I die before I wake I pray the Lord my soul to take.” God bless daddy and mommy and grandma and grandpa, and… (Depending on how long we wanted to prolong the lights out process we could come up with a whole list of people, birds, animals, plants, trees, and whatever else that needed “blessing”! LOL)
When I was a little girl my grandparents were in their mid-60’s, both of them were retired, and came from a different era than many of today’s grandparents. They had very little income but we never seemed to run out of a supply of fun things to do with them. Grandpa had his squirrels that we could help him feed and grandma had birds (outside birds that is) to feed and water. Don’t forget the garden that had to be tended and berries to pick somewhere I don’t even remember now. If we happened to be there at the right time we could also go mushroom picking with them. Of course there were always cousins to visit, church on Sunday and grandma’s Royal Neighbors meetings and socials to be attended. In the evening there was always a good game of dominoes to be played while listening to either a Brewer’s game or the country music countdown. Watching television wasn’t an option for us except for Saturday morning cartoons. Every now and then grandma would let us watch The Price is Right and then she had a soap opera in the afternoon that she turned on; she never really watched it, though, ‘cause she’d always fall asleep.
It seems that traveling to visit grandma and grandpa in a different city or state was more common when I was a kid than it is now. Kids usually love spending time with their grandparents and summer time is often the only time they get a chance to do it.
If you have parents that are able to take the grandkids for a few days or maybe even a week or more it would be a wonderful experience for your kids. You should take some time and plan ahead to make it easier for both the kids and your parents. You need to consider things like activities they like to do, having spending money so grandma and grandpa don’t have to foot the bill, and what to do if they want to come home early.
You can make a list ahead of time for your parents about things the kids like to do and often many grandparents enjoy swimming, fishing, visiting the local zoo, taking a trip to a big mall, or perhaps even to an amusement park. If you have a list ahead of time it’ll give the grandparents a few ideas but you should also remind the kids that they can’t expect to be allowed to do everything they want and they shouldn’t complain.
Staying with grandma and grandpa can be a fun adventure for kids; if you do some advance planning it should turn out to be a good experience for everyone.