Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Grandparents' Day

We all know and recognise children thrive in an environment where they are nurtured and loved. They learn about the world around them when those close to them join in their play and exploration. Grandparents often are just the people to create such an environment. They have more time to spend, and they can enjoy children for who they are at the moment. This warm, non-demanding and ever-loving bond is treasured by children and offers many benefits to grandchildren. My two boys spend a day a week at their Grandparents, and are fortunate to have Grandparents from New Zealand who visit regularly and are a big part of their lives. I really believe whether grandparents live near or far, it is important to value their vital role in child development and respect their ability to sweeten our children's lives tremendously. Tapping into this wonderful resource will enrich each of your family member's life.The undemanding and loving bond grandparents offer is treasured by grandchildren and has a myriad of benefits to grandchildren. Free of the pressure of raising children, grandparents have the freedom to play without the parental worries. I love listening to the conversations that take place between my boy's and their Grandparents and have often wished I had a tape recorder on hand to record some of the intense, and yet humorous chats that take place. It makes me smile when my kids come back from spending time with their Grandparents and I hear them using words my own mum said to me when I was a child. Below are some entertaining conversations that have taken place between Grandchild and Grandparent that I'd like to share with you..

My grandson was visiting one day when he asked, "Nan, do you know how you and God are alike?" I mentally polished my halo while I asked, "No, how are we alike?" "You're both old," he replied.

I didn't know if my grandson has learned his colours yet, so I decided to test him. I would point out something and ask him what colour it was. He would tell me and always she was correct. But it was fun for me, so I continued. At last he headed for the door, saying sagely, "Nan, I think you should try to figure out some of these yourself."

A Nan was telling her little grandson what her own childhood was like: "We used to play outside near a pond. I had a swing made from a tire; it hung from a tree in our front yard. We rode our pony. We picked wild raspberries in the woods." The little boy was wide-eyed, taking this in. At last he said, "I sure wish I'd gotten to know you sooner!"

Grandpa and Thomas and the Green Umberella
There is plenty of adventure with Thomas and Grandpa when they spend a day at the beach. Pamela Allen has the knack for capturing that special bond between a grandparent and a grandchild through simple text and expressive illustrations. Below I have listed some activities you might like to do after reading the book.

  • Grandpa and Thomas have gone to the sea. Talk about the beach using all the senses: Who has been to the beach? What did you see? How does the sand feel? How does the water feel? What does seaweed feel like? How does it smell?
  • Look at the front cover. Ask the same questions: What is the book going to be about? Look at the illustrations of Thomas. What is he feeling/ Why? What is going to happen next?
  • Discuss with your child what Grandpa and Thomas do in the story to prevent themselves getting sunburnt. Also, what are the healthy & unhealthy foods in the book? What other foods could they have taken to the beach with them? Look at having a picnic at the beach.
  • Look at the shapes in the book. What can you find?
  • How far can you throw a stick? If it is to dangerous, throw beanbags. Measure informally.
  • Look at the separate pages. Count:
    How many shoes?
    How umbrellas ?
    How many seagulls?
    How many sticks?
    How many items of clothing?
    Look at the patterns in the book.
    How does the author depict ‘movement’?
    How long were Thomas and Grandpa at the beach for? How do you know?
    Do a sequence activity. What did the two do first, second, next, last etc.
  • Colours especially green; grass, tree frogs, smarties, plants, peas etc.
  • Make an umbrella picture.

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