The Grandparent’s Grab Bag of Activities for School-Age Children
These activity suggestions from several grandparents are surefire hits if you need ideas about entertaining your schoolage grandchildren:

Involve grandchildren in simple household chores
– they’ll enjoy being helpful. You may be able to teach them some new skills – such as simple home repair, painting, sewing or gardening – that they’ll want to show off at home.
SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">Rent or buy bicycles so you can take short trips together. Be sure that everyone wears a helmet!

SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">Share your hobbies or start a hobby with the children – fishing, bird watching, model building, stamp or coin collecting, scrapbooking or digital photography.

SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">Encourage your grandchildren to teach you their favorite games, including electronic games.

SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">Play old favorite games, like Ghost, 20 Questions, Geography and I Spy, or look for objects representing the letters of the alphabet in order.

SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">Read the sports pages of the newspaper together.

SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">Involve your grandchildren in meal planning, shopping and preparation. Teach them to make favorite family recipes or try an adventurous ethnic dish together.

SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">Learn some card tricks or magic tricks that you can teach them, or get a book or kit and let your grandchildren learn some to teach you.

Choose a chapter book that you loved and read aloud a chapter or two a night during the visit. Some children like to take turns with the reading; others prefer listening. Check out Books and Beyond for recommendations for reading to kids of different ages and stages. 

Rent movies and make popcorn for family movie nights. Check out for a database of carefully chosen selections with both educational and entertainment value, along with reviews, background information and discussion guides, or see our theme-based Video Roundups.

Tell your grandchildren stories about their mom or dad when they were the age your grandchildren are now. Many children especially like stories about how their parents solved a problem, conquered a fear or phobia, or put something over on their own parents. Be sure to make these stories fun and humorous.