As a grandparent, you want to create a special relationship with your grandchildren and that is why you might wonder, how can I be a fun grandparent?
To be a fun grandparent you need to make your grandchildren laugh, forget about rules from time to time, submerge yourself in their (imaginary) world, do fun activities together you both enjoy, show interest in their everyday life, discover new things together, tell amazing stories, be silly, take life not too seriously, give undivided attention, let things get messy and show your love abundantly.
All these things will help you to become the most fun grandparent out there. But I have more to share. My grandparents are the best examples. They are the definition of a fun grandparent and in this article, I will share all their secrets and tips with you. So continue reading.
16 Tips To Be A Fun Grandparent
1) Make Them Laugh
This first tip is obvious: laugh together. Make effort to make your grandchildren laugh and you’ll have the most fun time. You can tell funny jokes, act out funny characters, make funny sounds when you read a book, chase each other around the room, etc. My grandfather always had a couple of jokes in his pocket to tell us. And my grandmother was great at making fun of my grandfather. So that’s always good too to get a few laughs.
When you can put a smile on their face you can almost forget about the rest of these tips below. You instantly become the fun grandparent in their eyes. And for some fresh joke material, you can get the book: Silly Jokes For Kids.
2) Be Relaxed
In order to be fun, you need to be relaxed. Nobody is a fun person to hang around with if they’re tense and stressed out. Your grandchildren need to feel comfortable around you and you can only be authentic when you’re relaxed. You don’t want to force being fun. When you’re relaxed, you can be yourself, and that the fun you will come out naturally. So whenever you plan on seeing your grandchildren, try to be relaxed as you can be.
Try to schedule as little as possible so you don’t have to rush. And when you’re stressed out try to do an activity that helps you to get more relaxed. This can be doing a workout, walk around the park, do a meditation session or treat yourself to a spa day.
3) Forget About Rules
You can be the fun getaway for your grandchildren where a lot of the rules from at home and school don’t apply. This instantly makes you more fun than any other person in their life. And this sometimes a necessary break for your grandchildren too when their life is a bit hard.
You can invent Yes-day where you have to say yes to all their requests. Or only have 3 simple rules for the time that you’re together.
Make sure to inform or discuss this with their parents to avoid conflicts or uncomfortable conversations. To stay in harmony with the rest of the family you’re desire to be a fun grandparent should benefit everyone in the family.
A fun idea is to hang up this Grandparents House Rules Sign:
4) Submerge Yourself In Their Imaginary World
Kids have the wildest imagination. As we get older and life gets more serious we lose this type of imagination that can make the world a lot more fun. Why not submerge yourself into their world and let them guide you, instead of you guiding them through the real world.
And that requires for you to not be afraid and let loose. Let go of what in our world is applicable and be open to their view on things.
My grandparents even invented an imaginary world for us. There was a kid playground near their house, but my grandfather always used the word native American village. Just to give it that extra magic. And he had different names for the routes to the playground: narrow paths were named monkey trails and bigger paths were the elephant trails. So a playground visit was never boring. It was always one big adventure, just because our grandparents made up this imaginary world where we could go all out.
Often we try to correct kids to make them more suited for our world. But try to delay this as much as possible. Let them be children and keep their imagination alive. Enjoy this magical time together for as long as possible. When you follow their rules in play you will instantly set yourself apart from all the other adults in their lives. Your grandchildren know that you’re fun because you join in on all their fun.
5) Do Fun Things Together
Create a fun time together with your grandchildren by doing a fun activity. This can be playing a fun board game, bake cookies, do a science project, read a book together, do puzzles, go to a fun movie, plan a special date, do art and craft projects, dance, or teach your grandchildren your secret family recipe.
Try to seek if you have a shared interest and have fun together. Later in this article, I share a list of fun ideas to entertain your grandchildren.
6) Show Interest In Their Everyday Life
Kids want to be loved but also want to be heard. Feeling that they have a voice will boost their self-esteem and makes your relationship extra special. They know you’re there for them when they need you, and that their voice is evenly as important as adults.
Try to ask open-ended questions about whatever interests them or whatever goes on in their life as it comes to sports, school, friends, etc. Showing interest on a regular basis forms a foundation for greater conversations in the future. They know that you listen so next time they will open even more when you talk to each other.
7) Discover New Things Together
The best way to bond is to discover or learn new things together. It strengthens any relationship and creates new memories that can be cherished for a lifetime.
You can learn something new together like a new game, language, art project, or you can go on a trip together and visit a park, museum, or place you have both never been to.
8) Tell Great Stories
My grandfather was the best storyteller. He told amazing and adventurous stories that we always got the impression that he actually experienced them all. But no, he just had a great imagination. When the four grandchildren stayed the night over he always started our bedtime story with, “the robbers sat around the fire…” and then he continued. Later on, as we became older, he said to us that we’ve always asked to please continue the story where he left off the last time. But he couldn’t remember which random adventurous story he told the last time so he just made something up. We never noticed it.
Now you probably have a couple of great stories to tell about all the things you’ve experienced in life. And kids really are interested to know. I was always interested in how things went when my grandparents were young. I loved those stories.
And when you would like to get better at storytelling you could check out this book: Long Story Short: The Only Storytelling Guide You’ll Ever Need.
9) Be Silly
Kids are silly, so when you want to connect with them you need to be silly too. It’s the only way to get on the same page and to speak the same language. You have to get to their level instead of the other way around. So don’t worry about what other people think. Be silly with your grandchildren. It’s the direct gateway to having fun and being the fun grandparent you desired to be.
When we had a sleep-over at my grandparent’s house, the tradition was always to sneak into their bed and push my grandpa out of bed with the help of my grandmother. It was a silly tradition and they played along with it every time.
This Try Not to Laugh Challenge’s – Would Your Rather? will guarantee you laughs and giggles.
10) Take Life Not Too Seriously
The opposite of fun is seriousness. And that is why it’s a great idea to take life not too seriously when you want to be a fun grandparent. Show them that there is a positive to every negative. Laugh at something bad or sad. Accepting things as they are is a great lesson to teach grandchildren. It’s one of the most important rules to live a happy life. It makes it less stressful, anxious, and more fun. And it helps your grandchildren to cope with stress and problems in a better way in the future.
11) Give Undivided Attention
Which adult or teacher do you remember from your childhood that made a good impression on you? It’s probably a person that gave you undivided attention.
Even as an adult you like the people the most that really listen to you, respect your opinion and show you that they enjoy your company. This is the feeling you want to give your grandchildren too. Even if you’re not the funniest person in the world. If you show them that you care the most, then you ultimately become their favorite grandparent.
So put down your phone, turn off the computer or TV and listen to what they have to say, and do activities together without any other distractions.
12) Let Things Get Messy
Kids are messy, so let them be messy. Get messy with them. They will love it. They can be free to explore all sorts of possibilities for themselves. And freedom is joy. So have a bit of a food fight when you bake cookies, get into a water balloon fight on a hot day, etc.
13) Show Your Love
The best way to connect with your grandchildren and be that fun grandparent is to create a safe and comfortable environment. And the only way to get there is to show them you love them. Don’t think you can spoil them with love. You can never give too much love.
If you don’t know how to show your love, you can start by reading together this kid’s book: I Love You to the Moon and Back.
14) Get Creative To Be Original
When you have some competition from other grandparents you need to get a bit creative to become the funniest grandparent. You need to be original to stand out from the other grandparents.
Therefore get online to see what fun activities you can do nearby, which fun games are out there and what is hot and trendy nowadays. For example, a nature walk gets a lot more fun with a Nature Explorer Kit. A sleep-over gets a lot more fun with a movie marathon, have breakfast for dinner, have an indoor picnic, organize a fancy tea party, pitch a tent in the basement or on the lawn, print out your old family photos and have your grandchildren caption them or guess who it is.
15) Be Non-Judgmental
To create a comfortable and safe space to have fun, it’s important for kids to express themselves without being judged. When you listen without judgment your grandchildren will be more likely to come back to you whenever they’re struggling with something. It gives you the opportunity to help them. And when they know that they can be vulnerable around you, they also are more likely to come to you for fun times. Because when a grandchild enjoys your company, they will do everything to maintain that special bond.
Accepting your grandchildren for who they are, allows them to be free and will be able to accept themselves too. And that is the best base for having great fun.
16) Take Enough Rest
Nobody is fun to be around when they’re tired. So in order to be a fun grandparent, make sure you get enough rest to have the energy to be fun and do fun activities with your grandchildren. They have a lot of energy to release, get in the best shape to keep up with them.
Fun Ideas For Entertaining Your Grandchildren
Now that I’ve shared how to be a fun grandparent, let’s get practical. Below I share fun ideas to entertain your grandchildren.
- Have A Pillow Fight
- Wear Pajama’s All Day
- Dance In The Rain
- Dye Eggs
- Have A Pet Show With Stuffed Animals
- Make A Blanket Fort
- Have A Scavenger Hunt
- Have A Blindfolded Food Tasting
- Talk With An Accent For One Day
- Create Recyclable Art
- Teach Them Your Hobby Or Skill
- Do A Science Project
- Grow A Vegetable Garden
- Create Pavement Art