I definitely try to make it a priority to have special time with the grandchildren. Though it is difficult sometimes with the oldest two having every other weekend visitation with their mom, and the youngest two are not ready for overnight stays. So that leaves Audryna and Lexcyee, the 6 and 1/2 year old and the almost 5 year old. I honestly cannot believe they are that old. So with the Thanksgiving holiday, and me having a super long weekend, I asked the girls to come stay for the weekend. They immediately started in with "let's play this" and "let's get this out" based on other sleepovers we have had. I always make sure to have them help me, to talk with them about memories of their Mommy and their Uncle Chachi when they were their age. I remind them of things we did together when they were younger, and I show them pictures and videos from other visits.
Our newest "thing" is journaling. I started it for my in home childcare kiddos, and wanted to include the grandchildren as well. So each time they stay, or even if they are just visiting with their family, I ask if they want to pull out their journals and draw or write something in them. They use markers, colored pencils, crayons, stampers and stickers to express themselves. I put the date on the pages they did, and we put them back in the writing center.
Something that has become a staple for them is eating oatmeal before its time to get ready to lay down. Mainly because I worry that they have not eaten enough healthy food while we have played, so I know the oatmeal will cover them. Then it is time for brushing teeth, washing hands and faces, and pulling out and setting up their cots so we can choose something to watch together before they go to sleep.
The next morning they have both noticed different things they have not seen before. Because I run an in home childcare, I have manipulatives, toys, games, and everything in between stuck in every nook and cranny. So we start pulling things out...this goes on all day.
These are just a few of the things they did, and I can tell you, by the time we dropped them off with their parents on Sunday afternoon...I was beyond tired. But I would not trade this time for anything in the world.
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