Granniverse

My weird obsession with all things granny

Grandma did not grow up hanging out in Facebook or even searching the web. Depending on how old she is, she may not have even had a computer. This makes getting them on now and introducing them to the benefits that the internet offers could be a challenge. Yet, if you pick the right activities, you may find that Granny is soon asking about a smartphone with apps.

Online Games – Granny probably won’t think much about Angry Birds or even Farmville, but I bet she would really get into online Scrabble or Words With Friends. These types of games hold great appeal for the older crowd, and she will love always having someone to play against.

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Online Singing Lessons – There are many types of classes online that grandmas would like, but none quite as fun as learning to sing online. Hook her up with a class that offers music from her era and it won’t be long before Granny wants to join you for karaoke night at the local bar.

Online Books – As Grandma is getting older, her vision is not quite what it once was, making reading a book hard. But if you download them for her onto a tablet the font can be made bigger so that she can see the words better. If your Grandma used to be a big reading fan, this will really make her day.

Skype – With families scattered all over the world, Skype will help Grandma keep an eye on how everyone is doing. Phone calls are one thing, but seeing them on the screen is so much better. Introduce Grandma to Skype with her own account and she will quickly understand just how important the internet really is.

Facebook – Facebook or other social media is really dependent on how active online Gram’s other friends are. While she might enjoy reading family updates, having her own group of friends the same age is even better. At the very least, try and get her into some groups for seniors, or look for groups that are centered around her other interests. Staying social helps to keep Grandma’s mind sharp and her spirit happy.

The elderly today are not at all used to all of the technology that has taken over the world in the last 2 decades. By keeping your Grandma up to date, you are helping to preserve her youth and improve on her quality of life in ways that were not available when she was busy crocheting with her own Grandma.

Spending time with your grandchildren can be great. However, they usually need a lot of stimulation, meaning you have to keep coming up with new things for the two of you to do together. This can be exhausting in its own right, and so I am here to help. Below are just a few suggestions for things you and your grandchild can do together.

"Jigsaw pieces with border" by Octahedron80 - Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons.

Jigsaw pieces with border” by Octahedron80Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons.

1. Start a Puzzle – A puzzle is a great activity for you and the child. It is calm, relaxing, and allows the two of you to bond together. Help each other sort out the ends from the middle pieces, and each of you can pick a section to work on. This may not hold their attention for several hours (kids get antsy), but it should allow you to sit down and rest for a little while! Best of all, you can leave the puzzle where it is, and come back to it at a later date.

2. Scavenger Hunt – If you have some time to prepare ahead, you can set up a scavenger hunt for the child. Make up a list of things they need to find around the house, then let them go. Make some of them rather difficult, and some obvious. See how long it takes your grandchild to find everything, and help them out along the way if they get stuck.

3. Cook – Have to do some cooking? Have your grandchild help you out and get involved in the process. This is especially good if you are making some kind of dessert that the two of you can enjoy afterwards. Cookies and brownies are both excellent choices, because they are easy to make, and yummy to eat.

4. Story Time – When the kids start to get tired out, you can read them a book. Curl up on the couch and pull out either one of their favorite stories, or pick one of your own favorites from when you were a kid. Kids like to be read to and shown the pictures in the book. As an added bonus, they may even fall asleep for a short nap, giving Grandma the gift of a little time off!

5. Create a Story – No books around that they are interested in? No problem, just make up your own story with them. Play a game where each of you takes turns telling one sentence in a story. See where the story goes, and how ridiculous you can make it. This is a nice quiet activity, but one that will spark the imagination in your grandchild.

6. Go for a walk – If it’s nice outside, take your grandkids for a walk. Be sure they know the safety rules before you set out (don’t run away, look both ways before crossing the street, etc.) A nice walk outside will allow you and your grandchild to get some sun, and to explore the neighborhood a little bit. You can see what animals are running around, or what shops are near your area. Just don’t walk too far away, because you’ll have to walk back as well!

 

Shopping for your grandparents can be tough. As you get older, you can partake in a lot of activities, and most grandparents will not want you spending a lot of money on them. However, there are still plenty of things you can get for your grandmother that she will love. Below we offer some suggestions for things you can get for your grandma. While not an exhaustive list, it will hopefully be able to give you a few ideas.

1. Personalized Picture Frame – Grandmothers are typically sentimental, so a picture of the two of you in a frame will be very welcomed. There are many stores that offer to personalize items for you, so you can get it engraved with your names, a quote, or the date the picture was taken. Your Grandma will love to have something she can put out and look at all the time.

"Tea set, bone" by User:आशीष भटनागर - Self taken snap. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Tea set, bone” by User:आशीष भटनागर – Self taken snap. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

2. Tea Set – Most Grandmothers love a good cup of tea. Consider buying her a new tea set – kettle, plates and cups – or some new tea bags. If there is a certain type of tea she likes, you can get her a large supply of them. Or if she likes to try new things, there are variety packs you can purchase to change things up. This gift is something your Grandmother will enjoy using, and will keep her from having to purchase these things for herself.

3. Gardening Set – One of the most common activities for the older generation is gardening. Sitting outside, getting your hands a little dirty, and taking care of plants is a relaxing hobby. Help her enjoy it more by getting her a decent set of tools. A spade, a watering can, some pots, and even some exotic plant/flower seeds are all good things to include. You can also consider getting a gardening stool for her to sit on, or some clothes that she can garden in.

4. Audible Membership – Audible is a website that offers access to thousands of books on tape. As we get older, reading can be a little bit of a struggle, but that doesn’t mean you can no longer enjoy a good book. Audiobooks are a great way to hear the same stories, without the strain on your eyes. If need be, you can set her up on the site, then show her how to download the books she wants to listen to.

5. Lunch – Our last suggestion is a simple one – take her out to lunch! Everyone loves to eat, and Grandmothers love to spend time with their grandchildren. Choose a nice place that just the two of you can go to and spend some time together. Ask her to tell you stories from when she was a child. Time together is one of the best gifts you can give any grandparent, and it is one they are sure to love. If your grandparent can’t go out for lunch, consider picking something up and bringing it to them, or making something special yourself. Whatever it is you choose to do, the important part is setting aside time to hang out with your grandma.