January 26, 2015


With Spring Break coming up soon, we thought it would be fun to  suggest some creative activities to do with your great/grandchildren. 

Most of these activities are for young readers, but some are for beginning or non-readers.  You’ll have to be the judge of what is appropriate for your family. These activities all involve using the newspaper (that out of date media source), magazines, online resources, throw-away ads, etc.

  • Ask the grandchild/ren to pick a destination outside of the United States that s/he would like to visit.  Using a map or a globe, find that place and also find where you live, so that can be the starting point.  Let the grandchild/ren become your travel agent. Ask her/him to use the internet or ads in the paper, to find the cheapest airfare from your home city to the desired vacation spot.  Have the grandchild/ren compare airlines and other means of travel, if appropriate.
  • Investigate what currency is used, if different from the U.S. dollar, and if age appropriate, figure out how much money a dollar is worth in that country.  The business section of the newspaper often has the current rates, or they can be found online.
  • Find out what local language is used. If you’re all very motivated, learn how to say “hello”, “goodbye”, “thank-you” and “where is the bathroom, please?”

  • Using in-store ads, mailed advertising pieces, the internet, etc., give your grandchild/ren a “budget” to go shopping.  Ask her/him to cut out both a picture and the price of the items s/he would like to purchase.  Paste them on a piece of paper, and ask him/her to add up the cost of those items, and if there is enough money in the budget to buy them.  If there is enough, how much will be left over? 
  • For younger children, ask him/her to find certain numerals that you and/or they choose (ex: 1, 4, 8, and 10). Have her/him find those numbers in magazines, newspapers, advertisements, etc.  If the grandchild/ren are reading, you can ask them to also find the written examples of those numbers.  It’s important to be “skill” appropriate.

·         Find a short article in the newspaper or a magazine, that is relevant to your grandchild/ren’s interest. (Ex. sports, review of a children’s movie, fashion, history, etc.).  Cut out the article, excluding the headline.  Read the article with the grandchild/ren, and then ask him/her to make up a relevant headline. It’s a great way for you to talk about why headlines are important tools and how they help the reader focus their interest.  If you want to continue the discussion, look at other magazines, online articles or the newspaper, and decide if the headline accurately represent the content or if it is misleading.
·         For younger children, go through magazines, newspapers, ads, and have the grandchild/ren cut out the letters of her/his name.  They can paste the letters on a sheet of paper.  You can also include the letters of your name, mom/dad’s name, etc.

There are hundreds of other ideas like this, but we thought these would be a fun way use items that are recyclable and already in your home to challenge and engage your great/grandchildren. 

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