Quality time spent with grandchildren is truly precious. The chance for grandparents to interact and play with their grandchildren is wonderful, especially during their formative years. There are myriad ways that grandparents can make the most of this time but what are the options for older adults who don’t want to be on their feet all day and suffer from mobility issues or need shoes of a wider fit? Well, one of the best ways to forge a close connection and form long-lasting memories for all involved is by creating something together. From painting to model making, knitting to flower arranging, there are so many choices available. This guide highlights a selection of wonderful craft ideas that grandparents can enjoy with their grandchildren, providing some tips for ways in which they can enjoy some creative time together, all from the comfort of one's own home.
Age appropriate keepsakes
One of the benefits about craft making with grandchildren is that, as a result of this fun activity, wonderful keepsakes are created – items and works of art that can be looked back on fondly for years to come. Grandparents will surely love these little reminders of their time spent with the kids. This is something that Michelle from The Purple Pumpkin Blog (a fun resource full of creative ideas) recommends. She spoke to us about the joy of crafting and her advice for grandparents:
“Crafts are fun for all age groups, and they are a great way to bond with your grandchildren. The best crafts are ones suitable for your grandchild's age and ability. It makes the activity a level playing field enabling you both to enjoy the creative process.
“Keepsake crafts would be a great way to start. For example, casting both your handprints in air drying clay or leaving a print of your hands on some paper, which can then be framed.”
If you’re looking for some more tips, Michelle has a guide on 100+ crafts to make and do at home, which includes lots of kids’ craft ideas, free printables, and seasonal projects, so you'll never be short on ideas.
Another excellent activity to enjoy with grandchildren is a fun afternoon of knitting – perfect for a rainy day. There’s all manner of creations that can be put together thanks to the art of knitting – a hobby that is proving to be as popular as ever, thanks to its accessibility and the myriad options open to the knitter. This is a tremendous life skill to teach one’s grandchildren in their youth, something that they can utilise for many years to come and hopefully pass on down to their own children one day, along with the fond memories of their childhood. This relaxing, creative expression can be used to create everything from mittens and scarves to blankets and cushion covers. Pick an object and introduce your grandchild to this lovely pastime.
Stitch & Story is dedicated to making knitting simple for beginners with their kits, workshops and tutorials. Jen from Stitch & Story spoke to us about why she believes knitting makes an ideal creative exercise for both grandparent and grandchild:
“Knitting is a great activity for grandparents and grandchildren to share! The time spent together can be very enjoyable for both sides and memories are made for years to come. Grandparents sometimes have a little more patience when sharing a skill with the younger generation. While parents are often occupied with the busyness of day-to-day life, cooking dinner, preparing school lunches, long hours at work, and much more, grandparents cherish every moment they get to spend with their grandchildren and have the time and patience, plus the skills and experience, to share their hobby with their grandchildren. In return, grandparents love to see and share the excitement little ones get from mastering their first stitch, first row, or even first scarf!
“Many of our knitters at our London workshops tell us how re-starting to knit reminds them of the times they spent with grandparents many years ago, and often we hear, 'my nan used to teach me when I was younger but now, I've forgotten'. And they then become encouraged to learn and pick up the hobby again so that they can go back home to surprise their grandparents with their newly honed skills. The bonding then becomes much more meaningful when both grandchildren and grandparents enjoy the craft together!”
Jen also offered some top tips for how grandparents and grandchildren can enjoy knitting together: “Our beginners’ knitting kits are ideal for anyone wanting to learn and make a quick and easy project - these are ideal for grandchildren learning and for grandparents re-sparking their love for knitting. Depending on how old the children are, our Cup Cosy Mini Knitting Kit or scarf kits are the perfect project to get started with. Children want to see progress relatively quickly and feel encouraged by the success of finishing a project. The easier it is to get started – and finished – the more likely further shared projects will follow. We find that chunky wool and chunky knitting needles are perfect for children’s hands. The tools are easier to manoeuvre and, after just a short period of time, a project takes shape.
“Also, very important is that the child has a say in what to make and which colour to choose. Sometimes such little details, like choosing a favourite colour, can be the make or break to lasting excitement when discovering a new craft. Grandparents might be a little easier-going in that regard and enjoy seeing any project grow that the little one will choose. Most importantly for the grandparents is to bring patience and encouragement, even when the first stitches might drop. Grandparents might need to be ready to rescue a project or do the ‘difficult parts’, for example, sewing up a scarf into a snood, and most likely weaving in the yarn tails, until the younger student is ready to take over those necessary but never favoured tasks too. Usually, grandparents are more than happy to rescue and finish those very first projects and the grandchildren will only come to appreciate this many years later!”
Crafts with egg cartons
When it comes to crafting, so many everyday items can be repurposed and utilised to create an array of fun pieces of art. One such item is certainly the trusty egg carton, a staple of kids crafting for many a year. So, if you are looking for crafting ideas for you and your grandkids, consider putting aside a few egg cartons in preparation. Not only is there a lot of fun to be had but you can also show your grandkids the art of recycling and not letting anything go to waste! So, what can be made from egg cartons and a few extra bits and bobs? Well, how about an egg carton penny dish? With some scissors and paint, you can cut up your carton and create a handy little pod that the little ones can use to store their pennies. This is just one of many options. With a little imagination, there’s no end to what can be created!
The world of model making is perfect for grandparents and grandchildren to enjoy together. With options available for all ages, model making is a much-beloved pastime that many a person picks up in childhood and continues into adulthood. No matter what your grandchildren are interested in, there is a plethora of replica model kits available. Whether its cars, planes, or model soldiers, there’s a lot of fun to be had in making sure your creation matches its real-life counterpart. With model making you can really let your imagination run wild. Why not see what bits and pieces you can utilise at home and make something totally unique? How about crafting a model of your own house or miniature scenes from fiction or reality? The ideas are endless. You might even discover your grandchild has a hidden talent!
Terrariums and flower arranging
Terrariums – glass containers containing plants and soil – are a rather popular trend when it comes to home décor and it’s easy to see why with the elegance and brightness that they can bring to any surroundings. Terrariums also lend themselves very well to customisation with all sorts of varieties able to be created – perfect for a little quality creative time between grandparent and grandchild. If you’ve already got a passion for flower arranging or perhaps enjoy making terrariums yourself, consider letting the little ones join you in the creative process. The good news is that it requires very little expert knowledge so even if you are unfamiliar, making a terrarium could be something you enjoy together. Whether it’s for your own home or for a gift that the child can give to a loved one. This is certainly one relaxing crafting idea with a beautiful result. For a few tips, take a look at this helpful 8 step guide to making a terrarium from the lifestyle blog Pikalily.
What to create and craft with grandchildren
- Age appropriate keepsakes
- Crafts with egg cartons
- Model making
- Terrariums and flower arranging
There are myriad options available to grandparents who would like to enjoy creative time with their grandchildren and the above are some of the ideas that are possible. So, why not consider one of the above ideas, engage your grandchild’s creative instincts, and create some wonderful memories in the process?