Sleepovers are a common event at our house with our 3 and 5 year old grandchildren, Jacob and Maggie. Almost every time we see them we hear the sweet words “can we have a sleepover? Please!” Whenever possible the answer is yes.
Sleepovers can include many things. In the summertime we love to include catching lightening bugs and wait and watch diligently for the first one to appear. Maggie has actually gotten very good at it and Jacob isn’t far behind. We catch them, keeping a strict tally of who has caught the most and at the end of the evening we bid them farewell, unzipping their enclosure and allowing them to take flight to freedom. Lightening bug season usually starts in May, they are the thickest in July and in August they depart. It is with sadness we say goodbye until the next spring brings them back once again.
Our recent sleepover, however, was on a rainy day so we had to restrict ourselves to indoor activities. This sleepover began with a spur of the moment rousing game of “Grandpa ogre chases the grandkids”. They love this! There have been many times we have played tag in the house with all 4 of us chasing one another and the kids squealing in delight.
Next on the agenda was a Disney board game called “Eye Found It”. If you like doing the Where’s Waldo books, you will enjoy playing this with your grandkids.
In Jacob and Maggie’s eyes a sleepover is not considered a sleepover without popcorn and a movie. So we try to make our sleepovers “real sleepovers” and this was no exception, we popped our popcorn, chose a movie, had baths and into pajamas. Now after the movie all that’s needed is a bathroom break, brushing teeth and quickly into bed.
Morning dawned cloudy and rainy, no outside play today. No bother, we always have lots of ideas here at Grandma’s house. Today it began with a turtle craft. I keep empty plastic bowls, gum containers, egg cartons, jars, etc for crafts. The turtle shell was made from small plastic fruit containers. The kids painted their container with green tempera paint. After it was dry, a large pompom was glued on as the head and small ones for legs and a tail, then large googly eyes were glued on. If I had planned the craft ahead of time I would have spray painted the containers first with white, this would have helped the green paint to adhere. The kids were quite happy with their turtles anyway!
This was followed by a trip to “Open Gym”. This is a program at the local parks and recreation center that provides a time of open play in the gymnastics area for young children. Even younger sister, 1 year old Zellene, joined us for this. She already likes open gym!
Then it’s back to Grandma’s house for lunch and a welcome “rest time” (at least for Grandma)!
We have many other ideas to keep the kids busy at our house on cold or rainy days:
Exercise – we have 3 exercise tapes called Move and Groove Kids that I purchased from Amazon and the kids really enjoy doing these. We also have a small enclosed childrens trampoline.
Board and card games – we have several: Go Fish, Hungry Hungry Hippo, Rainbow Magic, Eye Found It, Memory, etc.
Action games – Tag, hide and seek. A favorite one is “We’re goin’ on a bear hunt”. This is so much fun; the leader leads the others on a make believe trip up mountains, across rivers, through swamps, etc., finally ending by finding the bear in a cave and running back in great excitement just the way you came, jumping in bed and under the covers to be safe from the pretend bear!
Electronic games – our grandkids are so accustomed to electronics, they are naturals. We have age appropriate games on our ipad they are allowed to play (we do limit and monitor this).
Toys and make believe – dollhouse, cars and trucks, zoo animals, trains, kitchen set, etc.
Dress up – hats, clothing items, jewelry.
Baking – of course chocolate chip cookies is one of my little ones favorites.
Workbook pages – depending on the age of the child. I have printed several pages from education.com and I have purchased preschool workbooks as well.
Coloring books and crayons.
Sticker activity books.
Window Clings – these can normally be found at Wal-Mart or at dollar stores. They are reusable which is great. The kids put them on and you take them off! They are especially easy to find for the different holidays.
Window Markers – I bought mine, which are specifically for kids, at Wal-Mart. They can draw whatever they should choose and then it easily washes off.
Crafts – I keep lots of craft supplies on hand: different types of glue, glitter, pompoms, foam shapes, construction paper, washable markers, pipe cleaners, sequins, etc.
Books – we have many books and try to always incorporate a reading time in to their visits.
Puzzles – age appropriate puzzles.
Story telling – the kids love both telling and hearing stories.
Puppets – Grandpa is especially good at this one and they love the different voices he uses.
I hope this gave you some new ideas for your next visit with your grandchildren. If you have other ideas, please share them with us!