Grandparents and Summer Fun

WHY Should I Spend Time With MY Grand-kids?

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Grandparents and Summer Fun

What to do with your Grandkids this summer

Strengthening bonds between grandparents and grandchildren of all ages is not just a good idea, but it’s critical to family stability.  

Your children will find strength in the foundation of family (even more so, as teens and adults) as they know their grandparent(s) on a personal level.

Summer is a GREAT time to take advantage of this opportunity to nurture this relationship with grand kids of ALL ages because there are so many inexpensive and free things to do.  Also, being out in nature instantly brings a relaxed and open atmosphere which is perfect for communication – whether it’s the first time you talk, or  you chat every day, the outdoors lends a natural setting for open dialogue. 

Have you considered that Grandparents have a unique position from that of parents or friends?



This is For Parents:

  • Parents who let their children, older kids and teens spend time with grandparents* are wise to promote this connection in anyway possible.


  • As a parent, don’t you need a break is sometimes? Having a grandparent(s) for the kids to go visit for even an hour; where the homework battles, the daily duties and necessary responsibilities are set aside for awhile, there is a healthy environment they can thrive in. The reason for this, is they can focus on the relationship, which will prove incredibly valuable as the years go on. Studies show that cognitive and social behavior is greatly improved the more time children, older kids and teens spend with grandparents. 


  • Grandparent(s) are a pillar of support to you, as a parent, to reinforce the values and guide in the morals you are teaching.  In stories and in other ways, give wisdom and tidbits of advice, which balances what you are doing in the home.


  • In this day and age of busyness and often living far from relatives, it is vital with the disintegration of the family in our society today, that you do not allow that in your family.  By promoting communication with grandparent(s)* the abundance of love, care and attention, that only they can give will pay off immensely as the years roll on.*
Fun With Grandparents

Fun With Grandparents

This Is For Grandparents:

  • Make time for ALL of your grand kids. They are a treasure beyond any gems on the earth! No amount of money can compensate for the cherished time you will spend together.


  • I know it can be difficult to deal with the noise, chaos and a bit of a mess that comes with little ones when they visit.  However, the energy, love and hugs will far outweigh the temporary inconvenience.  They will love you unconditionally and in a way, that no one else can.


  • The older kids will open up to you with their problems if you give them the opportunity.  They may be dealing with small or large challenges that only you can help them with due to your experience, or that they may trust only to you.


  • And teens – they need you! Do not assume that with the changes in technology and life style, that you have nothing in common.  Remember, people are people, and the time in history does not change that.  We all have emotions, feelings, trials and tests to overcome.  They need your wisdom and perspective!  Be there for them, they are listening.  Don’t lecture, but share and have fun together.


  • When they become adults, they will come for to you for advice, look to you as a confidant and a source of comfort.  Be there to let them know that things will get better.  To persevere, always do the right thing, never compromise values and all will be well. 


What do you do if you have grand kids that you do not know as well, or that you don’t ‘connect’ with as easily?

  1. Pray to know what to do and how to reach them.  
  2. Ask the parents for help of what they like to do, what they like to eat, find something you could have in common.
  3. Be persistent, but considerate of the person’s personality, as you work to make the relationship strong.
  4. Don’t be afraid to get out of YOUR comfort zone to open the communication:)  

Now, here’s  some Summer FUN ideas you can do with the Grand Kids!

Summer is one of my very favorite times of the year.  There are so many places to go and tons of FUN to have!  

Fun With Grandparents

Fun With Grandparents

I KNOW it can be difficult to get the family together, with so many schedules, ages and different interests, but I hope you will take on this CHALLENGE –

Which is: 

  • Do something with each and everyone one of your great-grand kids THIS summer
  • Do something with each and everyone of your grand kids THIS summer
  • Do something with each and everyone of your kids, if you have them THIS summer


It may take a lot of effort to accomplish this little challenge, depending on location and availability, but it will be worth all the effort even it it is not apparent at the first. 

Here are a few ideas of things to do:

  • Skype with grand kids. If the children are young, read them a short picture book via Skype.  If they are older have some jokes on hand (check out the local library or bookstore for a good one)
  • Play a board game
  • Have a little party at your house, just simple with one or two of them.  Another grandma I get to share my grandkids with did facepainting!  How fun is that!!!
  • If you can’t get everyone together at one time, still spend time with each one somehow that fits into your budget and health. 
  • Lunch or breakfast at your house, or at a restaurant, with a smaller group gives the opportunity for visiting.
  • Go to the park and feed the ducks and play on the play ground.
  • Visit an outdoor garden or easy trail to walk.
  • Play an internet game at a set time once a week – you can agree on one that is fun and appropriate for both of you.
  • Go to the zoo.
  • Visit an aquarium.
  • Take them to a water park, or a splash pad.
  • A museum geared for children, or older, depending on the age of grand kid.  Many are free and afterwards get an ice cream cone or small treat.
  • See a play – serious or fun.
  • Go fishing.
  • Go bowling.
  • Go on a bike ride together.
  • Go on a hike or an easy to walk trail.
  • Play the X-Box/gaming system together for a set time with the condition they walk around the block with you afterwards.  You will have something to talk about, maybe your poor ‘gaming’ skills??  But hey, you can laugh together about it and have that in common.
  • Sports such as tennis, 4-square (does anyone play that anymore?), hop scotch, you can come up with great ideas to ‘challenge’ them with.
  • This list could go on for pages and pages
  • Most important –  do NOT, I repeat, do NOT give up!! 

Some family members are more receptive to strengthening relationships and bonds within the family, and some may be a bit more resistant.   Keep at it, keep inviting, keep loving and be patient.

Picture1Take the opportunity to be with your family of ALL ages. 

We share grand kids with Derek and Donna Jaco. These two are very supportive of all of their grand kids and enjoy being involved in all they do.

Fun With Grandparents

Dinners and get-together s with all the grand kids are cherished events for the Jaco’s. 

Fun With Grandparents

Fun With Grandparents

And, we share a brand new grandson!

Fun With Grandparents

Fun With Grandparents

Another set of grandparents we share with are amazing and so incredibly creative!  They can make anything – seriously –  you can’t believe the elaborate FUN parties!!!

Fun With Grandparents

Fun With Grandparents

One of the events they enjoy doing with the grand kids is – 

Fun With Grandparents

Fun With Grandparents

Face painting for any holiday, or just because!

Fun With Grandparents

Fun With Grandparents

We also share a couple of grand daughters with another set of grandparents who are really fabulous.  That Grandpa enjoys taking them into the garden and picking the delicious produce he grows.  The Grandma is an extremely talented musician and teacher.  She reads to them and sits with them at the piano either playing alongside, or helping move their fingers along the keys as they learn how it sounds. Tremendous people!

I'll Tell You Why You Want One

Do You Have A Garden? I’ll give you ideas on how to plant one, as well as why It’s important

It’s never too early – or too late – to build a strong family foundation.Collage Corn Huskers

Relationships are spending time, talking, laughing and simply being together.  That’s how communication flows, and love deepens.  Enjoy your family today, and everyday!!!

Fun With Grandparents

Fun With Grandparents

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014, 2017

*Disclaimer: If there are issues with grandparent(s) or any family members, that could harm a marriage or children, you may want to seek professional help, or counsel as needed. 

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Water Games for ALL Ages playing with squirt guns, batting at filled water balloons with plastic baseball bats, playing on a slip and slide, water relays and other water games

EASY Water Games for EVERYONE!

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Water Games for ALL Ages playing with squirt guns, batting at filled water balloons with plastic baseball bats, playing on a slip and slide, water relays and other water games

It’s Water Fun for all ages

 EASY Water Games for EVERYONE

Looking for easy water games for everyone to play?  

Something that the old and the young can do together?

Activities that will provide enjoyment while memories are made and relationships strengthened?

Well, that’s what play and having fun can be used for.

And water games are a great way to build friendships and family bonds.

So what water games could everyone play?

Here I have a collection of easy water games that can easily be adapted for all ages with a few minor adjustments.

A huge bonus is that all of these easy water games are inexpensive with low preparation too. 

One that I didn’t include here, but it’s a great game, is  Water Fun with Balloon Volley Ball You could have teams divided into two, with a rope strung across the middle to serve as a net, or simply let there be teams of two’s. Anything goes, just so they are having fun. 

Now onto the water games!

Water Balloon Toss

Simply fill water balloons and divide into teams to toss the water balloons to designated teammates, or as determined by the kids for pure fun.  Sometimes less regimented makes for better play.

Mom is a better catch than this, but it depends on the thrower.  EASY Water Games for EVERYONE!

Notice how prepared her son is, hahaha, the goggles are upside down.

EASY Water Games for EVERYONE!I love how the balloon is going behind her, heeheeEASY Water Games for EVERYONE!Wow, taking turns, how did she talk them into that?EASY Water Games for EVERYONE!

Batting the Water Balloons

If you don’t enjoy filling up all those tiny balloons and then trying to tie them off and pinching your fingers, THIS is the perfect solution.

For an over-sized plastic bat, HERE is a great one.


This was a fav!  We filled the balloons with water, tied on varying length of string then tied them to the swing set bar.

Each kid took a turn with a bat. 

If you have older kids, simple tie it to a higher bar/blindfold them to make it even more difficult. 

What a fun game for adults and teens too!EASY Water Games for EVERYONE! Batter Up!

EASY Water Games for EVERYONE!

Let’s Get Wet! Water games and fun

SWWIINNGGGG batter! Working on getting contact.EASY Water Games for EVERYONE!Oh, look at that concentration!EASY Water Games for EVERYONE!

Water Gun Squirting Game

Line up VERY LIGHT WEIGHT cups. 

Each participant was given a filled squirt gun and there was a bucket of water near by to refill the cups easily as they were shot over. 

One, two, three and shoot away!!! 

Love the stance of each, lol

HERE are some really awesome squirt guns you might want to check out –

EASY Water Games for EVERYONE!

Stand-by’s like the SLIP AND SLIDE are always a hit!

Click to see the Slip ‘n Slide it’s always in style.EASY Water Games for EVERYONE!My daughter-in-law Tawni brought along her slip ‘n slide and they kids had a great time with it.

EASY Water Games for EVERYONE!

EASY Water Games for EVERYONE!

Water FUN Play

Don’t forget the old stand by water games – they are still around for a reason!


A few options for this relay are:

1- With the buckets, fill one with water and divide the kids into teams. 

You will need 2 buckets per team for this game and one spoon.

The filled buckets are placed by the team and all are lined up behind the bucket, with each team about 5 feet apart from each other.

The empty bucket, one per team, is placed about 10 feet from the filled bucket and from the lined up team members.

At the GO the first person on each team dips their spoon into the water, races to the empty bucket to empty the water (whatever is left after running, lol) and races back to hand the spoon to the next person in line, the goes to the back of the line.  The other team is doing the same. 

The race is over when the filled bucket is empty.  Only put as much water in the bucket as appropriate for the age playing the game.


2- The other option for this game is to do this with the water balls. 

Instead of using the spoon, the ball is dipped into the water, squeezed out into the empty bucket at the other end, then handed off to the next player.EASY Water Games for EVERYONE!



Sometimes the best is just letting the kids have fun with the sprinklers, buckets and whatever is out!EASY Water Games for EVERYONE!Just look at those smiles!

EASY Water Games for EVERYONE!EASY Water Games for EVERYONE!

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

For More On This Topic:

Kick The Can

Kick the can 2





 Hop Scotch

Hop Scotch 1







DIY Play Sand

Play Sand 6




 Homemade Bubbles

Bubbles 2


Homemade Goop aka Slime


Making Goop or Slime, whichever you prefer to call it, is a great activity to do with your family.     

You  can teach how a little of measuring,a bit of  simple science such as: how liquids turn to solids, fosters creativity and is just plain FUN!    

Any time spent together is always worth while!     Click HERE for instructions

Water Balloon Volley Ball

Water Fun!

Water Balloon Volley Ball

Water Balloon Volley Ball

Ready for summer fun? It’s easy as 1-2-3, just come and see! 

Balloon Volley Ball or Toss

This easy, low prep activity is for ALL ages.

  1. Simply grab a towel (older is best, save your new!), a few water balloons and the game is on.
  2. You can set up a net if you have one, run a line for a net, or just have it a free-for-all and have a team of 2 toss to another team of
  3. The object is to have one team toss their water balloon from the towel they are holding to another team to catch who are also holding a towel.

There are TWO ways you can work this game. One way is a bit competitive as it is played like tennis; tossing ‘in bounds’ and trying to score points. OR It can be a way to teach cooperation by having each team, having to stand so many feet or yards apart, from the other team, then tossing the balloon to the other team to catch. Either way, it can be done with 2 teams or many teams spread out in the yard or park and ALL ages! Enjoy time as a family and have a great time—getting wet! Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Family Game Night

YUMMY Candy Bar Game

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Family Game Night

Family Game Night

Game Time!

Here is a quick, fun game for all ages to play.

There is little preparation, inexpensive and will get everyone involved for a great time.

Candy Bar Game

Here is a GREAT family or group activity.


Scarf, hat, jacket, gloves (bulk, inexpensive garden gloves work really well here)

Frozen large candy bar

Tin disposable pan (I’d double it up)

Large table spoon

2 Dice


Place the wrapped and frozen

Roll dice to see who begins first.

The player who rolls the highest begins.

The beginner player at the ‘GO’ hurries to put on the scarf, hat, jacket and gloves. He works to unwrap the candy bar while wearing the gloves (and other clothing) and with the spoon breaks off pieces of the candy bar to eat. RULE: to eat the candy bar, the player must take off the gloves, eat it completely, put on the gloves and continue (ok, I don’t share my straw in my drink either)

MEANWHILE the other players are rolling the dice. The player sitting next to the beginner rolls first and gets ONE roll. If they get a double six, all yell “DOUBLES” and the player with the candy has to take off any of the clothing and pass it with the candy bar and spoon to the player who rolled Doubles.

If the player did not roll doubles on their only shake, they quickly pass the dice to the next player. This continues as quickly as possible allowing a player to roll doubles, preventing any one player from eating the candy bar.

Have fun and enjoy the treat – if you roll doubles!!!

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

2nd Sunday

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Another terrific 2nd Sunday with some familiar and some new friends.

It was a busy week added to the schedule, I spent two days scrubbing the house (things that I don’t normally do during the week, like dusting the ceiling, cleaning the fridge and freezer).

I had meetings, cub scouts and obligations, so Stan was an angel and went shopping for me with the list I made for the food I was making for Sunday. He even price-matched and used the coupons I sent him with – awesome guy!


Saturday was the major cooking day this month. I prepared and began cooking while Stan did the ‘usual Saturday activity’, which is that he, our sons and grandkids go to Sam’s Club for the hot dog or pizza combo, then onto the best part – the samples, heehee.

Our youngest grandson cannot say grandpa or grandma, but when it’s Saturday and time for the Sam’s Club outing, he will not leave without grandpa and repeats, “hot dog” over and over again.

When Stan returned home he stepped into his terrific sous chef

role and chopped 10 lbs. of carrots for the dinner,

along with a few other jobs I delegated to him.


The menu for Sunday’s dinner included:

Meatloaf (recipe posted)

Two Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Carrots with butter

Garlic Bread

Salad with tomatoes and dressing


Dessert – Quickie Tres Leche Cake (recipe posted)

& Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Parents Strike Back

Parents Strike Back

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Just before Halloween, one of my sons played a trick on Stan and me by leaving 82 pumpkins for us, everywhere! Click HERE to see what he did and what we did with all of those pumpkins!  

Well…..Stan and I have been planning a little trick to tease them back a bit. 

We gathered together 58 or 59 boxes (I lost count) and in 10 of the boxes we put treats, and in 10 we put a Walmart gift cards, each with a whopping $1 loaded on it – big budget….what can I say.  Parents Strike Back 1Every single box was filled with crumpled newspaper, packing supplies or confetti; we have a great paper shredder by the wayParents Strike Back 2After preparing for our ‘trick’, we volunteered to tend their boys while they went on a date.

After they left, we executed our strike back. 

While I watched the kiddos, Stan went to their house to ‘take care of business’. 

He placed one box, which was filled very full with confetti braced precariously at the front door so when they entered, it would spill out.Parents Strike Back 3The boxes were in the bathroom, the kitchen, the bedroom –  all over every bit of the house.Parents Strike Back 4We didn’t make it too messy—- just enough for the grandboys to have fun in – Parents Strike Back 7Which we didn’t plan, but it was a  great side benefit.  hahahahaParents Strike BackThey found the goodies in all the chaos!Parents Strike Back 8Tag, You’re it!!!

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013

Recognize A Blessing And Be A Blessing Today

2nd Sunday Dinner

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It was another GREAT 2nd Sunday dinner!

DSC_2024This is the time we open our home to friends and neighbors to join us for food and good company. DSC_2025The menu this month included: Sloppy joes, tortilla chips and nacho sauce, my homemade creamy potato salad and my festive baby green salad with amazing homemade cranberry dressing. For dessert, it was apple pie. Recipes follow. DSC_2029Thanks to all who came and visited.  It was a wonderful evening. DSC_2023I know of TWO other families who are now doing a Sunday dinner/open house after seeing how we do it at my house. 

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today!