Tips for New Grandparents

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The grandparent-grandchild bond is an important one. The things you teach them and the time you spend with them will become life-long memories for you both. These tips can help you build fun, lasting memories with your grandchildren so you can enjoy every moment you spend with them.


Safety

You probably remember childproofing your home for your own kids, but here's a quick refresher course:

Be sure to install or check the batteries on household carbon monoxide detectors. Do the same for your smoke detectors. (And since carbon monoxide and smoke don't care what age you are, you should be doing this anyway!) Have a pool? Install a fence around it. Is Aunt Janet visiting? Make sure she places her purse up high where little ones can't get to it. Aspirin, gum, and nail files are all things you don't want the kids getting into.

Use socket protectors to prevent little fingers from getting zapped. Install toilet latches to make sure no one can fall in. List emergency numbers on the refrigerator. Gates should be set up at the top and bottom of staircases. Store your medicines and toxic cleaning supplies where the grandkids can't find them. Same goes for knick-knacks. Nothing small or with sharp edges should be within reach.

Fun

Now for the fun stuff. One of the best parts about being a grandparent is that you get to play rather than parent. (Sure, they still need to know who's in charge, but you don't always have to play bad cop.)

Keep a toy chest for your little visitors. Better yet, designate an area of your house as your grandchildren's play area. This way their toys will be out of your way and they'll have a space all their own. Stock up on a variety of coloring books and crayons. Keep a supply of construction paper, safety scissors, finger paints, glue, and markers on hand.

Be sure to stock up on children's books—one of your grandchild's best memories might be reading a book with you. If you have a skill or hobby like sewing or gardening, now's a great time to teach them what you know and get them started on their own hobby.

Kids love learning new things from their grandparents, so teach them to play checkers, dominos, and other classic games. No matter how big they get, you'll always be able to enjoy playing a favorite game together.

Snacks

Grandmas and grandpas are famous for having the best snacks. Cookies and candy are ok sometimes, but you can make healthy snacks a hit too. Stock your kitchen with fun, healthy, kid-friendly snacks. Dried apple chips, multigrain pretzels, mozzarella cheese sticks, and yogurt cups are just some of the healthy snacks kids enjoy.

Try making simple snacks with your grandchildren too. You can show off your kitchen prowess while getting them excited about eating healthy. To get you started, check out this list of affordable snacks to make at home. But don't stop there—get creative! The crazier the combination, the more excited your grandkids will be about eating it.

Last But Not Least

Take the time to update your will or living trust. If you want to make provisions for your new grandchildren such as setting aside money for college or giving them a cherished heirloom, now is the time to make sure they're included in your estate plan.

More info:

BabyCenter: Safety & Childproofing