Friday, January 22, 2010

A Special Place

Not everyone has an extra room to set aside for their visiting grandchildren, but I am grateful that I do, and they love it. They call it “their room” and, at this point, are happy to share it with each other. I keep all of their toys, markers (washable, of course), drawing paper, books, puzzles, etc, in this room. Depending on how long they are over, we could spend the entire time in there - reading books, colouring, and telling stories. It is so much fun to hear the stories they can make up, even at an early age, but it’s a good idea to have a few storylines in mind so you can get things started. At one point, I plan to paint one wall so that it can double as a huge blackboard (my daughter’s idea) – and will also put in a puppet theatre. This is what they like to do at this point, but if/when they outgrow that, I will change it. This room is also their bedroom, so I have a crib in there as well as a mattress with a large pillow on it which doubles as a couch for us to sit on. I don’t keep anything in that room that I worry about so it’s safe to let them play by themselves for awhile if need be. There is no TV or computer in the room. I have never had trouble putting them to bed and when they wake up, they are happy to play until breakfast is ready. If you don’t have an actual room for them, then you could get a big box or storage bin and fill it with toys, etc, and keep it in a special place for when they come over. You can be creative with the box; draw pictures on it, paint it (with non-toxic paint), and let them help you design/colour it. You also should have a name for it, ie, “Our Special Box” (doesn’t have to be an elaborate box or name). They will love having their own box just as much as a room and you can put everything away when they leave, or ask them to help you. Have fun with this and enjoy the many great memories you and your grandchildren will have because you did that little bit extra…

Tip: Don’t get carried away with buying a lot of toys; check with the parents first. Often times, kids have so many toys at home that they don’t play with half of them therefore, most parents are okay with giving you some of them for your house, but they may not think about it if you don’t ask. As well, you can check out garage sales/consignment shops, but check with the parents first.


  1. I am a new Granma too and our little Grandson is the apple of our eye. I just wanted to comment on the blackboard wall. This is a great idea, but make sure the children know that they can only draw on that wall. I used to babysit a few children and I could not understand why one little girl (16 months) kept trying to draw on one particular wall with everything she could get her hand on, lego blocks, plastic toys, etc. -- then when we visited her home we found out why, her parents had turned the end of a cupboard into a drawing surface with paper taped to it so when she saw a similar surface at our house she just thought that was where she could draw and colour. I felt bad for her because something that was encouraged at home was being discouraged at her home-away-from home. She was very confused.

  2. Good point. I guess even if they had a blackboard wall at their own home, there is always the confusion when they are at other people's houses and if someone happens to have a "black" wall they would probably want to write on it. I guess if they were told that they can only write on walls like this one in "their room at Grannie's house", it might stick with them, but I may have to re-think this one. Thanks for the heads-up...