Saturday, February 6, 2016

Stories About Your Grandkids

Buddy the Dragon Slayer
I have written stories about my grandkids, as I have mentioned, but the ones I truly love are the ones that they can really relate to. I wrote a story about "Buddy the Dragon Slayer" for my grandson who has cystic fibrosis, to show him how brave I think he is. He has to go through daily physio (while the others play) and has to take several pills (which he takes like a champ). He sometimes has tummy aches too, but he braves through it all. This story is to take him away from all of that even for a moment...and he knows "Buddy" is about him (I have always called him Buddy). I have written two stories about Buddy and am onto the third.
I have also written a story for my other two grandchildren. My granddaughter's book is about Vampires, when she was into that, but I made it a story about "making decisions in life" and doing what's best, and not just doing what your friends want you to do.  I also wrote one for her friend and called it "Snowgirls" (like snowmen) and I included all of the 'BFF's' in it. I also wrote one for my younger grandson about himself and how quiet he usually is, but if he was upset, everyone knew it, and could hear him (throughout the neighbourhood and even in the neighbourhood zoo ha ha). I didn't even realize it until the last time I went to visit, that he asks his mom to read that one to him all the time. 
These are the most special books for me... 
I was searching for something different (and special) to do for the grandkids for Valentine's Day when I came across a site that used a deck of ordinary playing cards, and it showed how you could turn it into a little booklet called "52 Things I Love About You"  I was intrigued, so I pursued it further and although most of them were about adults and relationships it was easy enough to put my own spin on it and gear it towards grandchildren (definitely using some of their wording though to get ideas).  You use a deck of cards (I used a different coloured deck of cards for each grandchild), punch two holes in the side of each card and use binder rings (can get at a craft store) to hold the deck together or you can use can even use little eyelets to connect the binder rings to the cards for ease of turning the cards one by one.   Below, is what I wrote for the 52 things.  I printed these off individually and glue-sticked them to each card in the deck.  I used the Joker cards for the front and back cover and I put a small picture of each of them on the front of their deck of cards under the wording "52 Reasons Grannie Loves You".  I'm visiting them shortly after Valentine's Day, so will wait and give it to them then.  I always like to bring them a little something and I know they like when I make them things.  I think they will like it, but I'll have to wait and see. 
NOTE:  I think I will also get them some other cards that they can play with, i.e., Crazy Eights, Go Fish, etc., so they are not as apt to use these cards for everyday card playing, but if they do decided to do that, it's okay too (I have saved the wording for the cards so I can reproduce it at anytime).

52 Reasons Grannie Loves You
  1. You make me smile
  2. You make me laugh
  3. You make me beautiful cards
  4. You draw me great pictures
  5. You help me find things
  6. You don’t care what I look like, even if I’m wearing my housecoat and my hair is sticking up
  7. You do crafts with me
  8. You like to have fun
  9. You write stories with me
  10. You act silly sometimes
  11. You love your family
  12. You talk to me on Skype
  13. You cuddle up to me when I visit
  14. You tell me you miss me when we are not together
  15. You look concerned when I cry
  16. You listen to the stories I write you
  17. You send me messages with happy faces
  18. You hug me when you want to
  19. You hug me when I want you to
  20. You like the poems I write for you
  21. You understand that sometimes I have happy cries and sometimes I have sad cries
  22. You listen to me when I’m talking to you
  23. You are amazing
  24. You kiss me when you want to
  25. You kiss me when I want you to
  26. You hold my hand when we are walking
  27. You are helpful
  28. You surprise me sometimes
  29. You care about animals and especially your pets
  30. You are a good friend to others
  31. You write me notes
  32. You think your farts are funny
  33. You like to be goofy and dance around
  34. You are honest
  35. You do your chores and don’t complain (much)
  36. You like to make funny faces
  37. You like to use your imagination
  38. You like to try new games
  39. You like to watch movies
  40. You teach me new games to play
  41. You care about others
  42. You are polite
  43. You are kind
  44. You always try your best
  45. You are brave when you need to be
  46. You are not mean to people
  47. You understand that everyone is different and that’s okay
  48. You like yourself
  49. You respect your parents
  50. You are wonderful
  51. Because you are my grandchild
  52. Because I know you love me

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Flat Stanley

Have you ever heard of Flat Stanley? 

I didn't, until one day when I was looking for something different to do with my grandkids who live a distance away from me. 

Well, we have had so much fun with "Stanley" (as we call him) over the years.  First, when I went to visit my grandkids I would get them to hold Flat Stanley (or hide him) and I would take a picture.  When we went to visit their school, I took a picture of "Stanley" in their little cubby/locker...  Then, when me and my husband (Grampy) went on holidays, we would take "our" Flat Stanley with us and take a picture.  Some of the other people even knew who Flat Stanley was and would say, "Oh yeah, I know who that is.  Who are you sending the pictures of Stanley to?"  So, it's not just our little secret afterall, but it is a great way to communicate with your kids or grandkids about the places you go and for them to see that you have a life too ha ha  We have taken him on all of our trips but even take photos in our own hometown and in our own yard. 

I also tried to incorporate using Flat Stanley in photos of things that I am involved in like the Terry Fox Run and then I would tell them the story about Terry... or Remembrance Day and take "Stanley" with me when I went to an event and then would tell them a story about what Remembrance Day means and ask them what it means to them.  I even hid "Stanley" in trees when the leaves were changing colour and then talked about "Fall" and the changes that occur on maple trees (in Ontario, Canada). 

The possibilities are just have to remember to bring him with you, but if not, just draw a Stanley (doesn't have to be good) and snap a picture!  Or make up your own character and tell the kids this is Stanley's friend...or your new friend.  It's a good way to tell a story about something that you like to do, and feel free to get your friends involved (everyone loves doing it).  Also a good way to educate your grandkids on geography, history, or events that have meaning in all of our lives.  You can "hide" him or have him out in the open.  That part is up to you...  Watch the excitement on your kids/grandkids faces when you do send pictures of him...that part is well worth it.

Other people have used things like pictures of a cat, dog, or a character that you all like (and it could be one that you made up too!).  It's all about taking photos and telling a bit of a story. 

HINT:  Do a Search for "Flat Stanley printable" and you will get a cut-out of him to use.  Best to print on harder paper or getting him laminated so that he doesn't get wrecked.  You can colour him or get your grandkids/kids to colour him.  Believe me, it will be worth it!

Poem for Grandchildren

I did this poem for my grandchildren to give them some insight into my life as a child, but to also share some "Words of Wisdom". You can make a poem for your grandchildren too. I am sure they will enjoy it when they get older (or when their parents - or you - read it to them).

From your Grannie
Your Grannie is someone, who loves you a lot
And in her heart, you will always hold a big spot
But who was I, when I was little like you
What did I do for fun, and did my dreams come true?

When I was born, I was a little bit chubby
I had fair skin, and black hair that was fuzzy
The nurses took one look and said, she looks liked Snow White
And my mother was proud and she said they were right

I grew up in a house, that was pretty small
With five brothers and three sisters, it was always quite full
I didn’t have a lot of toys, because there was no money to buy them
But I always had something to play with, because I used my imagination

School was fun, but days off were better
We always played outside, no matter the weather
Winter meant tobogganing, and skating too
And sometimes we would build a snow fort, that we crawled into

Summer was for swinging, and climbing up trees
And going for swims, at the river down the street
We didn’t have lots of paper, so wrote stories and drew pictures in the sand
We would finish one chapter, then wipe it off with our hand

I was always afraid of heights, and I didn’t like the dark
We had a farmer’s field to play in, but it wasn’t a park
We had to use an outhouse, no real toilet for us
We didn’t have a car, so we walked, biked, or took a bus

We would all sit around, our little black and white TV
Once a year we watched The Wizard of Oz, and in one part I would scream
I dreamed of being a Princess, with lots of beautiful dresses with frills
I wanted to be Cinderella, living in a castle on a hill

Did my young dreams come true, well, not really you see
But I’m not sad about that, no, not in the least
Life isn’t about money, or the things that you want
It’s about health and love, and being happy with what you’ve got

Always be yourself, your friends should like you that way
Put your shyness on the shelf, and speak up when you have something to say
Every now and then, give someone a surprise
And always be willing to compromise

Love your family…and love yourself!

To my Grandkids who truly make me happy!

Love, Grannie