Bonding with Family – Near and Far

October 11th, 2015

FAMILY – Children and Grandchildren – Our Greatest Treasures

Throughout history families normally lived together, fusing, bonding as a whole. Children developed family ties and strong roots. The same estate – property, house, and business often provided the entire family with a place to live as well as a family income. Today in our global world however, families do not live nearby as they did in centuries past.

If circumstances force us to live long distances apart from our children and grandchildren, does that means we have to give up the closeness we would love to share with the ones dear to our heart? By no means! We are an integral part in your children’s and grandchildren’s life. Distance might make it slightly more challenging – but it can also make it a lot of fun.

This blog will be a way to share some of the unique ways in which we can strengthen relationships, form strong bonds and stay connected to children and grandchildren we hold so dear to our hearts.

When my children were growing up we lived a military life and lived far from family. Now that my children are grown I have grandchildren that live long distances away. I am sure many families face the same challenges. I will share some ideas that can help us stay close to the children in our lives – whether they live near or far.

I hope you enjoy this blog and I welcome your input and ideas.

Let’s have Fun!

Love,

Mimi

So, what will we do today, Mimi?

October 11th, 2015

I am not sure how often I hear the question: “So, what will we do today, Mimi?” It thrills me to know that when our grandchildren visit they know there will be something different about today. In some way their visit will be fun.

So what will we do today? Perhaps we will start with a story to spark their imagination. One of my favorite books is called Jillian Jiggs by Phoebe Gilman, available at Amazon

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Jillian Jiggs is a story about a little girl, gifted with lots of energy and a delightful imagination. Jillian plays and creates one game after another, all along turning her room into a huge mess.

I hope we all have a little of that open, child-like imagination left in us when we play with the children in our lives. A child’s imagination is truly a treasure.

A poem beautifully written by Lous Stevenson on the topic of child’s play and imagination is entitled:

A Good Play

We built a ship upon the stairs
All made of the back-bedroom chairs,
And filled it full of sofa pillows
To go a-sailing on the billows.

We took a saw and several nails,
And water in the nursery pails;
And Tom said, “Let us also take
An apple and a slice of cake;”—
Which was enough for Tom and me
To go a-sailing on, till tea.

We sailed along for days and days,
And had the very best of plays;
But Tom fell out and hurt his knee,
So there was no one left but me.

Rummaging through an old attic and finding things to make-believe with is a great way to pass a rainy afternoon at grandma’s house. But you don’t need an old attic to create this sort of enjoyment.

I have created a basket with a liner titled “imagination.” The basket is filled with dress up clothes of all sorts. Old Halloween costumes, used kitten-heel shoes, pirate hats and tulle to create anything the imagination may come up with.

A great way to add to your own basket:

  • Yardsales,
  • Second Hand Stores
  • Your own closet and attic

COLLECT:

  • Sheets, towels, strips of fabric
  • Older clothing stored, not used
  • Halloween costumes no longer used
  • Fashion Jewelry
  • Paper plates, ribbon, and silk flowers

I give the children time to use their imagination and just watch in amazement as they create their own stories for hours on end.

Don’t forget to take lots of pictures.

Have fun!

Mimi

Please, can we Skype Mimi?

October 11, 2015

SKYPE  –  A great way to stay in touch!

Skype is a wonderful way to share special moments with grandchildren and loved ones in general. – But I am not speaking of staring bored at one another… no… We can have fun with Skype.

Today I’ll touch just on the basics, but I will visit this topic often and add many new ideas and activities to have fun with Skype.

If you have a computer it makes it quite easy and a basic account is free. You can call and chat as long and as often as you wish. The only cost is a bit of your time. The rewards are endless!

If you already have a Skype account, you may know and cherish time spent in this way. If you don’t, there is no better time than now.

Here is the link:

http://www.skype.com/en/

Today I will call little Addie and Declan on Skype. My plan is to let them talk, sing, play, and dance. I will enjoy watching them and I know they always enjoy seeing me. For children who are young and don’t have a chance to see you often, this is a great way for them to stay familiar with you. They see your face, hear your voice. You can laugh and play together even with the physical distance, you can stay close.

Sometimes we play Hide-and-Seek, other times I listen to Addie sing. There is always sometime to do. During my time on Skype today, I plan to read a story.

Depending on the age of the child, you can make it as simple or as elaborate as you wish. A board book, short and sweet would be perfect for baby or toddler. For older children you can lengthen the time and complexity of the story. The most important thing is for all of you to enjoy the experience. Children’s attention span may be shorter while reading on Skype,

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?     Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?  by Bill Martin available on Amazon

Addie is two years old and has a special book she likes to “read”. She has memorized the words and feels rather big when she “reads” to me. So I will pull out my version of Brown Bear and most likely she will get excited and she will look for her own. So together we will read “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see….”

It only takes a moment to make a child smile.

Let’s have fun!

Love,

Mimi

Some fun books, links and ideas:

Flat Grandma
by Edith Andersen (Author), Valerie Boutyette (Illustrator)
, available on Amazon

Flat Grandma

Grandma Skype: A Heartwarming Children’s Book 

by Carmella Levi (Author), Nurit Serfaty (Illustrator), available on AmazonGrandma Skype

My Grandma Lives In The Computer by JaNell Lyle (Author), available on Amazon

My Grandma Lives In the Computer