A few ideas for grandparents or parents

Janis CoxFollowingAug 6 · 4 min read

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash Screens serve a purpose but many times the kids are on them too long.

When grandkids come to visit, do you panic and wonder what to do with them? Here are …. tips to help you.

Keeping kids off screens is not easy.

The fascination of the bright lights and rewards given can pull them into too many hours away from play — real play.

Here are a few ideas to break the habit of screens.


I have never found a grandchild who didn’t like to make muffins or banana bread. Measuring the ingredients and pouring the batter into the muffin pan join fun and learning together. And of course, the reward of eating the baking makes me smile.

Hide and go seek

A tried and true activity for young and old. Find that perfect spot and then be quiet. It’s a good time to catch your breath.


Sidewalk chalk. Can’t do without it. Let their creativity flow. Have them draw pictures of themselves. Copy the shadow of someone. Draw a village with roads, houses, stores. You can even make an exercise route.

Here are my grandchildren making their first course.

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Making the sidewalk chalk course.
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Finished course. Rules for following: hopping, backwards motion, skipping, following the instructions.


Watercolours are my favourite. Put out a pallet of watercolours, water and paper and let them create. Forget the colouring books. Children need to experiment.

Let them create.

Markers are also great. Bright colours are the best. My Tombow markers fascinated my granddaughter. They are special and only for time with grandma. They are expensive. But whatever type available, have special ones at grandma’s house.

Have them draw you a picture for you to colour. There is something exciting for a child when you colour their creations.

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My grandson drew the picture. I painted it.

Free creation using markers or paint

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Granddaughter experimenting with drawing what she sees. I love the fingers and thumbs.

Scissors, glue, tissue paper, coloured paper. See what they can create.

This is the best recipe I have found for this versatile product. Children can make many unique creations from this home-made product.

1 cup water
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
Food colouring


Mix dry ingredients in a bowl
Add water and oil and food colouring ( I learned you could use Koolaid but I didn’t have any.)
Cook over medium heat on the stovetop.
When it starts to come away from the sides it is done.
Remove from heat and put on wax paper. — watch out it is hot.
This is the best part. Start working the dough.

You can find how to make a turtle with playdough.Creative Saturdays – Tadeo Turtle Playdough – by Janis Cox.I don’t know about you but I love playdough. I loved it so much when my kids were small that I played with them every…www.janiscox.com

You can also make a regular dough that can be baked, cooled and painted.

Pipe cleaners
Have some on hand so that your grandchildren can make endless characters.


Always have some on hand for quiet times.

And encourage them to make their own books.

Mazes and motion

Use anything outdoors to make mazes. Ropes. Pylons. Chairs. Have them follow the leader. Choose how to move through the maze.

I hope to give you more ideas in the coming months.

Janis is a writer, podcaster and author/illustrator.

She has written a number of books. Her first two books were children’s books. Awarding winning books, Tadeo Turtle and The Kingdom of Thrim are sure to captivate young and old alike. Her books can be found at AuthorJanisCox on Amazon.


What Can You Do to Keep Kids Busy, Active, and off Screens?
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