Having a fun time with grandchildren ages 8-12 – here’s some things to do for grandkids whether they are in town or out-of-town.
Nature hikes, walks anywhere, even around your neighborhood, exploring a creek, observations of nature. Explore several parks together.
This is a wonderful age to take children camping. They do not need as much supervision as younger children (they still need supervision–especially around fires, water, and heights) and can even help with the camping chores.
Let them be completely in charge of the tent, setting it up, keeping it clean, taking it down, packing it away. If they have a buddy along, they can even have their own smaller tent. Be prepared, though, for a sleeping buddy come midnight. Being out in the woods at night has scary noises!
If your idea of camping is the nearest luxury hotel, take them along. Choose a hotel with an indoor pool if the weather is too cool for swimming. Let them experience room service, eating in the “fancy” dining area, and some local events and places. Two days alone with you in a hotel is probably tops for all of you!
If your grandchild has never been on a train, bus, trolley, make certain he/she has these experiences. This is an age where you have to follow the leader–follow the interests your grandchild expresses while trying to expose the child to other interests, too.
Sports & Cultural Events:
If sports are popular and you live in an area where it is possible, attend an event together. Cultural events are popular, too. Make certain your grandchild will be interested in, say the opera, before you go there, however. Interactive science museums are normally still a hit at this age.
Crafts still have an interest, too. It is a good age to teach a child to sew, knit, or crochet if they seem interested and do not know how. Have some art supplies on hand–charcoal, drawing pad, even paints and an easel.
The library, the video rental store, and a music store are great! Try to bring some school lessons to life by visiting a working farm, a historical place, a museum.
Children this age would still like to hear about their roots. Maybe an album set up with old ancestors with stories that can be told and related back to the child would be good. Don’t feel hurt if the child wants to take along a friend at this age. Friends are very important!