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Planning Retirement Online

Busy summer for grandparents
June 2005


Amazon book - Jakers activity book  

This summer, more grandparents than ever are going to be spending time caring for their grandchildren, according to recently compiled figures from TV children’s programme, Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks.

  • There are 13.5 million grandparents in the UK - an all-time high - and recent estimates reveal that they provide some 60% of childcare in the UK.

  • Over 90% of first-time mothers get help with their first child from their mothers.

  • Government figures show that the economy would lose out to the tune of ?1.2bn if childcare was not provided by grandparents.

It’s not just the numbers: recent research by the Grandparents Association has revealed a vital mentoring role, teaching verbal and reading skills to the new generation, conversing with them in an adult way and taking the time to explain new ideas with them.

What to do, where to go with the grandchildren

  • Storytelling: According to research by the Grandparents Association, pre-school children identified laughing with and talking to their grandparents as the ‘best’ thing about them.

  • Projects: Start a long-term project such as planting sunflower seeds in a paper cup filled with earth. You can transplant them during another visit. Or start a scrapbook collecting together mementos from your outings together.

  • Cooking: Children love getting into a mess in the kitchen - especially if there's a mixing bowl to lick or chocolate to try! Share some of your favourite recipes and be prepared for spills.

  • Games: Board games offer social interaction, fun and development of the mind. Grandparents keen to get involved could look at introducing one of their old favourites e.g. checkers, drafts or monopoly.

  • Outings: Not just a trip to the park. Organise fishing excursions, boat rides, art gallery, aquarium. Try the library for leaflets on places to go. Get to a local farm. Click on:  to find a farm near you to visit.

  • Museums: Call the museum and discuss your grandchildren, their ages, and their interests to check if a museum is suitableClick on  to find a museum suitable for kids near you.

  • Videos: OK. Enough of all this activity. Time for a rest. If you run out of videos for children, try the local charity shop.

The Grandparents Association  has available online:

  • The Grandparents' Treasure Chest: A Journal to Memories to Share with Your Grandchildren ~ Edward Fays

  • Totally Cool Grandparenting: A Practical Handbook of Tips, Hints & Activities for the Modern Grandparent ~ Leslie Linsley

For a full list of places to entertain grandchildren visit:  or call 0845 456 3456 for a free copy of the Enjoy England Holiday Planner



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