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By:  Darlene Zagata






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Learning Together


Most grandparents have a natural flair for being creative when it comes to crafts of one type or another. I'll admit that I'm not really the creative type; I'd rather buy than make, but even I have been known to whip up an exploding volcano, or make a nifty needlepoint plaque every now and then. So, if you're working on crafts for those holidays that always seem to be right around the corner no matter what time of the year it is, why not get the grandkids involved. You can teach them to make presents for others, and to make things for themselves.

Children are naturally inquisitive and will enjoy learning something new. There are several types of projects that you and your grandchildren can try your hand at, depending on where your interests lie. Grandmothers may want to try baking cookies with the grandchildren using unique and fun shaped cookie cutters, or bake and decorate a cake together. Needlepoint and rug making are also great ways to spend the day, and create a handmade gift for someone special to cherish. Grandfathers may try teaching grandchildren how to make a crafty gift from wood. Picture frames, small tables, napkin holders and other wood items make excellent gifts and help the child to learn a craft that can be useful throughout life. Grandmothers certainly aren't limited to the kitchen, nor are grandfathers designated to the garage. Grandpap might be a better cook than Grandma, and she might be refinish the furniture. So, just pick what you like to do and let the kids give you a hand.

Pottery is another wonderful craft to learn. Some beautiful projects can be created with pottery. Painting is something else that you may want to consider getting your grandchildren involved with, if they appear to be interested. Don't forget about gardening, also. When the weather permits, you can keep your house clean and your grandchild occupied by allowing him or her to assist you with the upkeep on your garden. Even if you don't have any interests or skills in a particular area, you may want to think about taking a class with your grandchild, if he or she is old enough to learn a particular hobby. The learning process continues throughout our lifetimes and there is always something new that we can develop an interest in. If you are retired and have the time, taking a class might turn out to be perfect for you. It's a wonderful way to spend constructive time with your grandchild, keep you close, and learn something new together.

If you already have a particular hobby that you like to work at, try to get your grandchildren involved, too. You'll find that it can be a fun and rewarding experience for not only your grandchildren, but for you as well. Growing and learning together can produce many rewards. Young children will remember the time spent with their grandparents and what they were taught. They will probably go on to teach their children and grandchildren the same things that you taught them. That is reward enough. Before involving your grandchildren in a hobby, project, or class, you should be courteous and consult their parents first, to make sure it's alright with them. Although most parents wouldn't object to their children spending quality time with their grandparents and learning a hobby, it is always best to discuss it with them first, in order to address any concerns that they may have. Once you have their approval, you and your grandchild are on your way to a fun, family learning experience.





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