If a grandparent has a skill which they can pass on to their grandchild, February is a good month to do so: there are still many long, dark evenings ahead.
It can be any skill from tying shoelaces to whistling, to skimming a flat stone across the water! Think of card tricks, card games, knitting, making model airplanes, gardening, sewing, simple carpentry or baking — in fact anything that takes the child’s interest!
Sewing can be practised with an older child, using a polystyrene tile and a thick blunt needle.
Later, a rectangle of card with holes punched around the edges can be used, with a favourite picture glued to the centre.
Tools can be kept in a cutlery box. Depending on the age and maturity of the child, the child’s toolbox may include a small hammer, nails, pincers, screwdrivers, a tenon saw, heavy card and light wood.
Grandparents usually have more time and patience than parents to spend long hours playing card games and passing on the games they remember playing themselves.
How about playing: Pairs, Beggar my Neighbour, ’45’, Hearts, Clock Solitaire, Pelmanism or whatever was popular in your own family. Knitting and crochet are learned quickly with one adult and one child. Thicker wool and needles yield quicker results. A doll’s cot blanket or a scarf for teddy can be a good start.
Grandparents along with the children enjoy the traditional rhymes and jingles. It gives a wonderful sense of continuity to sing a song to your grandchild that you remember your grandparent singing to you. There is a helpful list of 100 things you can teach your grandchildren at www.grandparents.com