The Covid 19 Pandemic has trampled through parts of two school years thus far, wreaking havoc on classroom learning and stressing everyone concerned: parents, teachers and students.
Kids miss normal social interaction with friends, the in-class relationships and the face to face instruction they’re used to. Many have a very difficult time sitting in front of a screen, listening to the distance instruction and then following up with their assignments on their own. Parents are struggling to work from home and also support their kids learning during this difficult time. No one doubts that this period in history will reflect a loss of high-quality educational experiences for our kids.
Grandparents to the Rescue
Here’s where grandparents can step in and give much-needed support in a wide variety of learning activities and projects. Part of our challenge is to stay connected with our grandkids when we can’t visit in person. This sad situation can be turned for good as we look for ways to support educational activities from a distance.
Glance through the suggestions below and see if something pops out at you: the perfect way to meet the learning needs of your grandkids based on their age, interests and talents.
Books are always a wonderful way to promote learning and create meaningful interactions between reader and listener. What does your grandchild love this very moment? Dinosaurs? A certain television or movie hero? Space and Planets? Whatever it is, there are most assuredly books to provide more information and fun experiences for a young reader based on their current interests.
Books make wonderful gifts, but in today’s easy-to-use technology, grandparents can do live read-alouds via a phone chat. It’s not quite as cozy as sitting side by side, but it’s a close second. Your lively read of a grandchild’s favorite book will be a hit.
You are probably already aware of the vast array of high-quality learning toys available in today’s market. There are toys to promote math understandings, science skills and literacy. The best toys are those that require a high degree of interaction—not those merely observed.
Magazine subscriptions are the obvious gift here and there are many good ones according to your grandchild’s age and interests. But there are other subscription packs for kids such as monthly science kits, craft kits, thematic kits with books and activities and even subscriptions for kids’ meals.
If you know your grandchild loves to draw and paint, why not put together an artist’s kit of your own and send it along? Or maybe your grandchild is just learning to write letters and numbers. Put together a writer’s kit complete with lots of paper, pens, markers, scissors, a stapler, envelopes and stickers. Your grandkids will love the fact that you took some time and effort to support a current interest.
Sharing a Skill
Are you a gourmet cook? Do you write stories? Are you an avid gardener? If you are good at something, you can find a way to share that interest with your grandkids. If you have a green thumb, why not put together a little gardening kit for the grandkids and be sure to add your expertise via a home-made video or a picture chart of how to plant, water, provide light, etc.
If you know how to build a bird house or paint a picture, you can share your knowledge and send along some materials so your grandkids can try their hand. Think of the fun you’ll have creating a project and making sure your grandchild can enjoy it, too.
We grandparents are always looking for ways to enrich our relationships with our beloved grandchildren. They will appreciate your efforts to stay in touch with them and keep both academic and hands-on learning a high priority in their day to day growth.