19 Unforgettable Activities to do With Grandchildren
Here are over 19+ unforgettable activities to do with grandchildren. These are grandparent tested and grandchild approved!
Be sure and read to the end and check out the comments from other readers who have generously shared even more idea! There are so many fun ideas in the comments!
This post is a love story. It’s about the love between my grandchildren and me. This is the real stuff we do to build an unforgettable bond.
My style of grand-mothering is mostly just hanging out with the girls and doing activities or cuddling on the couch watching a show. Unforgettable activities are anything you spend time doing with your grandchildren.
It’s YOU that makes them unforgettable.
To be an unforgettable grandparent, you need to do memorable things with your grandchildren and I’m going to share some of my ideas.
I’m here to provide the inspiration, motivation, and encouragement to not just be unforgettable but to also form an amazing relationship with your grandchild or grandchildren.
Even if you’re not sure you could ever be unforgettable, I promise you that you already are.
Children may remember some gifts but what they really remember is time with you!
Why Doing Activities with Children is Important
I have worked with children for much in my life. I was a Brownie leader, a cub scout leader, and I ran a teen and children’s program. Here is what I know.
All children adore an adult who will spend time with them in activities that they enjoy.
It really doesn’t matter what you do–it’s that you do something with them. When you put your time, focus, and attention on children they LOVE it.
You can shoot hoops, go for walks, sit and talk, play games, cook food, or anything else you like to do and that you think they’ll like.
Here are the things I’ve been doing to stay connected to my grandchildren pre-covid and during covid.
Fun Activities to Do with Grandchildren
If you are lucky enough to be together, you can find all kinds of things to do. My grandchildren now range in age from 4 to 14.
Creating memorable activities that could be done at home was so much fun. What I really discovered was that everything can be fun with the right attitude.
Find a movie that everyone wants to watch. I do this with my daughter, son-in-law, and three grandchildren. We have fun finding movies that my daughter liked as a kid or new releases.
We put a picnic blanket on the floor with cushions for the kids. There is always popcorn with some candy treats sprinkled in.
It’s even more fun when you dress up to the theme of the movie but that isn’t required every time.
One activity that all three of them loved was painting. I had picked up a set of 30 acrylic paints in a set, a big pack of inexpensive brushes, and heavy duty painting paper.
Supply paper plates and cups of water for painting. A plastic table cloth is helpful too.
It was fun to see how all three girls expressed themselves. Even the baby had fun. I provided the most help to her, but she loved the experience.
All three girls had their own way of painting and creating their works of art. I love encouraging creativity.
While art is my thing, you could totally do this with simple sewing or a baking project.
We had fun doing some puzzles together. Nothing too hard. Again, it was good for all three ages. The baby doesn’t like to do baby things, so she’s always game for what the older girls want to do.
Their favorite was a United States map puzzle and they had fun learning about the states while doing the puzzle.
Making Christmas ornaments
This is next on my list! Here is a post I did that gives lots of ideas for ornaments you can make. I love making things that create memories and I love homemade Christmas ornaments!
This year, in 2020, we didn’t do our annual cookie making party. But one day I was looking at my newest cookie cutter, a Christmas sweater and decided the grandkids and I could do salt dough ornaments.
I used the same paint I had used for a painting activity, a set of 30 acrylic paints and I made the dough ahead of time. They were so much fun to do!
Whether it’s dancing inside or playing outside on the swings, my little ones love fun music.
When the weather was nice, we took the music outside and played on the swing set. I kept the two little girls going, while big sister could swing herself.
You can’t see it but we have a big speaker to play our tunes. Playing outside or dancing to music is a great way for kids to use some energy. We have a blast.
I keep a playlist of their favorite songs on my phone. We play them in the car, while playing outside, and just when we feel like getting silly with some dancing.
My grandchildren love to play video games but I don’t. So, even though they ask me, I always say no. I know, party-pooper for sure. However, some video games make me dizzy, so the girls totally understand.
If you don’t get dizzy like me, your grandchildren would probably love to have you join them.
I did enjoy virtual bowling and the entire family was able to participate in that.
I love to play board games. However, games vary depending on ages and I’ve not been able to find one that works for ages 2 to 12 that they all like!
So, I can play some games with one or two of the children depending on their abilities.
It’s worth trying to find games to play because I think games are good for kids! They learn to follow rules, compete, and practice good sportsmanship.
Teach them to sew or crochet
My seven-year old granddaughter is obsessed with learning to sew and crochet. Her other grandmother got her started on both and she loved doing it.
I found that you can buy kits on Amazon that have projects already cut out, that your little one can sew. Our kit came with plastic and real needles.
Supervision is still needed, especially if there are younger children around.
Sewing and other handcrafts are a valuable skill to know. My little one dreams of the things she will make. In the meantime she is improving her eye-hand coordination and expressing her creativity.
2023 update: My little toymaker is still making her stuffed animals. Now she designs and sews her own!
Unforgettable Outings to Do with Grandchildren
Once a month or so, I like to schedule an activity with a grandchild or two that is more catered to them and what they like to do.
For the most part, anything that involves one-on-one time with me is considered something special by the grandchild. They really do like to hang out with me and go anywhere I suggest.
Over the past few years, the following activities to do with grandchildren have emerged as our favorites.
I’ve also made a note on what I’m calling their TOP-RATED activities. These are activities that they literally count-down the days until we get to do them.
Go to a live theater production
I’m starting with this activity because it truly is my granddaughters’ favorite thing to do.
Instead of presents for birthdays and Christmas, my daughter, their aunt, and I purchase tickets to live productions that we later take them too.
We’ve done Broadway shows, movies at the symphony (it’s a thing here in Houston and the girls and adults all love it.) We’ve done live shows based on favorite cartoons.
Long after other presents are forgotten and who gave them what, the memory of a great show lives on forever. This is definitely a TOP-RATED activity.
Go to an amazing park to play
To a kid, most parks are amazing. Here in Houston, I’ve found a few parks that are memorable that the girls had never been too.
Most of the time, taking the grandkids to a park is a treat enough but when you find a great one it becomes an unforgettable activity to do with grandchildren.
Recently though, I added a small picnic to it to make it even more special.
My grandchildren from 1 to 11 all love going to the park and when they get to go to a special one, it’s even more fun. TOP-RATED
Take a train ride
Train rides are fun! This is a super fun thing to do with grandchildren.
The park near my house has a small train that runs throughout the park. The grandkids love that. In addition, we have a metro rail that runs through town. That’s about as adventuresome as I’ve gotten.
However, there are real trains out there and kids love that too! My sister’s grandchildren love to go on real train rides.
To tell you the truth, I still remember my first train ride as a child. Train rides are memorable!
Take them to meet an author or artist
You can find these events at bookstores, gift stores, museums, or other types of cultural centers. I did this with my oldest granddaughter and she was thrilled.
While children often read books, they don’t really have the concept that real people create the words and art!
Get a museum membership and do frequent but short visits
Going to the museum can be expensive. I purchase a dual membership every year to one museum.
With a dual membership, I can take one grandchild at a time. Because it’s a membership, I don’t feel I have to stay at the museum all day.
It makes it easy and memorable, when you can pop into a museum and just do one or two exhibits.
That way no one gets tired or overwhelmed (ME) and you don’t have to spring for expensive museum snacks.
Take them to a restaurant they wouldn’t normally go to
It’s fun to take the grandkids out to a restaurant they wouldn’t normally go to.
Heck I like that too! My grandchildren are not picky eaters and can usually find something they like anywhere.
If you usually go to diners, try taking them somewhere a little fancier. If you usually eat inside, try eating outside.
Try some different ethnic foods and introduce them to another country’s food. Go somewhere that has things for the kids to do.
Plant a small garden together
Flowers, herbs, or vegetables. Even if you don’t have room for a proper garden, you can put some plants in a pot or two.
I recommend going to the garden store and picking some things that are already growing.
While planting seeds has its benefits, it’s kind of slow for kids. Plus, nurturing seeds along is more work.
Make a little garden together and then later, enjoy it or pick something to use in a meal.
Make a scrapbook with pictures of your experiences
Be sure and take pictures of all your fun and adventures with your grandchildren. I LOVE to look through everything we’ve done together over the years.
To make it more memorable, create a scrapbook together. If you do it online, you can order copies for yourself and your grandchildren as well.
I’ve use Shutterfly and they were easy to use. Sign up for the mailing list to get the best prices!
You can also print out the pictures and paste them into a scrapbook, the old-school way.
Make crafts together
I keep a variety of things for the kids to craft with. Your collection doesn’t have to be extensive but keep the basics on hand.
I keep paper, chip board (like what goes behind pictures in a frame), scissors, markers, glue, pencils, and different things they can embellish their crafts with.
Often, we make cards or photo frames as gifts for family members.
Or they can just draw. I keep a tablecloth with the crafts so I don’t have to worry if they mark on the table. TOP-RATED
Share books from your childhood with your grandchild
I was thrilled when my oldest granddaughter learned to read! Finally, I could share the Little House books, Anne of Green Gables, and A Little Princess.
In addition, I love introducing books to the grandchildren. Reading is still one of my favorite activities and I love having little readers in the family.
We visit libraries and bookstores to get books to read. I’ve even passed down some of my own books for them to read.
As well as books I read myself, I also introduce them to books my children loved reading. It’s hard to believe that Harry Potter has been around that long!
Send postcards from every place you visit
When my own children were small, their grandparents traveled a lot and sent postcards from every location. The kids still have all of these postcards 25 years later!
Now that I’m traveling more, I try to keep up this tradition. When you travel, take addresses and stamps with you to make it easier.
Teach them to do something
Teach them something you like to do. Cook, knit, crochet, play soccer, bake a cake, fish, ride a bike, make friendship bracelets. You get the idea.
Share something you enjoy and teach them to do it too!
Let them help you with something
While kids don’t always like chores, often they won’t mind a bit to help you with a project.
Children of various ages can help clean out a closet, weed a garden, dust furniture, or go grocery shopping.
Take them to a pool and you get in too
This activity has the distinction of being the grandkids favorite activity and my least favorite activity.
They have amazing memories of going to the pools at my apartments. Even though I don’t like getting in the water, for safety reasons, of course I’d get in with the little ones. TOP-RATED
Have grandchildren spend the night
Overnights are a favorite memorable activity for grandkids. This is always a TOP-RATED activity!
Here’s how to Help Grandchildren Feel at Home When They Visit.
Take them out for breakfast the next morning
I don’t make breakfast for myself at home, so I usually take them to my favorite coffee shop. I get my coffee and they get juice or milk and a muffin.
It’s a win-win.
Help grandchildren do something for their parents
On Mother’s Day, I helped the girls make a craft for their mom. It was a big hit and a surprise for their mom who didn’t know anything about it.
Kids love their parents and it’s a big deal for them to be able to do something for their parents. You could also help them cook dinner for the parents, make some cookies, or do a little cleaning if the parents are out.
Tell the grandchildren stories about their Mom or Dad
My little grandchildren love to hear stories about their mom and her siblings when they were little. They love to hear what they liked to do and times when they got into trouble.
Have a camp out
My dad used to put camp outs together for my kids and their cousins. I haven’t attempted this one yet, mostly because I forgot about it until I was writing this post.
My children and their cousins LOVED these campouts. There would always a tent set up and a campfire. The most memorable campout was the night a storm came through and everyone ended up inside.
19 Unforgettable Activities to Do with Grandchildren
Anytime you give to grandchildren is good time spent. Don’t feel like you have to do these kinds of things every week.
Most of these are special occasions. Sprinkle them in through the years and you will create amazing memories with your grandchildren.
Keep showing up my friends,
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Hi, I'm Sara Garska and I'm so happy you're here! My Think Big Life began shortly after I turned 50. Big changes can happen with a small start, an adjustment of thought, or a simple process. Over time, you transform your life into the one you always dreamed of having. As a certified life and weight loss coach, I can help you create a life you love. Click here to schedule a free 50-minute coaching session.
I have 8 grandchildren & 1 baby boy on the way. 7 granddaughters & 1 grandson ranging in ages from 1-10. I am blessed to have them all nearby. We regularly bbsit 3 of them. I loved all the ideas especially the letter game. I’ve shared it with my 6 & 9 year olds & next weekend we are planning do do a letter themed movie & picnic in the living room! Crafts are always a win, coloring, painting & making model cars.Dress up & simple tea parties they all love! We especially like board games & the “hungry hippo” is always a hit for all! We have a new puppy & the kids love to cook & bake. Baking dog treats with cookie cutters are fun as well as baking Christmas candy cane cookies & making slime together! We also enjoy dressing up & attending church/Sunday school together!
These are ALL SUCH WONDERFUL suggestions and ideas!!! 2 of our grands lived near us for their first several years, however have since moved far away. 🥲
We are planning a trip to see them, and will be able to spend many days with them, (oh, and their parents too, lol). We are so excited and I have gathered a few things to take for fun activities!
These suggestions have given me a big list of fun activities, and we can’t wait to visit them. One of their all time favorites was making “blanket tents”. We ALWAYS share “HUG-A-BUGS” which are hugs with shaking back and forth 🥰. We do these at the end of every face-time also! Might sound a little corny, but we don’t mind that, because they ALWAYS remember this ❤️
Thanks again for awesome ideas and your blog! Blessings to you.
I’m sure you are going to have a great visit! Thanks for sharing your own unforgettable experiences. Sara
My five grandkids are older now (14-21). Three of the five have moved to other states within the last year and a half. For Christmas I made each one of them a recipe book of all the things I use to cook and bake for them when we were all together. I put old photos of them and then I wrote a “Recipe for Love,” sharing memories of things we use to do together, fun memories and music we listened to. They smiled and teared up when they read it, because it brought good memories to mind. Now they call me to ask about specifics to recipes. My 15 year old grandson made goulash! Yesterday my 21 year old grandson made stew. The others have done the same. They FaceTime me when they are ready to eat. I can see the smiles, closing their eyes with memory recall, and say “Mmmm”. I know even though I am 1,000 miles away, I am right there I in their hearts!
This is an amazing idea! ❤️❤️❤️ Thank you so much for sharing it–I know there are some grandparents out there that are going to want to do this too! Sara
We have Letter Parties. It helps the younger ones learn their letters and the older ones love it too! We pick a letter in advance and plan a party. Meal planning and grocery shopping are part of the fun.
My kids especially love the letter P! We usually have a Pizza Party Picnic in our Pajamas! My kids love Pineapple on their Pizza but we have Pepperoni too). We picnic on a blanket in the living room and watch a P movie (Pirate, Princess, Puppies, Pinocchio…). The letter C this year was a Camping Christmas Celebration (we Camp inside). The letter E was harder but we had an Elegant Event and the girls loved wearing fancy dresses and all of them loved eating deviled Eggs and Eclairs.
Thank you for this!! Love picking up a few ideas!! I have 18 Grands & spend lots of time with them (ages 2-22). I used to have 1 or 2 at a time to spend a few days with Nana that was just our time together. Now I have a group of 6 stay at a time for a week. Go to the local riding stable to ride horses. It’s a Big hit.
I really appreciate all this info. Hope to stay linked in.
I’ll be the group visits are a blast! Sara
This sounds like so much fun!!! I am going to have to give it a try. ❤️ Sara
I had my grandchildren over for an all day play date with Gran-Gran. We decorated cookies, painted Christmas trees using dot painting, read books, and the favorite of the day was the indoor snowball fight. They were laughing and having such a good time! I wish I could have video taped it because they were cracking me up. They told their parents all about it. I got the snowballs from Marshalls. They are life size and kind of squishy. We never get snow where we live, so this was a great alternative.
Thanks for sharing the snowball idea! We don’t get snow here either. Sara
My two oldest grandchildren live in New Jersey, and I’m on Long Island. Needless to say our time together is always planned.
One of the most memorable times is when the two kids and I make French Toast for breakfast. We set up a whole assembly line starting with breaking and beating the eggs.
The shells go into the “garbage “ bowl, and they continue to add all the ingredients to the batter. When it’s time to cook, they go off to do something else and “Mima” does the frying. (No kids near the hot stove). It’s a blast, and an activity that just the three of us do together!
Get boxes at store and make a fort or 2. Big boxes are best. Boxes of cardboard.
For little kids (and big) make a no bake dessert, bars or energy balls, they love licking off the sticky ingredients! Edible cookie dough is a big hit. Record them telling jokes or stories. Then start your own family you tube channel. You don’t have to share it with the world just the family. Most kids LOVE watching themselves or their siblings being silly or entertaining. Make them email accounts and send notes etc., links to fun online kids stuff.
Thanks for sharing! These are such great ideas.
My grandchildren that I watch are 2 and 6. They love playing big bad wolf. They hide in the pop up tents that we have and I try to blow their house in.
Today I took them to a big hill near our house so they could go sledding. I took some video of them climbing the hill and then going down that they can watch over and over again.
We also like to work on puzzles together or playing cards and other games.
Once a month we have our granddaughter spend the night. We get her favorite food, watch a movie and eat popcorn.
Thanks for sharing your experience of making your own unforgettable activities with your grandchildren. It’s sounds super fun–can I come play at your house??? Sara
As a retired teacher, I volunteer one afternoon a week in my grandson’s classroom. I love being in the classroom again, his teacher and students get help and my grandson loves me being there. I drive 55 miles each way – and it’s worth every mile!
That definitely qualifies as an unforgettable activity to do with your grandson! Thank you for sharing 🙂
These are WONDERFUL ideas! Thank you!
Teach them to knit or help them sew something simple.
Baking or cooking with my grandchildren is a great way to enjoy together.
This is a really great list
Make a cushion fort with them. Serve lunch inside it. My grandkids love that!
Such fun! Thanks for sharing!
Tea party with real tea cups. Hot chocolate (tea), miniature marshmallows (sugar) and cream. Dress up optional. Play with manners. No slurping, belching, elbows on the table ,on maybe a few and don’t forget the pinky in the air.
That is so awesome!
My grand daughters love to have tea parties with real dishes and dress up in old
bridesmaid dresses. Great memories.
My grandson and granddaughter have been having tea parties for years!! We have fancy tea pots and teacups with saucers …. And a tiered silver stand for the cookies!!! They love this!!! We also do all kinds of crafts…. So much fun!!
I love the tea party idea as an unforgettable activity! Thank you for sharing with us.