Let’s be honest. There are some pretty snazzy toys on the market these days. It’s tempting to snatch them all for grandchildren, nieces, nephews and the special kiddos in our lives. It feels amazing to give, but if children receive presents every time they are in your presence, they may come to expect more rather than appreciating your love and time.
Still, spoiling is the job of grandparents and an important piece of childhood. Consider these five ideas for spoiling those special children in your lives while reserving material gifts for birthdays, holidays, and other celebrations.
1. Help children learn financial responsibility.
April is Teach Children to Save month. This is a great time to make a trip to the bank with your grandchildren to open an account just for them or to make a deposit. Learning the value of a dollar is a priceless gift.
The Friendship State Bank and other financial institutions host special events for children in April. Friendship employees decorate the branches for Kid$ave Day and have steps making it easy for children to reach the counter.
Additionally, there numerous children’s books focused on savings and financial responsibility. Many are available at your local library or would make a great birthday gift to accompany a savings account deposit. Here are a just a few of the books available.
- Three Cups by Tony Townsley
- A Dollar for Penny:A Math Reader by Julie Glass
- A Chair for my Mother by Vera Williams
- Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Saturday by Judith Viorst
- DK Eyewitness Books: Money by Joe Cribb
- A Girl’s Guide to Money by Nancy Holyoke
2. Do a project together.
Do you bake, crochet, garden, sing, tinker, woodwork, paint, or golf? Whatever you love to do, share your interests with your grandchildren. Not only will they feel closer to you, but they may learn valuable skills they may use and enjoy as adults. And there is no doubt they will remember their time with you when using those skills.
3. Play Games.
Whether you’re playing patty cake, board games, cards or tossing a ball in the backyard, games are a great way to open up and have fun together. Kids are naturally curious and love learning new things including games you may have played as a child.
It may seem simple, but children often have a lot to say. Other children may not be interested and parents may be too exhausted to offer 100% attentiveness. Giving your undivided attention will help them feel valued and loved while also growing their respect for you.
5. Stay in Touch.
Even if you live close, find ways to surprise your grandchildren with special messages. Mail a card, record a short video on your smart phone to send, surprise them with a phone call or facetime or arrange a lunch date.
In an age when we are consumed by messages telling us we need more and love can be bought, let’s get to spoiling children with our love, energy, time and attention.