activities for grandparents and their grandchildren

This Sandwich Generation granny nanny is already thinking of unique Christmas gifts ideas - like this medieval chess set for my grandkidsWoohoo! My grandkids may be able to trounce me at checkers, I may have to battle hard to win SOME of the time at Carcassonne, but I am the Chess Queen – oops, wait a minute. That was true up till a week ago. My oldest grandson finally tied me in one game and BEAT me in another! Yikes! What's a Grandma to do! Smile big and say GREAT JOB, of course. 🙂  

My younger grandkids are starting to enjoy chess more but they still can't beat me at it. Rather than "let" them win, we looked it up and discovered there are such things as "Chess Handicaps."  Like golf, these handicaps are designed to make chess challenging for both but also give both players a fun chance to win. has some great tips on how to adjust the handicaps based on the number of games won by one player.    We ended up at with Peter Kirby's interesting article, that included the history of chess. We tried a combination of Cheapo (getting to add back a captured piece and placing it anywhere on the board as long as the King is not placed in check or checkmate) and my not having the King's and Queen's pawn. It definitely made things more difficult for me and more enjoyable for him. The game lasted much longer and we both learned a lot more about it.

Then we tried the Cheapo coupled with him getting to have two turns in a row anytime he wanted – and again, not being able to put me in check or checkmate. That actually worked very well. He's won once and we tied twice. and oh my – you should hear us laugh! Hmmm. Seeing them continue to enjoy this game has led to the thought that I might invest in a really nice chess set for Christmas for all of them. Maybe like the one pictured above. 🙂  Or how about this cool – very giant – chess set! 🙂 

Not cheap - but this is definitely a cool looking chess set to share with the grandkids

Or how about these cool chess sets in pink and red. 🙂

This pink chess set is delightful for our granddaughters and perfect for Pink Saturday full of great pink things

This red and white chess set is delightful for grandsons


Whether I go with a new set, or keep playing with our trusty old set, I do love playing board games with my grandkids – both for the fun involved and the great mental exercise we all enjoy. How about you? Do you and your grandkids use handicaps to even out the tougher games a bit? What kind? We'd love to hear!    

P.S. With all the Sandwich Generation issues we juggle, books are a big help, aren't they? Check out this free, online book on chess – Predator at the Chess Board. I've saved the page to my iPhone, along with a Kindle book I bought, 100 Chess Problems for the Rest of Us by T. E. Klemm, to try reading to my grandkids or else, read it myself and teach them what I've learned. 🙂   

This Sandwich Generation Granny Nanny was busy juggling more than just stormy weather this weekIt's definitely been one of THOSE weeks for me and my Sandwich Generation family! A two day heat wave (nice, at first) led to the discovery that our air conditioner didn't work (NOT nice but glad we found out now instead of in the middle of a hotter longer heat wave!). Our refrigerator handle broke off. Seriously! Who ever heard of a fridge handle breaking???? And weather watches and warnings up the wazoo. (Very grateful the brunt of the storms missed us and praying for those who were in harms way!). Major homework tests and term papers and deadlines have hit this week that I have been part of helping with (I'm so glad I'm just helping and don't have to do all the work my grandkids have to do! 🙂 ) And I won't even go into all the disconcerting news headlines that have me stop to pray plenty. Suffice it to say that all of this and more going on this week have kept me busier on things I didn't mean to deal with instead of working on various projects I meant to work on. Then again, isn't that pretty common for all of us in the Sandwich Generation as we juggle merrily away. 🙂 

I did have more time to surf than normal as that is something I can do while waiting (which I spent a LOT of time doing) and it doesn't require much in the way of brains (always good on extra busy weeks! 🙂 ). As a result, I came up with some awesome resources that I've saved into Evernote and wanted to share with you. (See all these clouds – virtual and real – DID have a silver lining! 🙂 ).

LEGO Loving Grandkids and Grandparents, like moi and my grandkids, will love Mary Prather's excellent website resources at Homegrown Learning, and her grand Pinterest board. It's got so many ideas for combining LEGO fun AND educational ideas! 

My grandkids and I are sloooooowly reading about Hudson Taylor, one on one, when they spend the night at my house individually. When we are all together at their house, I am reading to them all about Elisabeth and Jim Elliot using my Kindle app. I really like to encourage my grandkids in mission-minded thinking as I consider all of us to be missionaries for God – some at home and some away from home. So I was thrilled to read the post by Melody of And Here We Go as she has some terrific ideas and some awesome links including one I especially appreciated from Harvest Ministries – with a year's worth of ideas for teaching kids (and grandkids) about the world, interwoven with mission-minded lessons. What a wonderful gift to us all! 

I found the cutest drawing lessons by Rose Gauss that I'm definitely going to use when visiting my younger grandkids. They'll have fun learning and I bet I can even learn to draw finally, too. What do you think? Just click here, then click on each picture to find wonderfully simple directions for drawing each image.

My granddaughter discovered a definite silver lining in her cloud of homework when her computer did not crash from a power outage

And on a stormier note, my daughter's house lost power this week. If my granddaughter had been typing her big paper there, she might have lost it all. We were so grateful she was working on it at my house at the time since I didn't lose power. It reminded me to teach her about "back up, back up, BACK UP" often, often, often – and then we BOTH backed up because I was not practicing what I so frequently preach! Then I discovered that many power companies now offer wonderful apps which may include outage information.  I found ours by checking at their website though I could have typed the company name into the Apple iTunes store search too. And it works great – even better than the website itself for giving info including estimated time to get power restored. Very cool! 

So how about you? What's been keeping you extra busy while juggling the various Sandwich Generation issues of life? Found any silver linings in the midst of the clouds? We'd love to hear! 

Such fun for grandparents - in AND out of the Sandwich Generation - at Grandparents Say It Saturday Linky Party - Do Join in the fun

Beverly's Got tons of cute pink things each Saturday to put a smile on the face of the Sandwich Generation dealing with the issues of caring for the elderly parents and babysitting grandchildren


What a difference a day or two makes to grandparents and grandkids lately, with all the wacky weather changes! Early in the week, my grandkids and I enjoyed what we hope is the last of this year's weird and much too mild winter weather.

The Sandwich Generation granny nanny and grandson had fun in the snow early this week

Three days later, the snow was gone and the tennis racket and balls came out. 

The Sandwich Generation granny nanny and grandson had a blast playing tennis two days later

We're definitely looking forward to some fun in the sun learning more about tennis this year. How about you and your grandkids?

Such fun for grandparents - in AND out of the Sandwich Generation - at Grandparents Say It Saturday Linky Party - Do Join in the fun

Fun for grandparents - in AND out of the Sandwich Generation - at Grand Social


This weekend started with Palm Sunday and, can you believe it? Next Sunday is Easter! I know Easter is a bit early this year but it just seems like time is flying way too fast, even with all the Sandwich Generation issues I keep juggling. 🙂 

I just finished studying the book of Esther and have begun the book of Job. Both are full of encouragement for busy caregivers. So often, caregiving is not the "career" we set out to have. But, for me, it's definitely been a calling from God. One that is easier some days than others. On those days when it doesn't come as easy, for whatever reason (and we can all list about 1000 reasons, can't we?), God's Word is a tried and true blessing to my heart, along with encouraging praise and worship music. I know, that's a frequent chorus you hear at SandwichINK, but it never stops being true – and I pray it never, ever, EVER will!

This week, one of the comforting Bible verses came from James about Job. James 5:11 tells us, "We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord's dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful." Caregiving definitely requires a LOT of endurance. What a joy to know that we are blessed as we endure. And what an excellent reminder to follow in Christ's footsteps, praying LOTS for His compassion and mercy from us to others AND from others to us! And how cool that this Scripture, referring as it does to Job as an actual person, is a grand proof that the book of Job really is a true story! What a fun and vital fact to share with our grandkids! (Yes, I'm as much a Bible geek as a tech geek!  🙂 ). 

Easter blessings to all of you – in AND out of the Sandwich Generation. And for those of you who like corny jokes – and/or have grandkids who are a bit older, used to a bit of slapstick on TV, and don't mind a little humor about Bible stories (don't you love this LOOOONG caveat 🙂 ) – I did enjoy this cute video by the Skit Guys. 

I wouldn't use it with my younger grandkids, but I am going to share it with my older grandboys who will, hopefully, laugh at this AND learn more about Palm Sunday. 🙂 What do you think? 

Fun for grandparents - in AND out of the Sandwich Generation - at Grand Social

The Sandwich Generation granny nanny is joining Thriving Thursday at Serving Joyfully

Faith-Filled Friday for the Sandwich Generation

Spiritual Sundays are full of encouraging and comforting BIble verses and praise music to lift the hearts of the Sandwich Generation

Such fun for grandparents - in AND out of the Sandwich Generation - at Grandparents Say It Saturday Linky Party - Do Join in the fun