educational activities for grandparents and their grandkids

My grandkids enjoyed creating a one room house ala Abraham Lincolns first homeThe online Minecraft game continues to be the most popular thing going in our Sandwich Generation homes this week! My grandkids are currently building tree houses and, WOW! They look GRAND! With the fun, comes new cause for sparring, though. And, as always, that leads this grandma to research educational uses to nudge them in positive play activities.

It's not that easy. They'd rather do free play in their worlds than directed play. But if it's a choice between NO Minecraft time this afternoon or directed, they will usually choose the latter. 

One idea I had this week was to have them listen to their homework, including the timeline they are working on, and pick something from those subject to build online.

Since we are studying the major events preceding the Civil War, with that topic coming next week, one grandchild chose to recreate Abraham Lincoln's one-room home in Kentucky where he was born. Then he and his brother each started working on the much larger home President Lincoln lived in many years later, complete with a three-hole outhouse. He did a great job and we ALL learned new facts about homes back then (I had never heard of an outhouse having multiple seats – had you? 🙂 ).

One of the grandchildren tried to put a "burning fireplace" in his but his house "burned down." That gave us the chance to talk about fire safety in the real world, as well as learn the tricks to building a fireplace that burns safely in a Minecraft world.

After much practice my grandchildren figured out how to make a fireplace that did not burn their Minecraft house down

The youngest grandson decided to work on the various types of an ocean floor. It was very simplistic but we discussed the different types as he worked, and hopefully helped to cement the information into his brain a bit tighter. 

These turned out to be fun projects for all of us, though I doubt we'll do them more than once a week. And frankly, I always prefer one-on-one for something like this. It makes for fewer distractions and getting sidetracked. Still and all, I was quite pleased with our first "educational foray" into the fun world of Minecraft.

How about you? Have you tried using Minecraft for educational purposes? Got any helps, hints, tips, or links to share with us? 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

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

Hip Homeschool Hop has great resources for grandparents and grandchildren - especially if you help with their homeschooling

A Panda is cute but a Webkinz Panda is one of those stuffed animals that is cute and a gift that will be fun and educational for your grandchildren all year longThis year continues to have intriguing weather. We went from snow warnings that fizzled to gorgeous sunny skies with chilly temps that are supposed to warm every day til we hit the 70s then shoot back down. In the meantime, my grandkids and I thoroughly enjoyed the extra playtime outside today and are looking forward to roller skating fun along with a possible trip to the park tomorrow.

My back is doing OK but,understandably, I'm really baby-ing it. So today we spent much of our outside time playing "walking ball tag" meaning I would only walk while they could run to their hearts content. 

I was rather wistful about it all til God reminded me that I am in my upper 50s – almost 60, GASP! And here I'm still able and willing to run – literally – most of the time. So I can't complain about a couple of weeks of downtime, that's for sure. 

When it was time to head inside, an old favorite – Webkinz – beckoned to the grandkids providing a grand help for me. They don't play it as much as they used to, with so many other sites they enjoy as well. But when they go there, they do enjoy it just as much as ever. 

I noticed Webkinz has made a bunch more changes! They've added even more interesting challenges for kids. I liked that they got rid of their map that was so confusing. I'm not super crazy about the new way they are doing the map and the boys bypassed it totally to head straight for their old fave, checkers. I actually worked through that particular challenge and found it a tad bit difficult. Then again, I suspect kids can handle better than me.

Overall, though, I still give Webkinz an A+ for our grandkids and have already ordered new Webkinz stuffed animals for all my grandkids. Those will probably end up being Valentine gifts BUT the codes will go in earlier for some of them to ensure their sites don't expire. One nice change they've made over the years is that if they do accidentally expire, Webkinz now holds it for them and restores it when you add another pet. And you DEFINITELY want to keep their older accounts because starting over is much more difficult than it used to be. 

All in all, though, it's a fun and safe online place for our grandkids and us to enjoy. How about you and your grandchildren? Do you play the Webkinz tournament games with them – locally and/or long distance? Got any other fun and safe websites for the grandkids. We'd love to hear.

Cute Webkinz stuffed plush animals like this Webkinz bengal tiger are fun to play with and have the perfect autumn fall colors

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


Happy Veterans_Day from the Sandwich Generation granny nanny via Casper WY photoHAPPY VETERANS DAY – SandwichINK salutes all the brave men and women in years past and present and future who put their lives on the line for the sake of our freedom – and we salute their families – wives, children, moms, dads, grandparents and more! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Happy Veterans Day 2011 from SandwichINK for the Sandwich GenerationHere are some interesting facts and resources for educational activities for grandparents and grandchildren, starting with a list of famous veterans – some will intrigue us grandparents, like Elvis Presley and Pat Sajak, while others will thrill our grandkids, like Dr. Suess. Check it out:

Famous Veterans per Virginia Kids

Actors & Entertainers

  • Drew Carey
  • Gene Hackman
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Elvis Presley
  • Pat Sajak
  • Charlton Heston
  • Chuck Norris
  • Montel Williams
  • Jim Lehrer

Sports Icons

  • Willie Mays
  • Yogi Berra
  • Roberto Clemente
  • Jim Mora
  • Ted Williams
  • Jackie Robinson
  • David Robinson

Political Figures

  • George Bush
  • Ronald Reagan
  • John F. Kennedy
  • Richard Nixon
  • Bob Dole


  • Dr. Seuss
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald

Virginia Kids also has cool coloring pages with historical pictures for our grandkids to use online.

And be sure to check out this Virginia government site with a great pdf booklet for teachers, which would work well for grandparents and grandkids as well, complete with fun coloring pictures, how to fold a flag, and fascinating info about veterans.

Here's a fun coloring picture with a cute country and very patriotic snowman clipart, just waiting for you to print out for your grandkids:

Autumn is bliss but snow is already hitting several sandwich generation families - thus happy veterans day with this cute snowman


I hope you enjoyed these fun ways for the Sandwich Generation to teach and share patriotism and respect for veterans on this Veterans Day 2011. Have a blessed time together with your grandkids. 🙂 

My grandkids love their webkinz stuffed tiger and other animals and you can buy webkinz online easily - just click here

Do I have an interesting and educational website for grandparents and your grandchildren! I can't take all the credit, though. I discovered this from Sue when visiting for Rednesday a while back. I'm so glad she shared this with me and I'm so enjoying sharing it with you! "What is it," you ask, with baited breath? 


"What's that?"

It's a live, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, interactive African wildlife safari via website, complete with manned live video cameras that provide stereo sound and night vision. It's a great educational opportunity for our grandkids. For those of us caring for elderly parents, it can be an intriguing "show" to share with them as well. And it's just plain fascinating!

I do have to warn you, though, it does require patience. Sometimes you'll see more than at other times. I'd recommend checking it out yourself several times and get a feel for what are the best times. But overall, it's intriguing and educational for grandparents and grandchildren alike. AND they even offer recorded video highlights of some of the best animal encounters, like the very fascinating Cheetahs that are hopefully showing in a video in the top right column (can you tell I've been having blog/video issues!! – If the video isn't showing in the top right column, just click here.) 🙂

The webkinz stuffed wild animals like this crocodile are great for snuggling with while watching Africam

So grab your grandkids, scoop up their wild animal Webkinz stuffed animals like the Tiger Snake and the Crocodile, and settle down in front of the computer for some real live wildlife for the Sandwich Generation

Webkinz stuffed animals like this cute Webkinz giraffe are a lot of fun for the grandkids and its easy to buy webkinz like this online - just click here