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Travel activities for grandparents and their grandchildren as well as the elderly great-grandparents and the younger parents in the family all at once. Have you ever done that? I know several families who enjoy taking vacations together. They often have three or four generations headed to Disneyworld or off on a cruise. Truly a Sandwich Generation trip! This can be a lot of fun but plenty of advance preparation goes a long way to ensure that.
One of the best gifts for the elderly great-grandparents is to plan well enough that a plane trip combining the grandkids and grandparents goes fairly peacefully. If it’s only a short hop, it’s not that difficult. A two hour flight gets a bit trickier and an all-day trip including a layover can be quite wearing on both age groups. One idea that I saw put into practice recently can be a big help. I met a mom who was traveling alone with three small children under the age of 5! She told me she always heads for a Dollar store, followed by Wal-Mart or Target. She had enough tiny surprises for each of her children to open one per hour. She popped these out every hour, and supplemented them with little snacks in between. She even had a few extras to share with the grandchild who was traveling with me. The result was happy kids and a fairly relaxed mom. Some ideas for these treats include:
- Age appropriate coloring books/activity books
- Washable crayons
- Washable or invisible, non-toxic markers and/or paint
- Tiny animals
- Tiny people
- Tiny purses to hold the tiny toys
- Molding product that doesn’t leave residue, such as Silly Putty©
- Travel games – both electronic Travel games like the Leapster or Nintendo DS as well as non-electronic Travel word game pads – I’ve found Tic-tac-toe and Hangman
- New books to read to them
- Kids' activity magazines
The novelty and element of surprise make these gifts extra special, leading to pleasant activities for grandparents and their happier quieter grandchildren. This, in turn, results in the wonderful gifts from us Granny Nannies and Pappies to our elderly parents and our grandchildren's parents of peace and quiet.