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Welcome back to Part 2 of the SandwichINK review of Toad Cottages and Shooting Stars – a Grandma’s Bag of Tricks, by Sharon Lovejoy. This fun book is full of “130 wonder-filled grandchild-friendly activities” that are great for grandparents and their grandchildren. It has ideas for grandkids close by AND those who live a long distance away. It even includes some fun ideas that can be used as easy crafts for seniors alone or in conjunction with their great grandkids, including a delightful section on birds, bird feeding and even bird words! My mom, and her favorite Kentucky Red Cardinal birds are definitely going to have fun with this section.
What is a Toad Cottage you might ask? It’s a sweet little home your grandkids and you can enjoy making for the helpful toads in your yard. As she puts it, “by helping your grandchild create a toad cottage, you’ll make life easier for the toad and open little eyes to one of the most helpful creatures in a garden!” And think of the delightful family memories you’ll be adding to your sweet stockpile as well!
Ms. Lovejoy shares my love of finding dress-up clothes at Goodwill but has taken it a step further by adding the great idea to buy fabric swaths that can be used by our grandkids to wrap around themselves and turn them into everything from shawls and skirts to super hero capes. Such a simple idea but one I hadn’t thought of! I’m going to send some of those to my long distance grandkids to add to their dress up collection as well as keeping some here for my super hero grandboys.
She really loves fairies or as she puts it, “faerie fun” with her grandchildren and has several ideas for faerie gardens, a fairy house, etc. That’s partly what gave me the fun idea to exploring my grandkids trees, which led to the fun army adventures with their army toys for kids on Tuesday. 🙂
She has a section specific to long distance grandparents, plus many of the ideas in the rest of the book can be tweaked a bit to share with long distance grandkids as well. I noticed one idea that I’m going to pass on to my senior mom, who is already so good about writing the great grandkids and sending birthday cards and gifts regularly.
My senior mom sometimes sends stationary, pre-addressed envelopes, and stamps to an older grandchild or two to help them write her. Ms. Lovejoy sparked my creative brain by suggesting that we buy blank postcards from a stationary store, adding stamps and pre-addressed stickers to these to make it doubly easy for both the sender and the receiver. I called the post office and found that they still sell blank postcards already stamped. VERY nice!
That would make it so easy to invest in some cute return address labels with the names and addresses of two of my senior moms, pop them on the post cards, and send those to the grandkids to easily decorate and mail back to their great-grandmothers. It will be a sweet gift from us to both the grandkids and the senior relatives AND teach the grandkids important lessons of writing personal mail to others, plus showing love, caring and kindness for the elderly parents and relatives in their family. And won’t those sweet seniors be thrilled with all the pictures, postcards, and mail!
There are so many other fun ideas for the Sandwich Generation, caring for elderly parents and helping with the grandkids – near and far, including one that is specific to autumn, fall, and scarecrows! (Those leaves that are falling down around us really have me excited about autumn, can you tell? 🙂 ) But I’m going to save that one for next month!
P.S. If you’d like to get Toad Cottages and Shooting Stars for yourself and start having fun with all the great ideas as well as coming up with even more on your own, just click here. 🙂