Summer Sleepovers with the Grandparents

By: Janet Walker

School is out for the summer and that means some grandkids and grandparent time! You want to make the most of your time together, create lasting memories and deep loving relationships. Planning a sleepover can be a little daunting sometimes and you want them to enjoy their time so that they look forward to the next sleepover. In preparation, you need to consider what activities interest both the grandchildren and grandparents. The best activities which lead to great memories are those that everyone enjoys.

Here are 10 ideas for activities with your grandkids (and ones that I enjoy with mine):


Craft Box. Include coloring books, markers, crayons, colored pencils, paper, stickers; whatever you think the kids will like.

Board games. Board and card games are an opportunity for you to help your grandchild learn to be a good sport and play fairly. It’s also a great way to get the kids off the electronics and video games.

Sports Activities. Anything that gets them outside and running around. Soccer, basketball, baseball are good activities that can be enjoyed by all.

Family Photo Albums. Bring out the photo albums and tell stories and history about family members. This can help build bonds to family members they have never met. Tell funny stories about the grandkids parents when they were young.

Balloon Volleyball. Have players bat a balloon back and forth while keeping it from hitting the ground. To make it even more interesting, add more balloons.

Breakfast for Dinner. Pancakes, waffles or french toast doesn’t just have to be for breakfast.

Video Games. A lot of bonding can take place over a video game. This is where the kids can teach the adults how to play the game.


Indoor Camp Out. Pitch a tent, roll out sleeping bags, make s’mores.

Turn on the Music. Tune in the kids favorite music and let them dance away.

Favorite Movie. Who doesn’t love to snuggle up with a good movie? No matter their age, movies are always a perfect wind down activity before bedtime.
On a more practical note, make sure you have:

Favorite Snacks. When kids get hungry or fussy, a go-to snack that is healthy is a must have. Some favorites are: apple slices, cheese sticks, yogurt or fruit.

Sleepover Box. A Sleepover Box is a plastic box with a lid that holds toiletries and other items essential to spending the night with grandma and grandpa. Here are some basic items to start with: toothbrush, toothpaste, brush, comb. From there you can add items each sleepover that are special to each grandkid.

Health Insurance Card. A copy of the front and back of their grandchild’s health-insurance card. You don’t want to think about it, but if anything happens, you need to be prepared.

After the first few overnights, your grandchildren will view your home as an extension of their own. With that kind of comfort zone established, they’ll be sleeping soundly, and so will you.


Janet Walker recently retired in November of last year with her husband of 42 years. She is the mother of two daughters and four grandchildren. Janet is enjoying retirement life in Sun City West and spending more time with family.

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