Tips for When Kids Vacation at Grandparents
Going on vacation alone can be intimidating for kids, but not as much if they're visiting grandparents. Sam Walter, 3, of Raleigh enjoys his trips with Nana and Grandpa of Raleigh and Big Daddy and Mama Jo of Lumberton. Sam's mom, Lindsey, knows he'll be well cared for and have fun doing things he doesn't get to do at home. But Lindsey also helps the grandparents get ready.
For example, consider suggesting activities your child will enjoy. Mama Jo and Big Daddy usually plan trips to a museum, fire station or library. Nana and Grandpa go to Lake Gaston where Sam can enjoy boat rides and splashing in the water. Bike rides or nature walks with grandparents also can be a special treat.
Times have changed since your parents took care of little ones, so offer a few tips:
• Suggest foods your child likes and dislikes.
• Demonstrate how to buckle and unbuckle your child in his or her car seat (and how to install it in the car if necessary).
• Remind grandparents about wearing helmets when riding bikes and using swimming aids in the water.
• Give instructions for any medications your child may be taking.
• Provide a schedule. While they may not always follow it, they can at least glance it over.
"Don't be uptight about it being your way," Lindsey says. "In reality, they aren't going to stick to the exact schedule you do, and there will be an adjustment when the kids come back home. But they will have so much fun, it's worth it."
Things to Pack
For young children, especially, send along:
• Special "lovie" or blanket
• Family photo
• Outlet protectors
• Doorknob covers
Also see Plan for a Grand Vacation with Grandparents.