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Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Great Gift Kids Can Make for a Grandparent

Do you have a loved one who lives in a nursing home or assisted living facility? We do, and we know it is truly difficult to come up with gift ideas for birthdays and holidays.

Food baskets, baskets of flavored teas and coffees, fruit baskets. These used to be popular favorites for my ROCpoppa's grandmother. But in a nursing home, food is provided and/or monitored. I thought a brightly colored, warm blanket might be a good idea. Something to cheer up her room. But it seems like extra "things" are not the best options anymore. There is a lack of storage space for things like extra blankets or even for additional clothing. A lack of wall space for framed photos or prints. A lack of surfaces for knick-knacks. A lack of floor space for plant-stands and the like. UGH! So what is left?

My ROCpoppa came up with an amazing gift idea for his grandmother: time we can spend together. Novel concept, huh? A non-material gift that truly came from the heart.

Did you ever make one of those coupon books for your parents when you were younger? Coupons for an extra hug, doing the dishes, cleaning your room, or taking out the trash? Well, we used that as a basis and came up with 12 activities - one for each month - that we can do together during visits to the nursing home. We wrote them out on pieces of card stock, the kids decorated them, and then I bound the pages together with ribbon. We boxed it up and wrapped it, and I'm pretty sure she loved it.
Yes, it's simple. No, it doesn't cost much. But if it truly is the thought that counts, then this is a perfect gift for any loved one...but especially those who have limited mobility, or who live alone and could use lots of visiting time.

We begin with January, when we'll make snowmen and snowflake crafts to decorate her room. We stamped a snowman and snowflakes on the card, and then my three-year-old decorated it further.

The flip sides look like this:
Here are the rest of the pages.
 FEBRUARY: Craft Time - Make Valentine's Day decorations together.
 MARCH: It's Easter - Color Easter eggs together.
 APRIL: Game Time - Do puzzles together.
 MAY: Outdoor Time - Go for a walk outside together.
 JUNE: Craft Time - Make sun catchers for the window.
 JULY: Game Time - Play board games together.
 AUGUST: Movie Time - Watch a movie together.
 SEPTEMBER: Game Time - Play card games together.
 OCTOBER: It's Halloween - Paint pumpkins together.
 NOVEMBER: Treat Time - Decorate cookies together.
DECEMBER: It's Christmas - Decorate gingerbread houses together.

Obviously you can taylor the activities based on the ages of your children, and the capabilities of your loved one. Our kids are three and five, so these are all activities they can do with their great-grandmother, and we know we will all enjoy them.

Some specifics about the booklet:

  • I started with three sheets of 8 1/2 x 11" white card stock and trimmed each to four 4 1/4 x 5 1/2" rectangles
  • To line up the holes for the ribbon without measuring and marking each page, I inserted the paper as far as possible into the hole punch. This way, each hole was in roughly the same spot.
  • Cut the ribbon longer than you need, and trim each end with a diagonal cut. This will give you a "point" to thread through the holes. Tie your bow, then trim the ribbon once again to get rid of any edges that frayed during the threading process.
I hope you and your kids have fun making a gift like this, and that your loved one truly appreciates the sentiment. Enjoy your activities together, too! 

What activities did you include in your gift book? Post a Comment and let us know. As always, thanks for reading.

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