Even though they are likely to be excited and pleased to be arriving at their grandparent’s house or some other family member, kids can soon get bored when the grown-ups get talking and there is nothing for them to do.
Boredom and small children are not a good combination and this is when misbehavior can become an issue, so the best thing to do is make sure there are plenty of things to keep them occupied during the visit.
Here are some ideas for keeping your kids entertained while you chat with relatives. There is a look at how to keep them well behaved during the visit, and why a favorite pastime still keeps kids entertained. Plus a couple of suggestions for activities to get everyone involved.
On their best behavior
You don’t want your kids to cause a scene while you are out and about, which means it is sensible to have a few strategies up your sleeve to ensure they toe the line.
All parents want their children to behave in a manner that makes them proud and perhaps there is an added pressure when you visit grandparents even though it is unlikely they are judging your parenting skills, despite you thinking they might be!
The trick to good behavior is generally to keep your cool when they start to misbehave, show some empathy as to why they might be starting to lose the plot, and then find some ways to distract and entertain them so that they no longer have any reason to get stressed.
An obvious go-to solution
Video games might be a modern solution to keeping your kids entertained but there are other viable alternatives that have always been popular with kids.
Coloring and drawing activities are universally popular with kids and if you sit them down with a coloring book and all the crayons and pencils they need, you should see them while away a few hours while you chat with relatives.
A good alternative if you forget the crayons and pencils would be to download the mandala coloring book app on your smartphone. This is aimed at the adult coloring book market as a stress-busting activity, so you could even end up using the app yourself when you want to have a bit of a quiet moment.
Go back in time
A great way of getting the kids involved when you visit grandparents would be to suggest that they get the old family photo albums out and sit down with your children to take a trip down memory lane with them.
Children love to hear old stories and showing them photos of when you were there age is bound to have them laughing and smiling.
Card games often work
There are so many different card games to play you should be able to find something that is suitable for all ages.
This would also be a fun activity that will get everyone involved and keep boredom at bay. A bit of friendly competition and the discovery that grandma is a bit of a card shark is always a talking point and should help to ensure that the visit goes without a tantrum in sight.
Sophie Horton has 3 nieces and 2 nephews who range in age from 1 year to 15 years old. She often spends quality time with the kids when they are visiting their grandparents and writes about how to keep everyone occupied and happy away from home.