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JANICE WELLS: COVID-19 cancells grannies' week

Buddies Reed French and Nicholas Legge just are getting started tying up a few details. JANICE WELLS PHOTO
Buddies Reed French and Nicholas Legge just are getting started tying up a few details. JANICE WELLS PHOTO

This year, for COVID-19 reasons, there won’t be a grannies’ week in Heart's Content.

No alert and attentive granny sisters enjoying the antics of grandsons five, six, eight and 11 without their parents. (I’d say the parents are more disappointed than we are.)

It's really too bad because this granny had activities sewed up. They play for hours along the shore and in the trees, but I also Googled activities for kids. Some of them obviously came from child psychologists with no children. Any indoor activity that says let them go wild is questionable at the least. But in the interest of other grannies and parents everywhere I will share a few suggestions.

Let them glue pennies to the soles of their shoes. This will have them tapping away and having fun. Hopefully you will have some old footwear for this and maybe some earplugs.

Hide something like a coin or a sticker or especially a treat somewhere in the house. Give your kids a clue, and let them run wild trying to find it.

My version of this is called hide the clothespin. This is especially fun for the younger ones. You go around pinning clothes pins onto things and they go around finding them. Better still they take turns with the hiding. I keep it to one room and they know how many clothespins are hidden. There is no wildness involved. Sadly, some little one may ask you what a clothespin is.

Another brilliant suggestion is to challenge them to make a fort in the living room. Challenge them! I told you these people didn’t have children.

Grandson Reed discovered this next one all by himself. Give them each a roll of masking tape or painter’s tape (whatever won’t destroy your walls). Let them make webs in doorways or zigzag strips down hallways or anything inanimate. In my case it made the sunroom temporarily uninhabitable, but the painter’s tape was easily removed and that five dollar roll of tape gave him more and better fun time than most expensive toys around.

Here’s one that I can just imagine grannies everywhere jumping all over! Set up a big tarp on the floor, and give them some bowls and things from the kitchen they can mix together. Let them go wild. They’ll be so excited that they get to be messy indoors that they'll be willing to play without your constant attention. Willing! 

Tape a racetrack and a parking spot around the floor. Instruct them that their toy cars should not go beyond the tape. This may help them learn about road rage in a safe way.

Build a cardboard cubby house. The expert’s version said to gather some unused cardboard boxes or shoe boxes, some paint, markers, tape and a cutter or a knife, with adult supervision of course.

For grannies’ week I had big used boxes and they would have built them on the deck where we could watch and help out. Big boxes are definitely a good thing. One of my nephews had the box the fridge came in in his bedroom for months.

This was also on my list: freeze toys, objects or even treats in containers of water, sealing them into the ice. Have the kids excavate them with small tools, toothbrushes, cutlery, spray bottles filled with water; whatever isn’t lethal.

This is good for a rainy day. Give each one a pad of nice size Post-it notes and ask them to do an art installation on a wall. This has lots of imagination possibilities and what kid wouldn’t like the opportunity to decorate a wall?

Grandson Reed discovered this next one all by himself. Give them each a roll of masking tape or painter’s tape (whatever won’t destroy your walls). Let them make webs in doorways or zigzag strips down hallways or anything inanimate. In my case it made the sunroom temporarily uninhabitable, but the painter’s tape was easily removed and that five dollar roll of tape gave him more and better fun time than most expensive toys around.

And then there’s spying. Get some spy gear (binoculars, magnifying glass, trench coat, notepad, mini flashlights) and send them out to spy.

I wouldn’t suggest spying on the neighbours. Our crew love just spying on each other and on us as we sit and sip our refreshments on the deck. We almost always know they’re there, but try to watch what we say just in case.

This year I am forced to sip my refreshments without being spied on, taped over, danced to, or covered with Post-it notes.

I miss it.

Janice Wells lives in St. John’s. Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

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