I had my six year old granddaughter for a week over the Easter holidays and after my first day I realised there’s a good reason why we have children, usually before we’re 40!
Here’s how I survived!
Book an activity
I signed River up to fast track swimming lessons at our local sports centre, she was so excited as this was a new thing for her. Although she’d been swimming before it’s not something that mum and dad have a lot of time to do with her so swimming every day was perfect. It also gave me the opportunity to pop to the gym for half and hour. On the last day I surprised her by being in my costume and she was able to show me what she’d learned. Amazingly after only 4 lessons she could swim a few strokes of front crawl and also swim underwater. On Haven Parks you can also learn to swim and the teachers are trained by the swim teachers association, to top it all off the children even get a certificate at the end.
River had her own digital camera and we went for a walk in a little woodland she’d spotted round the corner from our house. I gave her my big magnifying glass and she played nature detective and took photos of everything she saw that she thought was interesting! We then printed some of the photos off and she made a little collage of some of the photos. There are so many beautiful places on and around our parks, with all of them having Go Explore maps children can try their hand at orienteering! Many also have their own Nature Trails and when combined with our 22 parks Park Rangers and Nature Rockz activities, there is a whole world of outdoor adventure waiting for you.
Treat them to a day out
Mums and dads don’t have much time for this and sometimes it feels a bit extravagant when there are so many other pressures on the family budget. Living close to London I was spoilt for choice but in the end I decided to take River to the Science Museum. I remember how much my two loved it when they were her age and I also remembered there were demonstrations and shows of different experiments. I thought this would take the pressure off me a bit to have other people on hand to entertain her! The train journey alone was an adventure especially the London Underground! Even lunch was a treat, we went to an Italian cafe which she felt was very grown up. River loved the museum and we spent most of our time in the Launch Pad which is where all the really interactive bits take place with lots of things to experiment with and build. She also helped some other children build a bridge and then walk on it! It was an enjoyable but tiring day and she slept really well that night.
What’s new in their world…
Shortly after River arrived I realised that Frozen was the biggest thing in her life at the moment! To say she’s obsessed would not be an exaggeration, I was taught the words to “let it go” and treated to renditions of this song and dances throughout the day. A trip to Primark for a Frozen t-shirt just had to be done and she wanted me to watch a video on YouTube explaining how to make potions so we could make one together. This would apparently give her special powers! In the end we made up some Frozen ice by using rock salt and blue dye, she was very happy!
It was such a beautiful sunny day we played a game with a tennis ball and some empty flower pots, scoring points when we managed to throw the ball into the pot. I was very impressed with Rivers adding up skills! This was followed by making a daisy chain from daisies we’d picked on the way back from the park. Finally we made a picnic and sat in the sunshine.
This was the first time I’d taken a week off work to spend at home and the first time I’d had River on her own for a full week. Such precious memories that I hope neither of us will forget.