Let’s be honest, sometimes trying to get our grandkids to eat can be very tricky! 🙋

Here’s a few ideas that we have found can help the cause – and we hope they help your little munchkins to enjoy more healthy foods too.

❤️  Get them involved in the very first process of creative food making by having fun with them out in the garden. They can help to plant and water fruit, veg or herbs…or even flowers for the lunch or afternoon tea table. If you don’t have a suitable garden, perhaps you could take them shopping with you to pick out all the fun bits that will be going into their lunch or dinner.

❤️ Encourage them to be as creative as possible with their own ideas for lunch or dinner. As you can see from our cover image, Animal Sandwiches can be so much fun! All they need is some bread, nut or jam spreads and some banana and strawberry slices to create their own works of art.

❤️  Finally, get them into the kitchen with you to help make their wonderful creation. Be sure to capture their success and pride in a photo!

❤️ Sometimes you do need to add a little something sweet, but if the trade off is plenty of healthy food going into their tummies, then perhaps its worth it. Take a look at this yummy healthy recipe thats guaranteed to bring smiles and hugs 🌝

 

Fun Fruit Kebabs with Maple Cinnamon Yoghurt Dip

Instructions

Step 1

Pierce fruit onto small skewers alternating fruit (we selected strawberries, banana and peaches but feel free to replace these with any fruit slice that stays on the skewer).

Step 2

Yogurt dip: In a bowl, whisk together one cup of plain greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and half a teaspoon of cinnamon. Serve with fruit kebabs.

 


 

 

Now here’s a lovely gift idea for your little cook! 💗

A gorgeous 32 piece Tea Set complete with its own make believe cakes. Click on the heart here to find it easily on our shop site: 💗

 

We are so delighted to share our recent chat with actor Coco Jack Gillies with you.

Coco has given us such a special insight into the very special relationship that she has enjoyed with her grandmothers and how this helped her prepare for her role in the new Australian film, Ruby’s Choice.

“My dad’s mum, where do I start! My Nan Marlene has been an incredibly huge influence in my life. She is an indigenous woman and she has taught me so much about our culture. She’s also taught me the importance of optimism. She was a member of the stolen generation and she has lived through very tough times and yet she is hilarious. She has never lost her spark! And I think that’s such a beautiful thing. She has gone through so much and yet she always has a smile. She has no idea how much she influences me. Nan if you’re reading this…I love you.”

It became very clear during our chat, that family is incredibly important to 17 year old Coco and it was lovely to hear that there was also a real sense of family on the set of her latest film, Ruby’s Choice, starring the wonderful Jane Seymour. “Jane definitely took on the mentorship role with me. She would call herself Mumma Jane whenever we spoke and I’m still in touch with her. Jane is an icon and yet she’s also so down to earth.”

The warmth between Jane and Coco has been captured beautifully throughout Ruby’s Choice. Jane Seymour plays Ruby, a grandmother with undiagnosed dementia. When she accidentally burns down her own home, she comes to live at her daughter’s home and moves into the bedroom of her granddaughter Tash played by Coco. Whilst the movie explores the profound impact of dementia on the whole family, at the same time, family members discover things about themselves because of the upheaval that Ruby’s illness creates. As Coco also explains “Jane’s portrayal of Ruby shows her inner light despite her illness”.

Coco’s own family have suffered the impact of dementia. One of her granddads continues to battle the disease and her other grandad sadly passed away from the disease recently. It’s a familiar story to so many of us, as dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia and the leading cause of death for women. As Coco says. “It’s important that we talk more about dementia. It’s as if dementia has been a taboo subject for far too long.”

The relationship experienced between Ruby and her granddaughter Tash really shines a light on the impact that grandparents can have on their grandkids even when they’re not well.

As Coco so wisely shared: “It’s so easy to forget how lucky we are and looking at our grandparents and the older members of our community you really get a strong reminder that having gratitude and remembering to stay positive is what gets you through. That’s how you live a happy life.”

To see the Ruby’s Choice trailer and to learn a little more about this fabulous film simply click here or head to the Learn More tab below: https://www.palacecinemas.com.au/movies/rubys-choice

Get ready for the excitement when you serve Teddy Bear sandwiches up next time the grandkids come to visit!

All you need is:

Lunch will be a hit and there is very little prep work needed for you to bring those smiles! Enjoy!

Whilst kids do certainly love their iPad’s, isn’t it wonderful to hear that recent research – and book sales! – confirm that kids really do prefer to hold a real book when they are reading. The research applied to kids of all ages, not just the little ones who need us to read to them.

So what is it about real books that kids love? There’s certainly the tactile joy of turning the pages and the kids who were interviewed by the research talked about being able to sense how well they were doing as they progressed through the pages of the book.

Without doubt, kids love cuddling up to read a book with their parents and grandparents. It’s such a special opportunity to share a real connection and experience together without any distraction.

So how do you help kids to enjoy reading more? As we all know, kids love to mimic and watching their grandparents enjoying a good read helps their enthusiasm greatly. Sitting together in a special place to read and removing all the distractions lets the grandies know that reading is a special moment when they have our entire focus. And of course, we can make reading fun too – silly voices, being excited to read the story and discover what comes next is contagious. But perhaps most importantly, asking the grandkids questions about the story and allowing them to contribute will make them feel very special.

Happy reading everyone!

 

Crafty afternoons with the grandkids can be so much fun and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to create something special with them.

Simply wander out into the backyard, or perhaps the local park and pick up some leaves. Look for lots of different shapes and colours so the kids have plenty of variety to work with. You might like to pick up some twigs, pebbles and flowers too.

We’ve given you a few ideas in these photos to get started but there is so much fun to be had and the grandkids will learn as they play with you. The straight lines of the twigs can make for the walls of a house. Or the perhaps the twigs could be the stem of a flower with the petals of the flower then sitting atop. Round yellow flowers can also sit in the sky and become the sun! Kids have such wonderful imagination and they learn about shape and colour as they create.

 


Kids love getting messy – and that’s certainly part of the fun of painting! – but painting also gives the little ones the chance to express emotion and ideas, and to use their senses and explore colour. Painting can also help the grandies learn about shapes, numbers and patterns.

Some kids take to painting very quickly. You give them some paper and paint and they’re creating masterpieces for your wall before you have time to get their aprons on! But other little ones need a gentle hand to get them going, so how do we instil the confidence in them to give it a go?

We all get nervous if we think any activity is a bridge too far for us, so we just need to show them that painting can be very simple and a lot of fun. We grandparents may not be great artists either but we can still have fun with painting and be very proud of our stick figures and wobbly looking houses!

If your grandkids are struggling for a little inspiration, why not suggest that they look at what’s around them in the garden and that they paint something that looks fun or beautiful to them. Kids love to re-create the important things in their little lives so they’re very likely to want to include nan and grandad or mum or dad in their painting.

Kids also love having a reason to create something special ….let’s paint something to let mummy know that we love her, or let’s create something special for grandad’s shed wall.

If the grandies are too little to hold a brush yet, you can still begin a love of paint with them by creating some fun hand paint artwork with them. They can choose the colours that go onto each finger before they start their masterpiece!

Of course the lovely thing about the grandkids art, is that we may be lucky to keep and treasure a little of it. And painting afternoons offer wonderful photo opportunities to share back to the whole family.

 


We all love playing with our grandkids, but sometimes distance and other factors mean that we cant be right there with them. Thank goodness for digital connectors like FaceTime, Skype and Zoom but we all want to connect with our grandies in special and memorable ways beyond a “hello” and “how was your day” don’t we.

Next time you find yourself in this situation why not try some of these fun no preparation games!

Eye Spy With My Little Eye is a perfect online game. Just take a look at what you can see in your grandchild’s background, or perhaps its something that you remember from their room, and then the games begin! I Spy With My Little Eye something beginning with….and give the first letter of your chosen object. The kids will be scurrying to find something to show you!

Or perhaps you’d like to play Rainbow Race. On your mark, get set, go! The first person who returns with three items of a predetermined colour is the winner.To make it more challenging, you can create rules such as the objects “must be in this room” or “must be smaller than your hand.”

For older children charades is the perfect answer for some special FaceTime fun – even the littlest ones will have fun with this if you can keep it simple.

And we must never forget the value in book reading to our grandies – and this is the perfect thing to do on FaceTime. Just remember to flip the book and show the kids the image as you read across the page.

 

 


We all know Meryl Streep as a wonderfully talented actress but she has always been so very protective of her family’s privacy. We can share however that Meryl became a first time grandmother in 2019 at the age of 69 – and she is certainly one very proud Nanna!

When Meryl’s daughter, Mamie Gummer, welcomed a baby boy into the world with her fiancé Mehar Sethi, Meryl couldn’t hold her excitement back as the birth approached:

“I’ve been working like mad for quite a while, so I’m getting ready for my first grandchild.

“My daughter’s having a baby in February, so I’m going to go out and ruin her life. I specialise in unsolicited advice.”

Meryl’s daughter shared the screen with her mum in Ricki and the Flash and is the oldest daughter of Meryl  and her husband sculptor Don Gummer. They also have three other children, Henry, 39, Grace, 32 and Louisa, 27.

Although this is the first time that Meryl was to be a grandmother in real life, she’s had a bit of practice in her onscreen role in the second season of Big Little Lies. Streep is set to star as Mary Louise Wright, grandmother to Celeste’s (Nicole Kidman) sons in the second season.

We’re sure Meryl is looking forward to many grandchildren ahead!

 

It will be no surprise to any of us that children, especially those living in big cities, are experiencing less and less time in nature. Worryingly, a new study published by Nature Sustainability has shown that   lack of access to the great outdoors can lead to a decrease in cognitive development in children and have a long term impact on mental health.

To test how access to green spaces affected children, researchers analyzed 3,568 students, ranging from ages 9 to 15, at 31 schools in London. The study was conducted over four years, with participants being analyzed for their cognitive development and mental health.

The more children were exposed to green spaces such as woods and parks, the higher they scored for cognitive development, according to the study. And the participants accessing more green spaces were 17% less likely to experience emotional and behavioural risks.

We all spent so much more time in the outdoors when we were younger and we can take these life experiences and now share them with our grandkids. Whether it’s fishing, camping, going for a forest walk, riding a bike together or inviting the grandkids to help in the garden, we will be doing far more than just entertaining them. We’ll be helping their little minds develop too!

 

 


 

 

 

A stretch of concrete, some pavement chalk, a little imagination and the kids are entertained for hours. Could it really be that simple? Yes it is!

Why not start by helping the kids draw a road for their cars or their dolly in a stroller. Just a few simple lines with plenty of twists and turns for their adventures. You can even draw in the street lights, a few houses, perhaps a petrol station or a school – any of the features that little ones are used to seeing when they are in the family car. Then they’re ready for their big driving adventure!

 

And there are plenty of games to be played outside using chalk – hopscotch is so much fun for active kids and you might even like to try a game of twister!

For all those budding little artists, a few different coloured pieces of chalk will have them drawing flowers, birds, the sun….anything that they can see outside….or anything that their little imaginations can conjure up.

The grandkids faces will light up with hours of adventure play ahead…and your face will light up with joy, when it’s as simple as washing down the concrete at the end of day! Enjoy everyone!

 

 


 

Well none of us will be surprised by the recent findings of a major study conducted by Alan Newman Research. The study found that the vast majority of grandparents play a very (59%) or somewhat (30%) important role in the lives of their grandchildren.

The Grandparents who were interviewed saw their role as shapers of another generation. Specifically, grandparents mentioned the importance of passing on values, an understanding of heritage and helping their grandchildren develop morally and spiritually.

Whilst some grandparents were hindered by the tyranny of distance, the study found that those grandparents were still able to share a great deal with their grandkids via FaceTime and Zoom chats.

Some grandkids are absolutely obsessed with dinosaurs! They want dinosaurs all over their room and know the names of even the most obscure dinos — in Latin. Well, here’s some good news… it turns out that being obsessed with dinosaurs is actually a good thing for a child’s intelligence!

According to Psychology Spot, being really interested in something is a positive thing. Being motivated to learn a lot about a single topic, like dinosaurs, is actually boosting your grandchild’s intellectual development and arming them with many positive tools for later in life.

Asking questions, looking for answers and asking for help, assists children in problem solving other difficulties that arise in their young lives.

A third of children develop one of these intense interests throughout their life, whether it be dinosaurs, astronomy, or something else. That obsession tends to make itself clear between 2 and 6 years of age, eventually fading. But in some cases, that interest doesn’t get extinguished during childhood and follows the child for a large part of their lives.

For any grandparent wanting to keep the interest alive, psychologists recommend teaching children facts about their interests.

….and let’s be honest, playing with dinosaurs is fun too!