As a grandparent, you no doubt look forward to visiting and spending quality time your grandchildren. And with the amount of enthusiastic hugs you get from these little ones, you get the distinct idea they enjoy this time together, too.
Of course, you also want to keep these precious little ones as safe as possible when they visit, and you want to be sure you’re a fun and prepared host. Here are some ways to make your home as kid-friendly as possible for these visits.
Think Like a Kid When Childproofing
If your grandkids are tweens and teens, you might not have to worry as much about putting the dog food bowl on the counter or installing a safety gate at the bottom of your stairs. But if they are young of age, pretend you’re their approximate height and look for safety issues to fix before they arrive.
For instance, make it a point to cover all your outlets with those handy plastic plugs. Additionally, remove anything fragile and/or valuable from your coffee table; make sure any and all prescription medication is either stored in a high cabinet or locked away; and if you store any chemicals outside, put them away in the garage.
Have Their Favorite Snacks on Hand
Grandchildren can be endless balls of energy. To help refuel those little bodies — and get the chance to sit down for a few minutes — be sure to have many of their favorite snacks and beverages on hand. Now, you may want to check in with mom or dad ahead of time to see what the kids currently love; after all, small children can be notorious for liking a food one day and despising it the next.
So even if they ate their body weight in Goldfish crackers the last time they visited, this time they may be all about pretzels and cheese cubes. Once you know what the kids enjoy eating, you can pre-portion some of the snacks into small containers. This way, if you head to the park or local children’s museum, you can grab several bags and have snacks at the ready for your time away from home.
Update Your Home Security System
If it’s been a while since you last updated your home security camera system, or you’ve been meaning to invest in one and haven’t yet pulled the trigger, an impending visit from the grandkids is an excellent excuse. To make the shopping process as easy as possible, look for a security camera system online.
There, you can research which type is best for your home: wired, wireless or wire-free security cameras. Wire-free versions, for example, run on long-lasting batteries and can be installed literally anywhere. In addition to giving you a sense of safety and peace of mind, the security cameras can also help to keep an eye on older grandkids when they’re playing by themselves outside.
Have Some Craft Supplies and Basic Toys Ready
For younger grandkids, experts suggest having plastic bins full of books, games and crafts at the ready for each kiddo. If you’re able, add a special small “stuffie” or other inexpensive toy to the bins that they can bring back home with them.
If you’re unsure of which books they enjoy reading, you can plan a trip to the library and check out a pile of books and DVDs, and spend hours reading and watching some of their favorite TV shows.
Have a Wonderful Time!
You likely have fond memories of visiting your grandparents when you were younger. Now it’s your turn to provide your grands with special times that they will remember and cherish for the rest of their lives. By spending some time child-proofing your home, updating your security system and stocking up on special snacks and toys, these visits will be both safe and enjoyable.