6 Great Activities for Blind Grandparents and Sighted Children

Boy playing guitar with grandfather
Boy playing guitar with grandfather. JGI/Tom Grill/Getty Images

Some families tend to believe that, as we get older and our eyes get weaker, grandparents are not as useful in helping our kids as they once might have been when they had full sight.

Not true. This is such a shame and another myth to explore.

I understand the dilemma families face because one of my own grandkids once asked me how I could play their visual games if ‘my eyes were broken’?

Luckily, I saw the humor rather than taking offence by being asked this reasonable question.

They know I have been gradually losing my sight to an eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa, and playing visual games seemed impossible to them.

So, like me, you may need to remind your grandkids that blind and visually-impaired people love being involved like everyone else and that, in creative ways, we too can  have a good time with the younger generation.

As grandparents we have to become pro-active in teaching our next of kin because if we don’t offer alternative ways to being involved in their playtime, how are they going to imagine the possibilities?

What was pointed out in a previous article, How a Sighted Child Learns from Their Blind Parent, can also be said about grand-parenting: Children don’t mind if an adult can’t see but they can be upset if we can’t play their games.

So what can you do to reinforce the fact that having a love for playing games doesn’t disappear as you get older or lose your eyesight?

Teach the little rascals these 6 fun indoor activities that you can play too!

1: Win them over instantly by Cooking together

You will surely win their little hearts if you can spend some time showing them how to bake those delicious cookies you used to make for their mom or dad. Let them do the measuring and mixing while you tell them a ‘naughty’ family story.

Two years ago, I even published a book, My Mother’s Harvest: Family Recipes & Short Stories and I gave copies to my older children as a Christmas gift to preserve our family favorites from 3 generations of cooks. You may like to do the same!

2: Playing with Textures

You can have the best fun sharing squishy playtime with potter’s clay or Play Doh. Bring out their toy kitchen set and fill the plate with pretend food or create crazy little creatures – your imagination (and theirs)  can go wild here.

3: Home-grown Story Time

There is nothing as wonderful as making up a story for your grandkids when you can make the main character all about them as they venture into their favorite fantasy world as the hero!

Or, try collecting sensory objects and place them in a tactile box. Then one by one, the child can pull out an item and you both make up a wild story using the object from their very own ‘fantasy-story box’.

4: Sing for Fun Not for Perfection

No matter what you think about your singing talent (or lack of), your grandchild will love to hear you singing their favorite nursery rhymes.

Don’t be shy and you will discover they are just waiting to imitate your fun-loving spirit for singing.

It’s not about perfection but creative participation.

5: Creative Crafts

There is SO much fun to be had when you can sit at a table with your grandchildren, not only to keep them still in one place but to actually craft some gifts together.

Try collecting old birthday and Christmas cards they can cut out and use as bookmarks, or create their own friendship cards for special friends at school.

6: Making Spelling & Maths Fun

For those kids who like more of a challenge, think up some words that can be slightly tricky to spell and add this fun twist – ask them one word at a time but using a timer so they can play this game several times and improve on their score.

The same can be done by posing some maths problems – put a timer to the answer and see how they love to challenge themselves. Don’t make it complicated, just short and sweet.

The main thing is spending time together in the creative process. Always be a little wild and fun and your grandkids will constantly badger you to come over to play!

Coming up next is 6 fantastic outdoor activities you won’t want to miss…

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