Kid wrangling for retirees

Jan 14, 2024
Source: Getty Images.

Holiday season! Yes, it is time for the vacation centre to kick into gear. Some of us, the
boomer retirees, have acquired hours of holiday kid wrangling, whether they are our grandchildren or not.

Junior visitors for happy hours can be of assorted ages, having certain food specifications, and needing constant supervision, if not entertainment. Not to worry! Children are great company, and are a blessing. They can all develop into our Prime Ministers of tomorrow. Who is to say any one of them won’t?

I have now retired from kid wrangling, due to changing circumstances. But at that time, not long ago, I did accumulate some practical ideas for handling a holiday centre, including fur pals, (one quite large!). First, I noted clearly all details of each sprog’s food needs and allergies. I shopped in advance appropriately. Any hands-on cooking activity was planned in accordance, sometimes individually tailored. I had a busy bag suitable for each age range. This would contain a new toy or puppet, for imaginative play and comfort, gender neutral.

The creative retiree can create hand or finger puppets, or toys, using found scraps of wool or fabric, saves costs. Quite light and portable. A puzzle is good in a busy bag, graded to the ability of individual kids. I placed puzzle pieces in a bag, ensuring safety at the same time. Crafting activities are always popular for quality time with grandparents. Both boys and girls can learn and practise beading, knitting, crocheting, painting, or any kind of crafting.

Growing plants can be fun, so can colouring books and sheets, on any topic they like. The internet is a great source of old fashioned fun ideas. For single kids, or multiples, at the vacation centre, I found a pack of cards to be great past time. We all know how to play card games from our youth. It is lots of laughs to teach the young ones how to share in card games. It involves friendly competition, and everyone can spend some happy times, learning new skills. Cards are always a good social skill.

For happy holiday kid wrangling, the retirees need to establish clear rules about a quiet corner with a book, either shared or solo. Additionally, I always aimed to limit the children’s screen time, as they have a lot of that at home and in their classrooms. On the other hand, there are some terrific cartoon shows on television, or sport for older children. Movies on DVD can be fun too, even old time movies from our younger years. Some films are still very fresh today, with good songs. Handling the remote control can be negotiated, we are the seniors in that situation!

Healthy options for meal times are always preferable, but it also fun to make some traditional snacks or treats. A reward! Sibling rivalry can mean engaging in dumb arguments, so forward planning is vital. Not much we retirees have not heard before, just quietly. Overall, children are like blooms, unfolding as they develop. The kids I wrangled in the vacation centre have grown up to be lovely, a credit to all. We all made happy, treasured memories. Sometimes we do not even realise it, but we all have some influence on shaping the future, merely by being there.

Quality times. Vacation kid wrangling can be quite tiring, a good night’s sleep for all did follow each day. We built up the good times. Yes, it is time for vacation centres. Plan ahead, sort your own limits, and enjoy the fun!

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