Tots, Teens & In-betweens – turn your home into a holiday programme!

Tots, Teens & In-betweens – turn your home into a holiday programme

It’s school holidays – and you’re in charge. So, just what do you do with the grandies if you don’t want them staring goggle-eyed at their screens all day? Below, you’ll find some great suggestions for every age, from teens to tots and in-betweenies!


Teens love money, and the opportunity to earn it!

·      Suss out odd jobs you’d rather not do yourself (window washing, scrubbing down the house, water blasting the paths, turning the compost, sorting out a computer glitch), the skies the limit, as long as it’s safe.

·      Book in a teen tech lesson where your grand-teen teaches you some new functions on your device. Or ask them to research any new apps they think might be interesting or useful to you, and get them to download and demonstrate it.

·      Take your teen with you when you head to your volunteer job (be sure to check permission with your organisation first). While you’re at it, ask your teen charge to bake a batch of morning tea muffins to take along to share with fellow volunteers – it will help them fit in, right away!

·      Ask them to give you a clothing makeover, and head to as many op-shops as you can find to make it happen. Before you go, they’ll need to book you in for a consultation!


Tweenies (9-12 year olds – or there abouts) are heading towards being independent, but still love a bit of grandparent-directed craziness.

·      Head to the op-shop for a couple of affordable appliances, take them home, and have a ball with them. Look out for foot-baths, hair tongs, massagers, and popcorn-, waffle-, cupcake-, and crepe-makers.

·      Set a budget or pack a picnic, and ask your tweenies to map out a walking tour which concludes with eating! Before they begin planning, set out your ‘must-sees’ including parks, historic sites, a pond, lake, or sea view, loo-stop, playground, dog park (if taking your pooch with you) etc. Let them research the tour on their device (but set a time limit).

·      Register you and your tweenie as holiday dog-walker or cat groomers at your local SPCA, and head out together to lend a helping hand.

·      Make for the library for a ‘book scavenger hunt list’. Include on your tweenie’s list the likes of: a vegetarian cook book, a picture book about dinosaurs, a magazine about exercise, a DVD of a musical, and a children’s chapter book about a mystery. Ramp up the fun by setting a time limit. Be sure to supervise while they do their searching.


Unless they have a little playmate, tots can demand a lot of time. That’s why it can be helpful to steer them toward activities which compliment your own tasks! And also to run them off their feet so they have that all-essential nap during the day!

·      When you’re washing up, let them wash up, too, with their own bowl of water, and tot-sized tea set.

·      Preparing dinner? Pop the train set or toy truck on the table, and let them transport the chopped vegetables to the saucepans.

·      Working in the garden? Make sure you have a child’s wheelbarrow on hand, and give your little charge plenty of jobs to do.

·      Build in some tiredness with a home-made obstacle course. Include broom handle hurdles, cardboard carton ‘crawl tunnels,’ cushion hills to climb over, ‘stepping stones’ made from circles of yarn or books laid flat, baked bean can ‘cones’ to weave in and out of, and a sheet to crawl under and through.

Holiday activities for the grandies doesn’t have to be costly. In fact, dreaming up DIY entertainment is half the fun!