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“I’m Not That Young Grandparent Anymore”: 5 Tips That Work Well After 60!

By Sheryl Nicholson February 06, 2023 Family

I realized the other day that I have been grand-parenting for over 20 years and I’m not as young as I used to be. I used to get on the ground with those kiddos and play-wrestle. I climbed trees and monkey bars.

I used to take them for exhausting walks in the woods and play in the rough water with them at the beach. Now I don’t even want to get into that bathing suit or burn my skin in the Florida sun or walk in that hot sand. So, what’s a grandma to do?

Plenty! Simply adjust what you do with special custom-made rituals that leave a sweet scent on their memory for years to come. Here are just a few suggestions that you can consider:

Navigating the Road

My daughter would often suggest that I use her big fully-loaded SUV when I would babysit her 4 kids. The minute I got behind the wheel, I would hear, “Gigi, turn a movie on.” My reply often was, “Honey, I don’t know how to do that. Let’s play a game instead.”

Then we would wreck our minds with games like name the animals in a certain sequence. For example, … Zebra – Ant Eater…, where you had to start the next animal with the last letter of the previous animal. They could do that all the way to our local destination. Cities, flowers, foods, any topic works.

Get-Them-to-Bed Secret

Bedtime was always an issue for the moms and dads, but Gigi could get the kids in their own bed and usually before 7:30 if it was winter time and the sun was down. “How in the world do you do that?” would be the first question asked when parents would come home.

How? A ritual.

First, no TV to wind them up. Instead, dinner at a table to practice our etiquette skills and real conversation peppered with laughter and funny stories.

Next, a warm bath followed by a story and an alphabet back rub. I would turn them around on their tummies and an A would be slowly written with my finger. They were always asleep before I ever got to Z.

Bedtime Story

A bedtime story? You could read one of yours or their favorite, but why not customize something just for them. Their favorite I created to reduce my stress for their safety. It went like this, and they always enjoyed filling the blanks:

“Once upon a time, there lived a boy named ______. He lived at _____, and he was ______ years old. He loved his mommy so much and her name was _______ and his special daddy’s name was____ and their phone number was ______. He had ___brothers and ___ sisters. He had ____ pets and they were called ____.”

You can easily see how creative and long or short this can be. But now you can rest assured if that child gets lost, they will know what to tell the police officer.

Tweak a Song

I am surprised at how many children don’t know the songs we grew up with. Why not share that history with a little tweak? Here are two of my grandchildren’s favorites.

“Twinkle, twinkle, little star – do you know how lucky you are?

You get to shine on Fisher’s face, and even shine at Gigi’s place

Whether we be near or far, we still share the same three stars.”

“Rain, rain go away. Come again another day

I love sunshine, I love rain,

But I love sunshine better!”

Teach a Craft

Many kids have never learned to sew, knit, or crochet.

Just learning a straight stitch will take them far in life and save them money. My older grandkids can hem their jeans, make pillows and curtains for their apartment, and often thank me for sharing that skill.

You may not have the flexibility or energy of your youth but don’t fret. You have plenty of wisdom, love, and history to share with hugs and laughter.

And if you’re not lucky enough to have your own grandkids, volunteer to make a difference for kids that don’t have local grandparents. It’s a legacy you can be proud of!

Let’s Have a Conversation:

How do you babysit your grandkids? What special activities do you do together? What useful things do you teach them? Please share and comment below!

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I don’t have grand children yet, but must write down these wonderful suggestions!


I have three granddaughters. From the very beginning, I’ve read to them. I’ve played with them on the floor. I listen to them and answer all of their questions. We play board games, such as snakes and ladders, Trouble, Guess Who, Checkers, and Monopoly. We play easy card games such as Old Maid, Snap, and Uno. I’ve found a trunk and several Barbies, their clothes, etc at yard sales and thrift shops etc, which they enjoy playing with. Some people object to Barbie but they’re good for role playing. Kids aren’t concerned with body image early on. We discuss many things while playing. We draw. We paint. We play with play dough. We cook and bake together. I tell them tell them stories of my life as a child and stories of my grandparents and greatparents and how they lived.

Jeanne Schwetje

We have two grandchildren and they visit often. We run, ice skate, play cards, swim, go for long walks on the beach, make a fire and roast marshmallows, write music, sing, dance, play games outside, and inside. We go to their races, soccer games, concerts and ballet shows. We sometimes drop them off or pick them up from school. We do jigsaw puzzles, read, do math, magic tricks, go boating. It’s wonderful! In the city we go to parks, museums, movies, to get ice cream or out to eat.


My granddaughter is six. I’m 68 and don’t move like I used to move either. The first thing we do together is make a list of what we’ll do that day. We take turns naming something for the list. I always include “take a 30 minute rest period” which sometimes turns into a nap for her. TV or computer time can’t be on our list. We play “office” where we both get assignments from “the boss.” Sometimes we work at a card factory or a doctor’s office. We play dress up where she is a shopkeeper dressing me for a fancy event. We bat a balloon in the air, each taking a turn and counting each time we hit the balloon. I ask her to read stories to me or show me how to do a yoga or ballet move. One day she decided to do a “podcast” using my phone camera. We had so much fun and laughed as we watched it. She could share it later with her mom and dad.


How time flies when I do get to spend time with my Grandchildren sometimes it feels like they babysit me 😂 my Grandson is now in college, so when he comes home I always try to plan a game night with the whole family including PIZZA, snacks, we always have 2 games going at each end of the table & occasionally another table of chess (which my granddaughter loves to play).
If we are traveling or out and about we guess who is singing or the name of the song playing, we also stop and take pictures in random places & send to parents, cousins, Aunts & Uncles in a group chat & see if they can guess where we are. 🤔

The Author

Sheryl Nicholson is an international professional speaker, author and podcaster known for her authenticity and results-oriented tips. She relates quickly to women and their real-life challenges at work and in their "love space." Her work-life balance podcast is available on iTunes. She shares leadership tips at her website http://sheryl.com

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