Interview with a Grandparent: 16 Questions to Ask

Read next

There are a lot of things we know about our grandparents: They give amazing hugs, rarely say no to requests for ice cream and they are masters at reading stories. But our grandparents have so much more to tell us! Suggest a list of simple and fun questions for your child to ask their grandparent, and they will not only get an idea of what it was like to be a kid 60-some years ago, but they will gain some wisdom on the importance of family, friends and living a great long life!

photo: iStock

  1. Who was your best friend when you were a kid and what did you like to do together?
  2. Tell me about where you grew up.
  3. What was your favorite food growing up?
  4. Tell me about the day we first met each other.
  5. Did you have a favorite toy when you were my age?
  6. Tell me about the house and neighborhood where you grew up.
  7. What was your grandma like?
  8. What was your grandpa like?
  9. What was your favorite age to be?
  10. What’s the oldest memory you have?
  11. What are some silly things my mom or dad did when they were my age?
  12. Did you have a nickname as a kid?
  13. Where’s your favorite place you’ve ever traveled?
  14. What’s your favorite holiday tradition?
  15. What’s your favorite family recipe?
  16. What’s the best thing about being a grandparent?

—Erin Feher

 

Interview with a Grandparent_ 10 Questions to Ask

Read next

While we may never again have to wrestle with an akimbo paper map while ambling down the interstate, there are plenty of good reasons to pass proper map-reading skills down to the next generation. From spatial awareness to instilling a sense of adventure, maps are magical and learning how to use one can start at almost any age. Read on for our tips on how to teach your little navigators a thing or two.

Photo: Pixabay

Tiniest Travelers: Toddlers and Preschoolers (Ages 2-4)

Don’t depend on these kids to direct to the nearest gas station, but little ones as young as one and two years old can get familiar with directional terms, just by hearing you use them often.

Words to use frequently: right and left, farther and nearer, here and there, and above and below.

Things to observe together: The sun rising and setting, the movement of the moon and stars, even their own height as marked on a wall.

Tools to use: A globe or oversized map; Easy maze puzzles; a My Place in the World DIY Project.

DIY-treasure_mapPhoto: KiwiCrate

Kindy-pendent Explorers (5-9) 

From kindergarten through third grade, kids’ awareness of their surroundings explodes and they are able to grasp more abstract ideas (like symbols on a flat piece of paper representing real places and distances).

Terms to Talk About: North, South, East and West; the compass rose; The sun rising in the east, setting in the west; feet and miles.

Things to Do Together: Make a map of their bedroom or your own backyard; try to find and study new maps where ever you go: malls, bus or train stops, the library.

Tools to Use: A compass, a collection of local maps; a DIY treasure map project!

 

–Erin Feher

Featured image: Pixabay

RELATED STORIES:

Everything You Need to Know About Geocaching with Kids

How to Plan a Pirate Treasure Hunt

No-Work Scavenger Hunts You Can Print Out Now

Boost Their Brains with Easy Memory Games

Read next

Although we don’t always want them to remember everything (kids have a knack for recalling the most desperate of our negotiation tactics), brain boosting memory games are one of the best way to keep little minds busy and sharp as a tack to boot. Read on for our faves for every situation, from an old-school game night to impromptu activities to do on the go.

simon

The Classics

Talk about memories. These old-school games are classics for a reason. Kids and adults love them, and they are perfect for a night in with the family.

Simon
Remember when this game was considered a high-tech toy? Mimicking Simon’s color, light and tone sequence may seem simple, but once you advance a few levels, get ready for a serious challenge. Get the kids inspired by watching one off these Simon-masters at work. 

Memory
Hasbro came out with the original in the 80s, and since then hundreds of variations have popped up, from Elmo to Frozen to Rescue Bots. There are plenty of DIY ideas out there, but at $5.99 for the real deal, we think it’s worth not having to draw 48 of your own picture cards.

memory trayPhoto: newkidscenter.com

The DIYs

These games can be done anywhere, anytime, as they require little more than a pen and paper (if that!). Oh, and your smarty’s razor-sharp memory, of course.

Remember the Code 
This all day game is fun to play anytime, and can turn into a little inside joke between you and your littles. Depending on their age, come up with either a fun phrase or random string of words. Write it on a slip of paper and let them look at it and try to memorize it for up to a minute. Then stick the paper in your pocket and carry it with you throughout the day. Starting just five minutes after you hide it away, turn to your kid and shout: What’s the code?! and see if they can recite it back. Do this throughout the day, and see if and when they are able to remember. Tiny treats for each time they crack the code make this even more rewarding.

What’s Missing?
Gather a number of items around the house and find a cover for the tray. You can use objects likea toothbrush, scissors, a toy, silverware, a rock, keys, etc. Place about 5 or 6 objects on the tray (make sure to use less if kids are little). Cover the tray and place on a table. Allow the kids to look at the tray for a few minutes. Cover the tray back up and take out of the room. Take one object off the tray out of kids’ view and cover back up. Take the tray back to the table and remove the cover. Ask kids which item is missing. Do this until all objects are gone and all kids have a turn of naming a missing object. You can either give points for right answers or remove a child from the game if they answer incorrectly. Go to newkidscenter.com for even more games that you can do with what you already have at home. 

kid-on-ipad

The High Tech

Animal Memory 
This is a digital version of the classic Memory game, featuring animals. We love that there are no bells and whistles, and that the sounds can be easily disabled. There are 4 levels and 4 themes. Get more info and download it here: commonsensemedia.org

Memory Train
Memory Train is an engaging, fast-moving memory game. It can be helpful for kids who have visual processing issues, as they need to decipher color and shape at a quick pace. It can also be helpful for kids who need help with their working memory, as they need to remember the color shape they saw and identify it with three different paint colors. Get more info and download it here: commonsensemedia.org

Do you have a favorite memory game to play with your kids? Tell us about it in the comments below! 

 

30 Signs That You’re a San Francisco Parent

Read next

Your Oakland friends are constantly trying to convert you, and your midwestern parents think you’re a little bit crazy, but you wouldn’t trade your urban family life for the world—or at least for the suburbs. From only-in-SF tan lines to starter coffees for kids, we bring you 30 sure-fire signs that you’re a San Francisco parent.

1. Your child’s preschool application was filled out before her birth certificate.

2. You have tried (and succeeded) to put a car seat in the back of a Getaround Fiat.

fourbarrel_dawnphoto: Dawn Gordon

3. Your kids drink $3 steamed milks from Four Barrel (or wherever your family coffee loyalty lies).

4. Your 6-month-old has already learned how to turn on the Apple Watch because someone “left” a prototype at JAMaROO.

5. “The gym” is walking up an 8.5-incline street and two flights of stairs while carrying a bag from Bi-Rite and a toddler.

6. You’ve started a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for Pre-K application fees.

7. You unpack your family’s winter clothes in June. Or never pack them up at all.

dog_kid_sleeping

Photo by Michael Newton via Flickr

8. Yelp returns four pages of doggy daycare when you type in “SITTER.”

9. Sidewalk strolls start with a gentle reminder about the book Everyone Poops.

10. Your kids are only ever tan on the tops of their hands.

pluots

Photo by John Onate via Flickr

11. Your 2-year-old knows when pluots are in season.

12. You know every restaurant with gluten-free, vegan and paleo kids menu items.

13. You’ve spent half a day trying to figure out how to schedule your Good Eggs and Amazon Fresh deliveries together.

14. You’ve managed to fit an entire nursery inside a closet—along with your Freda Salvador collection.

15. You pick your mom friends based on the number of hills that separate you.

baby_muni

photo: Erin Feher

16. Instead of a flu shot, your toddler has simply licked one too many Muni seats before you could stop them.

17. Your kid’s dream pet is a pigeon.

18. Your baby has her own hashtag on Instagram.

kid-drinking-tea-partyphoto: Kelle Hampton

19. Every birthday party you attend is also a fully produced photoshoot for the host mom’s blog, and guests are asked to dress in accordance with the party’s theme color palette.

20. Your social media feed is all $7 toast and playdates at the Beach Chalet.

21. You know never to take strollers on Bart because of the elevators . . . those horrifying, horrifying elevators.

pizzeria_delfina

22. One of the most monumental benefits to having a child in SF is not having to wait for a table at Delfina . . . because you are eating at 4:15.

23. You have brand loyalty to Nordstrom expressly because of their “Mothering Lounge.”

24. You met your best mom friend in Jane Austin’s Prenatal Yoga class.

25. Your weekends inevitably involve something called SoccerTots.

boy_long_hair

photo: Tim Pierce via Flickr

26. Your son hasn’t yet had his first haircut. He is 9.

27. You’ve sent your kid to a playdate in an Über.

28. You buy organic sunscreen sticks at a baby boutique right next door to the bar where you used to have multiple weeknight martinis. Someone you hooked up with in a past life still works there.

Oakland_kid_tee

photo: Oaklandish

29. Instead of Jehovah’s Witnesses, it’s your Oakland friends who are constantly trying to convert you.

30. For weekend brunch and good schools, the response is the same: You’re on the list.

—Erin Feher, Mary Jo Bowling, Amber Guetebier, Garrick Ramirez, Charlotte Milan, Lauren Podoll, Laura Brunow Minor

RELATED STORIES

17 Fascinating Facts about San Francisco That Every Kid Should Know

A Love Letter to SF: 13 Things We Can’t Wait to Do Again

San Francisco-Inspired Baby Names We Totally Heart

The Best Kids Books about San Francisco 

Read next

They may have bonded in the sandbox over their shared love of diggers or locked eyes while reaching for the same LEGO in the bin, but since playdates are a no-go these days how can kiddos keep up with their besties? Try some good old fashioned paper correspondence this summer! It will help kids feel less isolated, and who doesn’t love getting mail?

Here are a 10 topics to get kids thinking about what they want to “talk” about with their new friends. Encourage kids to ask (and answer) through a letter. Don’t forget the stamps!

photo: Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels 

1. Tell me one interesting thing about each person you live with.

2. If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

3. What is a weird habit that you have?

4. What is the very first thing you do when you wake up each day?

5. Do you have any scars? How did you get them?

6. What do you want to be when you grow up?

7. If you could only eat one food for a week, what would it be?

8. What’s the coolest place you have ever visited and why?

9. If you could do anything you wanted for an entire day, what would you do?

10. Who is the person you most like to spend time with and why?

–Erin Feher

RELATED STORIES 

Easy Ways to Stay Connected to Grandparents from a Distance 

Postcards from the Hedge: How to Be a Tourist in Your Own Town 

Life Sentence: How to Write a Story with Your Kids 

 

 

Read next

From the moment they learn how to shake their little Huggies-covered booty, kids will find any excuse to dance. But throw some flashing lights and apple-juice libations into the mix? You’ve got the hottest kiddies dance club on the block. Scroll down to find out how to create that VIP club vibe at home.

CirKiz, A Cool Kid's Dance PartyPhoto: CirKiz

1.Break out ALL OF THE LIGHTS. Flashing bicycle lights, leftover glow sticks from Halloween, a string of Christmas lights—all that matters is that the daytime lights are switched off, and the party lights come ON. Make sure to draw the shades!

2. The ultimate playlist. Nothing kills the vibe like a stint of silence while you search for the next song. Make sure you have at least ten songs qued up and ready. Take a few requests before hand or just hit play on our ultimate playlist.

3.Let ’em dress themselves. Picking out that “going out” outfit is a rite of passage. Let them go nuts with the wardrobe, including accessories!

4. The Guestlist. Have your kiddos help you create a flyer for the party of the century. Have them hand it out to friends they want to cut a rug with.

5. Stock the bar. From apple juice topped with tiny tropical umbrellas to ginger ale with slices of orange, make sure there are a few specialty libations to keep them hydrated through the dance marathon.

6. Show your stamp. They may not get the reference, but it’s a scientific fact that littles love stamps. So give ’em a hand stamp as they enter the club. No ins and outs!

7. Play DJ. keep things interesting by helping to run the show. As the, um, seasoned club-goer, lead dance challenges (“everyone do the worm!”), call-and-response chants and host dance offs between dueling crews.

8. Bubbles, steam and smoke. Get your hands on a bubble gun or steam machine to take the party to 11.

9. Set up a photo booth. So much better than selfies! Set up a well-lit corner where kids can get silly with their buds (goofy costumes are a great addition) and snap a pic to remember this party forever!

10. Lounge lizards. Create a few cozy lounge areas where the kids can take a breather, sip their spritzer or chat up that cutie they met out on the dance floor.

—Erin Feher

RELATED STORIES 

12 Ways to Have a Date Night at Home 

10 Easy Activities That Cost Less Than $5

15 Ways to Goof Off with the Kids Today 

Read next

So you thought that once you nailed the whole reading and writing thing you were in the clear, huh? Unfortunately, there are a host of confusing words that trip up even the most sentence-savvy adults. That’s why it’s best to learn them early (and often) to avoid forming bad grammar habits that are hard to unstick. Read on for a few of the most commonly confused words and helpful tips on how to remember to use them right (not write or rite), alright?

kid-writingphoto: Carissa Rogers via flickr

To vs. Too vs. Two

TO: preposition, toward
e.g. We are going to Disneyland!
TOO: adverb, also, or excessively
e.g. The kids ate too many doughnuts. OR We are going to the party, too.
TWO: noun and/or adjective; a number
e.g. Only two students did not turn in the assignment.

Their vs. There vs. They’re

THEIR: possessive form of they. (This word is extra tricky because it breaks the “i before e except after c” rule!)
e.g. Their house is at the end of the block.
THERE: indicates location (hint: think of “here and there”)
e.g. I left my bicycle over there.
THEY’RE: contraction for “they are”
e.g. They’re playing tennis today.

Principal vs. Principle

PRINCIPAL: adjective, most important; noun, a person who has authority
e.g. The principal ingredient in chocolate chip cookies is chocolate chips.
e.g. The principal of the school does the announcements each morning.
PRINCIPLE: noun, a general or fundamental truth
e.g. In class they had to learn the principle of gravity.

Complement vs. Compliment

COMPLEMENT: noun, something that completes; verb, to complete
e.g. A tall glass of milk complements a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich.
COMPLIMENT: noun, praise; verb, to praise
e.g. The teacher complimented Rowan on his art project.

A lot vs. Alot vs. Allot

A LOT: (two words) many
e.g. I have a lot of boogers, mom.
ALOT (one word): Not a real word, so don’t use it!
e.g. No example! This is not a word!
ALLOT: verb, to divide or distribute or portion out.
e.g. Please allot one cracker per child.

Its vs. It’s

ITS: possessive pronoun; of or belonging to it
e.g. The baby will scream as soon as its mother walks out of the room.
IT’S: contraction for “it is”
e.g. It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

Feet vs. Feat

FEET: noun, the plural of foot meaning a measurement equalling 12 inches; also, a part of the human body that you stand on
e.g. How many feet have you grown since you were five-years-old? and: Look at those perfect little feet! 
FEAT: noun, an impressive act.
e.g. Getting the kids out the door in the morning is no small feat.

Alley vs. Ally

ALLEY: noun, a narrow back street
e.g. Pull the car around through the alley to load up the stroller.
ALLY: noun, a friend; also as a verb; to ally or join forces
e.g. The PTA is meant to be a parent’s in-school ally.

Bar vs. Barre

BAR: noun, a place where you get cocktails
e.g. It’s mom’s night out at the finest bar in town!
BARRE: noun; a handrail at hip height used to train in ballet, also adjective; describing a method of exercise that incorporates ballet strength and muscle training and is reputed to give you a great butt
e.g. Can we please hit the bar after tonight’s barre class?

Are there other words that often trip you up? Tell us your tricks to remember the right usage in the comments below! 

–Erin Feher & Amber Guetebier

Read next

Little witch lovers will be over the moon for this sweet and simple craft that they can actually use all year long. With just a few supplies that most people will be able to scare up in the house, you and your witchy apprentice will be able to make this broomstick bookmark in no time flat. No magic spells required!

fullsizerender

You Will Need:

–A wide popsicle stick
–Glue
–A small square of black construction paper or craft foam
–Short piece of string or twine
–Scissors

 

img_3043

Make Your Broomstick

1. Cut the black paper or foam into a simple shape like the one shown below. On the larger end, make long vertical cuts to make the bristles of the broom.

fullsizerender_1

2. Use just a dot or two of glue to glue to black broom bristles to the end of the stick.

fullsizerender_2

3. Take the string and wrap it a few times around the narrowest part of the broom bristles, tying a small knot in the back. Trim the excess string.

fullsizerender_3

Optional: decorate the broomstick itself with your child’s name, or even the title of her favorite book. But make sure you let the broomstick’s glue dry completely before using it in your book. There’s no reversing spell for sticky pages!

fullsizerender_4
—photos and copy by Erin Feher

Do you have any witchy craft ideas you would like to share? Let is know in the comments below!

Read next

Kids break dancing against a laser-light backdrop, toddlers finger painting without making any mess at all and tiny artists admiring their sculptures displayed among blue chip masterpieces—all this and more happens inside the brand new de Youngsters Studio, an interactive (and always FREE) play space and gallery at the de Young Museum. Read on for all the details!

Designed to Spark Curiosity
The first thing kids see upon entering the new de Youngsters Studio is a large glowing pillar, alight with floating, glowing splotches of primary color. Instinct immediately kicks in and the kids slap their hands on the orbs. In response, they splatter and combine, creating new shapes and hues.

Each of the half dozen activities within the studio exhibit the same pull on kids—they are drawn to it and immediately start touching and creating, learning as they go how each activity works. There are also additional elements and explanations that inspire adults to engage and further explain concepts to the kids. This is by design. The de Young tapped the award-winning design firms fuseproject, headed by Yves Béhar and Tellart to design the space and activities. “We designed unique digital experiences that involve the kids physically: with their hands, body and mind they explore their own creative practice and understanding,” says Béhar. “To me this represents the possibilities of physical and digital learning at the service of future artists and designers.”

So Many Mediums
As they explore, visitors move through five interconnected cubes. Even passing from one space to the other is an adventure: Kids pass through colorful waterfalls of canvas strips or around glowing or semi-translucent panels. Each cube houses a unique creative activity, allowing kids to experiment with color, texture and sculpture. They learn about composition by arranging colored shapes on a light table and watching how the forms change in real time as they are projected on screens all around them.

In another space, the wall is laid with textured tiles. Those textures are replicated in a digital finger painting activity. Instead of selecting colors, kids choose which texture to draw with on large screens. Nearby, a wall flashes with colorful lasers that mimic the movement in front of it. Kids are inspired to dance, pose and spin to see how the colorful art will react.

Smart Screentime, Free For Everyone
For parents who might be wary of an art space dominated by so much digital, screen-based play, the museum emphasizes that the programs were designed in accordance with the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics: The tech-based activities are carefully designed to create open-ended outcomes that are augmented when used with the help of an adult.

And while a visit to the studio is the perfect add-on to a day at the museum (we recommend checking it out in combination with Ranu Mukherjee: A Bright Stage, which blends tech, video, drawing, painting and choreography to stunning effect), because the de Youngsters Studio is located in the free, open-to-the-public part of the museum, you can always just drop in, no ticket required.

de Youngsters Studio
de Young Museum
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr., San Francisco
415-750-3600.
Online: deyoung.famsf.org
Hours: Tues.-Sun., 9:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m. Opens to the public on Dec. 1
Cost: Admission to the deYoungsters Studio is free of charge

—photos and story by Erin Feher

Read next

You share a mailman, a fence and probably a cup of sugar in a pinch, but how much do you know about your next-door neighbors? Whether your neighbor is new to the hood or has been there for decades, there is plenty your little one can learn by interviewing them on their likes, dislikes and knowledge of the neighborhood. Scroll down for 10 questions they can ask to get the conversation started.

Photo: Nina Strehl via Unsplash 

1. When did you move into the neighborhood?

2. How was it different than it is today?

3. Tell me about your previous next-door neighbor.

4. Where else have you lived?

5. What sounds do you hear from your house on a daily basis?

6. What do you like to look at out of your window?

7. What is your favorite neighborhood walk?

8. What sights, sounds or smells do you notice coming from our house?

9. Tell me about one of our other neighbors that you know.

10. Are you interested in babysitting? (Make sure to tell mom and dad the answer to that one).

—Erin Feher