Monday 9 November 2015

Freebies (Adventures of L-Plate Gran)

Over the eight months that I have been minding Little G, I have come to the conclusion that grandmothers hold up half the sky. Well, it feels that way after an eleven hour day having fun. For the benefit of any newly-minted grand-colleagues, here are a few things that Little G and I like to do. Most of them are free.

Bus rides: The fun starts long before you get on the bus. There is passing traffic to criticize, people with funny hair, dogs, men in suits spilling coffee, other buggies ... it is never ending. I have a bus pass so I go free. Little G also goes free. NB: the singing of 'Wheels on the Bus' while actually on the bus is pretty obligatory.

The library: Free books? What's not to like. Even if you aren't a member, you can still go in and spend a happy half hour or longer sharing stories. Many libraries have a discard shelf, where you can buy books for 10p. I have blogged here about Baby Rhyme Time. Check it out. Not to be missed.

The Park: Source of swings, slides, climbing frames, other toddlers. A great summer or fine weather activity. Builds up your arm muscles and ability to shout Wheeeee on command.

The Park 2: We like lying on our backs under a tree watching leaves and planes.

Birds: In the early summer, we saw a pair of robins building a nest in a wall in Little G's garden. We also observed swallows in the opposite building. Feeding ducks is always good for an afternoon's outing, though Little G tends to run the bread distribution on a 50:50 basis.

Crafts: It is possible to spend a small fortune on paints, crayons, colouring books, sticker books etc. Or you can hang on to all those catalogues you used to shove unread in the recycling and use them to make collages. Little G chooses the picture. I cut it out. She does the Pritt stick dab of glue. I place it where she wants on the paper. She bangs it down. Arts Council here we come.

Vets 4 Pets: Our latest go-to place. Zoos cost a fortune, and then there's all the peering through the bars for non-existent animals or staring at the horizon trying to spot them on the far side of the paddock. That's if you can get near the cages in the first place for the crowds. Vets 4 Pets sells small animals, fish and reptiles. All the cages are at ground level or slightly higher and you can get nose-to-glass with rabbits, guineas, and manic dwarf hamsters in wheels. It's quiet, practically empty and fun.

The Best Activity EVER: One free grandparent, containing songs, stories, cuddles, kisses, tickles, unconditional love and all the time in the world. Priceless.


  1. Such free fun!! I'll never forget a long bus ride with a grandson, towards the end of February (spring definitely in the air) a few years ago, and I suggested singing to keep ourselves going. Jingle bells, jingle bells ... The woman on the next seat almost fell off her seat trying not to laugh.

  2. I'm definitely going to copy your craft idea!

  3. I really enjoyed my stint as a nanny... I was also a childminder, so enjoyed other peoples children too. Fancy getting paid to have fun!

  4. Sounds like you have a very lucky granddaughter.

  5. Priceless as you say. The free fun is just as much for you as it is for her, I'd say.

  6. You are having fun Carol. I'll never forgot our local walks into dinosaur jungle or the squirrell who jumped from one tree to another and missed. We couldn't have had a better laugh if we had paid for it. I miss having my kiddies during the week now so enjoy it.

    1. You were the BEST!!! and I feel so sad for you that you can't mind them regularly...and for them. I hope they always remember you and the fun times you all had!


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