Home essentials every grandparent should have
Half term is just around the corner, and now is the time to prepare your home if you have any little visitors coming to play or stay next week.
Having a few essentials to hand when you’re looking after your grandchildren can help make their visit safe and fun for both of you.
Whether you’re looking after a toddler or entertaining a ten year old, here’s what you need to make your home kid-friendly.
A designated play area
Choose one room or area in the home that can be the designated play area – the living room (where the television is) usually works best. Remove any breakables, move furniture to create more floor space and help make the area safe for babies and toddlers by covering over sharp corners, installing baby gates and hiding away anything that might lead them to mischief.
Parental controls and safety settings
For older grandchildren, keeping them safe has more to do with your television and Wi-Fi connection than sharp corners on a coffee table. Set parental controls on your television box if possible and check to make sure your computer’s internet browser settings restrict access to unwanted websites.
If you’re entertaining little ones under the age of five, make sure your kitchen is up to the task with a child-friendly feeding set. A few essentials like small plastic plates and bowls, child-friendly forks and spoons and sippy cups can all make meal time a lot more manageable. If you’re looking after a baby, a booster seat or high chair is another meal-time essential.
A special stash of toys that are just for grandma and grandpa’s house can help children look forward to their visit. If you have any toys from your own children still stashed away, bring them out to play with. If you need to buy new toys, you can do it cheaply by checking the clearance aisles at toy stores or picking something up at a car boot sale. One or two items that allow them to get creative can supply hours of entertainment – craft supplies, train sets and lego kits are just a few examples of versatile toys you can use again and again.
A Netflix account
Netflix is a lifesaver for grandparents and parents alike – the TV subscription service has an extensive selection of child and family-friendly TV programmes and movies. If you don’t have an account already, consider signing up – the service offers a free month-long trial, so if you just need it for a short visit you can do so without having to pay a recurring subscription. Once you have an account, it’s easy to navigate in the service’s kids’ zone so your little ones can decide what to watch without worrying if it’s age-appropriate.
For your younger grandchildren, a small step stool near the kitchen sink or in the bathroom can make the job of washing hands much easier.
For overnight visits, night lights can make your grandchildren feel safe and comfortable while away from home. Consider installing them not only where they will be sleeping, but in the hallway, near the bathroom and in your room in case they wake during the night.
A first aid kit
Accidents happen, so make sure you’re ready to treat minor cuts and bruises with a first aid kit that has everything from plasters to hydrocortisone cream.
What are the home essentials you can’t live without when your grandchildren come to visit? Let us know in the comments below!
Silversurfer's Assistant Editor
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