Notes from a literary grandparent

Reading as a Grandparent

            Reading to my granddaughter is one of the joys of my life. We have been doing this since she was very young. I have the privilege of living near her, so we have been able to share these special moments regularly. When she was little, we read several times each day, going through stacks of board and picture books. The public library supplemented her home library and now we have added the wonderfully affordable eBooks to our collection. Since she is in school now, we read primarily at bedtime. It is such a magical way to end a day!

            Through this, I have noticed that reading with my granddaughter is a bit different from when I read to my young children. I think the primary difference is that I can stay in the moment. I don’t have thoughts of all the other chores creeping into my mind and distracting me. That is one of the blessings of grandparenthood.

            It has been wonderful to watch the impact of all this reading on my granddaughter. Because of the frequent trips to the library, there has been tremendous variety in the books we read. And her choice of books has taken us to some very interesting places.

            Studies have shown the importance of reading to a child’s development and I certainly have witnessed that with my own granddaughter. But reading is also a wonderful sharing experience. We share our thoughts, our imaginations, new discoveries, and of course, laughter. It creates a bond that will last a lifetime.

      Fly Away by Rebecca Troon

This is a wonderful song about the “birth” of a butterfly. It is included in a lovely eBook just released by KiteReaders — beautifully illustrated and loaded with butterfly-related activities for kids.

""To be in your child’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today." (Barbara Johnson)"

Toys, Toys, Toys!

What do we do with the toys as our children outgrow them? The first instinct is to get rid of them – donate, sell, pass on to friends/relatives, etc. But later, we often wish we had kept a specific toy, for nostalgia’s sake or for a young grandchild. As a grandmother, I have often thought of certain toys I wished I had saved for my grandchildren.


The challenge is deciding what is worth keeping – and whether or not we have the space to store it. These are the guidelines I wish I had used with my children’s toys:

·      Toys that can be played with for many years are often worth keeping. Legos come to mind, but there are many others. Don’t you wish you had those original Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys, etc.?

·      Any toy that was particularly special to a child is always worth keeping. If it is a stuffed animal that the child took to bed every night, it may look like something worthy of the trash bin. But children remember these special toys and seeing them years later is sure to bring fond memories to mind.

·      Toys that are likely to become “extinct” might be good ones to keep. In my case, the original Fisher Price “people,” houses, ferris wheel, garage, etc. were favorites of my children. But Fisher Price no longer makes those toys and I regret my decision to let them go. My grandchildren would have loved them!

·      Toys that might be of value are worth considering, too, but in this day of mass production, the value is not likely to be that great. Dedicating valuable storage space to these toys might not be the best decision.

Of course, these decisions are very personal and there is no “right” answer. But as a grandmother, I would advise parents to consider very carefully what to do with these treasures of childhood and not just get rid of them without some thought.