Many Grandparents ask, "How can I stay connected to my grandkids when I don't live close enough to see them frequently?"
I have been blessed to have my grandchildren live near but this year we have been distanced by a disease. Since it hasn't been safe to meet in person, I had to take my popular "Camp Nanabanana" online. I miss being physically together and especially their hugs. The popular video conferencing program "Zoom" has allowed us to take the fun online.
Since they are already doing school online, I keep my Camp Nanabanana activities to under an hour. It takes some pre-planning in order to get all the materials to them (doorstep drop off) prior to the activity. I hold my camp on Saturdays at 4pm and since they spend so much time online doing distant learning, I keep it short.
I feel being consistent is important. I want them to feel they can always count on the same day and time. I hope it gives them something to look forward to at a time when they are missing out on so much.
This week, we made personalized coasters. I had bought a box of stone tile years ago at a large box store and decided it was time to put them to use. All you need is a tile, a picture and some Modge Podge. If you want to be extra fancy, add a liner to the the bottom of the tile to keep it from scratching the furniture. I used some scrap pieces of leather I had left over from a furniture refinishing project though felt works best.
Each grandchild found a picture to decoupage to the top of the coaster. Most went with photos. Owen decided to use a special drawing his brother Cai had made of him in a cape decorated with a smiley face, his favorite attire. My mother, who my grandkids call Baba, joined us and turned a card from her great-granddaughter into a special memento.
There is really nothing more than gluing felt to the bottom of the tile and evenly brushing Modge Podge over the art. It helps if you coat the tile with Modge Podge, place the artwork and then brush the mixture over the picture. Make sure all the edges are thoroughly glued down. It takes a couple of hours for the Modge Podge to dry. It may take more than one coat.
I decided to cut a couple of pictures from a favorite childhood book from my own Grandmother's house. The book was torn and missing it's cover. The paper was faded and sporting brown age spots, much like my own skin. It was a book I remember my Grandma reading to me while I was snuggled in her large lap. I loved the book because the protagonist was a little girl with red hair and I was a little girl with red hair, something not common and often commented on in my life.
Now, instead of sitting out of sight in a drawer, only to be thrown away by future generations, it will sit on my coffee table and remind me of sitting in the warm embrace of my Grandma with my ear to her chest as she gently read me stories.
Below are some links for the products we used to make the coasters. If you purchase anything from Amazon using the below links, I may earn a small commission:
It helps to ask a lot of questions as you complete the project. Be sure to admire each child's handiwork. Ask them to hold it up so you can "ohhh and awww" over the creation. My granddaughter choose to make her coaster using a picture we had taken years ago in a photo booth. Perhaps when she is my age, she will still have the coaster and think back to the fun day we took the silly photo as well as the day we made the project during a pandemic.
If you enjoyed this project, please consider purchasing my book "Camp Nanabanana: A Grandma's Guide". It's filled with fun, inexpensive projects you can complete with your own grandchildren. You can download a copy from my homepage located at www.campnanabanana.com/
Nana can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.