Cinderella Days! A Few Of Their Favorite Things!

Having Fun Doing A Few Of Their Favorite Things!

Cindrella Days! www.mytributejournal.comAs parents and grandparents, I think we’re all well aware of the fact that children’s “favorite things” can change on a daily, if not hourly basis.  I still think it’s fun to take time to talk to them and try to tap into a few of the things that make them really happy and then dedicate part of a day to doing those things!  (Obviously, the activities have to be within reason and really do-able, since they have vivid imaginations!)

I’ve done a couple of approaches to a “Favorite Things” day.  Sometimes I’ll call a few days before my granddaughters come to spend the day, and ask what they’d like to do most at grandma’s that week.  Makena is nearly five years old, so I imagine having her parents tell her that she has a phone call is part of the fun of planning a special day!  When Makena gets on the phone she is so grown up and darling as we talk.  She is thoughtful about the questions I ask, and I’ll often hear Marli talking in the background wanting to say “Hello”!

Another fun way that works well, if you have a pretty good idea of what your grandchildren’s favorite things to do are, is to make a few preparations ahead of time and then surprise them when they arrive at your home!  (I can  guarantee you that by having a few things set up and ready to go–no matter the game or activity, they’ll quickly become some of their “Favorite Things” –at least for that day!)

"Favorite things" List

Since I am a relatively new grandma, it has obviously been awhile since little ones have played for any length of time in my home, so I’ve invested in a few key items to have in my playroom.  I look at acquiring these things as an investment in the memories that are made at “Grandma’s House”!  If budget and space aren’t too big of an issue, then it’s definitely money well spent!

Beauty Parlor!

Makena and Marli love to play a variety of things at my house, but the one thing they love to play the most is “beauty parlor”!  They were so excited when I told them that a new item had been added to the beauty supplies!

Playing "beauty parlor"!

Beauty parlor!

I didn’t anticipate how much fun these colored braid clip-ons would be for the girls!  It’s times like this that you start to realize that spending time doing their “favorite things” creates some of your “favorite days” with them! 

(Please note: The “mirror” part of these little vanities isn’t real glass.  I also recognize that along with many other things, my camera skills are a work in progress!)      

Playing "Beauty Parlor"!

Makena and Marli wore the braids most of the day, and couldn’t wait to show their mom!  I love this as a grandma–just like with your own children, not everything you do will always be a big hit; when it is though, I say embrace the moment! 

Makena loves games–and Marli loves to do anything that Makena does, so having a new game to play, or a twist on a familiar one, makes for a win/win situation!  Makena has a number of card games at her home, but I haven’t really gotten too many for the girls at my house, so they weren’t expecting to see one set out on their favorite table!

"Old Maid" card game!

Old Maid” is a classic game that children love!  

Having new cards with characters on them that are different from the ones they have at home, almost makes it seem like a new game!

"Old Maid" cards

Don’t you remember having your favorite card that you always wanted to match…no surprise that “Posh Poodle” was definitely Makena’s favorite! 

A smart investment I made is the little table and chairs set.  There are a lot of darling wooden sets our there, but realizing how often grandchildren will move the chairs from room to room and use them in a variety of different ways while playing, made a durable plastic set the way to go for me.  Your door jams and walls will withstand a few little bumps as well.

Playing "Old Maid"!

Playing "Old Maid"!

The unexpected moments are often the most hilarious…in the middle of our game, Marli went and got the toy iron and started to pretend she was ironing the cards!  It was a giggle inducing moment!

"Game Night" with Jake and Whitney! www.mytributejournal.xom

Makena especially loved that Uncle Jake and Aunt Whitney played games with her when they were here to visit a few weeks ago! 

Another of Makena and Marli’s favorite things to do is have lunch out on my patio. However, I’ve found that sometimes they don’t want to stop playing to have lunch.  Now when it’s time to eat, I’ve started telling them that it’s “lunch bunch” time and we all sit down together!  I have found with my little granddaughters, that it’s a good idea to make lunchtime something fun to anticipate too.  This way, the girls are more likely to eat better.  (I also know that my daughter wants them to have a good meal and not snack too much, so I feel it’s important to honor her wishes.)

"Lunch Bunch" on the patio!

 Finger foods are fun for every age!  (I love them!)  One thing that Makena and Marli love, is to eat their lunch with these little “heart attackers”!  (Nurse lingo again!)

Little heart skewers for finger foods

Heart skewers

I put some little felt heart stickers on the end of a toothpick and it makes for the perfect lunch utensil!  (This is actually something my own children loved too.)    

"Lunch Bunch" on the patio

"Lunch Bunch" on the patio

Just chillin'

Makena and Marli ended up finishing lunch in my bed, since their favorite program was starting.  It’s also a good time for them to have a little rest and quiet time!  (Grandma too!)

Tuckered out!

My dad always said there is nothing so precious as a sleeping child!  I wholeheartedly agree!

What “favorite things” are on your children’s or grandchildren’s list?  Any good children’s toys or furniture items that you’ve invested in that you consider a “must have”? 


Cinderella Days! Word Games And Other Random Fun!

Cinderella Days!  Word Games And Other Random Fun! Cindrella Days!

While shopping for a few snacks to have at my work for those times when it gets too busy to take a lunch break, I found some crackers with letters on them that have helped provide a neat twist to some word games that I’ve had fun playing with my cute granddaughters on our latest “Cinderella Days”!

Most children like the little bite-sized Cheez-it crackers.  Since Makena, my oldest granddaughter, start school this fall, she was especially curious when I told her we were going to play a fun game with the crackers, as well as eat them…after all, isn’t that the best part! (Marli, who is almost two, got caught up in the excitement of the games too!)  Having organized game time is a great way to interact on a more personal level with our grandchildren!

At grandma's house!

Makena and Marli arrived at my house dressed alike, “twiners” as Makena described it!  Is there anything more sweet than two sisters who are still young enough that they want to dress alike!

Letter games

Word games!

I had the girls names spelled out on one of their special plates when they got to my house; they wanted to spell my name too!  This set the mood for the game!

Word games at grandma's house!

Fancy paper and pencils make any game more fun! 

Word games at grandma's!

For the first game, Makena picked a letter cracker from the box, then she’d think of a word that started with that letter.  (She’s been doing workbooks and letters at home for awhile now, so I knew this wasn’t too hard for Makena to play.  You can obviously adapt and help as needed.)  

 Word games!

Then I’d write the word down and Makena would copy it.

Word games!

When Makena picked the letter “E”, she quickly replied that elephant started with “E”, but she didn’t want to write that word.  I came up with “excited”.  She loved that the word had an “X” in it!  Sometimes she’d copy over my writing, then she’d write the word herself.  She told me her mom had her do that sometimes–what a smart mom she has!  Ha!    

Marli just hung out and chattered away as we tried to think up words for the letters we picked.  Makena and I got a kick out of some of the words Marli made up!  Makena got a little exasperated at one point and said to me, “Grandma, Marli just doesn’t know her letters!  That’s a big sister for you!  Priceless!   

"B" is for ballet!

Makena immediately said, “B is for ballet!”  I was the one to get a big surprise with this letter when Makena ran and put on her ballet costume that was in the bag her mom had brought with them when she dropped the girls off!  This led to a spontaneous dance fest in the playroom!Ready to play ballet!                      Dancing!

It’s random fun like this that you just want to hold onto forever!     (Capturing two very busy girls on camera is not always easy either!) 

Another fun word game we played with these crackers was sort of an “I Spy…” variation. 

Cheez-it word games!

We each took turns picking a cracker out of the box, then tried to find something around the house that started with the letter on the cracker! 

"O" is for oranges.

“O” for oranges!  I helped Marli do this one with me!  She was so happy to be a part of the game, and Makena loved how excited she got!

Cheez-it" word games.

I have to be honest, Makena stumped me on this one.  For the life of me I couldn’t find anything that started with “G”!

"G" is for Green lamp!

Finally Makena pointed to the lamp on our sofa table.  When I said that’s a lamp, that starts with “L”, she told me, “Grandma, it’s a green lamp, you know, gr, gr for gr-een!”  (Imagine her sounding out the letter “G”)   Oh, from the mouth of babes!

Another fun letter that Makena picked was the letter “M”!

Word games.

Of course, right away Makena acknowledged that she could pick anyone of us, since all our names start with “M” –but she was very clever with her choice…  

"M" is for marshmallow!

It’s all very silly, but so much fun!   

Bottlecap magnet letters.

These letters are on a big magnet board in our playroom!  I don’t think there is a child alive that doesn’t love to play with magnets, especially when you learn to spell your name with them!

Any fun games you’ve made up your own version of, that your family likes to play? 


A quick foot note…after I posted this entry, I met up with my daughter, Malia, and my granddaughters to run a few errands.  Makena brought some papers with her that she had done with her cousin, Emma, who tends them once in awhile.  Makena told me that Emma plays school with her and helps her do these amazing little worksheets.  I was so impressed with how well done they were and how Emma had obviously taken a lot of time to work on them with Makena.  What a fun idea for any babysitters out there earning extra summer money!

Playing school. www.mytributejournal.comPlaying school!

Cinderella Days! A Disney Treat For Two Cute Princesses!

A Disney Treat For Two Cute Princesses! Cindrella Days!

Since the summer heat is starting to settle in, I decided it would be fun for our Tuesday, “Cinderella Day”, to have Makena and Marli help me make a revamped version of the Pineapple Whip Icy Treat that is so popular at Disneyland.  I’ve come across a few recipes for this yummy treat, but this is my favorite way to prepare it.  As I’ve said before, I try to have all the ingredients, utensils and dishes I’ll need assembled and all ready to go, then when my granddaughters arrive, all they have to do is pull up a stool so we can get started!  Most children love to help stir, mix, and pour when helping in the kitchen, and Makena and Marli are no exception to this fact!  They are fun, little kitchen companions!


 Disney Pineapple Whip Icy Treat

2-20 ounce cans crushed pineapple with juice

2 Tbsp. lemon     2 Tbsp. Lime     1/3 cup sugar

1-8 ounce container of extra creamy Cool Whip

(You can also use 1-1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream whipped)

Making Disney's Pineapple Whip!

 Making Disney's Pineapple Whip

Helping Grandma in the kitchen!

Place pineapple with juice, lemon juice, lime juice and sugar in blender.  Cover and blend until smooth, then pour into 2 1-quart zippered bags.

Ready to freeze Pineapple Whip Treat

Store bags flat in freezer.  Freeze 1-1/2 hours or until slushy.

Making Disney's Pineapple Whip Treat!

Place slushy pineapple mixture in bowl 

Stirring Disney's Pineapple Whip Treat

Gently stir in Cool Whip (or whipping cream) and freeze again for another 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Ice Cream Bowls!

A dessert treat served in special dishes makes it even more fun to eat!  These are ice cream bowls I had when my kids were little, and now Makena and Marli love to eat anything in them!

Enjoying Disney's Pineapple Whip treat!

Such a yummy treat for my favorite princess girls!  The laughter and girl talk while we eat our Disney Pineapple Whip Treat is the best part for me! 

I sent some home for Makena and Marli’s mom and dad!  

Disney's Pineapple Whip Treat perfect for parties!

Grandpa and Grandma enjoyed some while we put our feet up after the girls left!  This would be a great summertime patio party treat too! 

Any good summertime treats that you like to make?  Please share them!

Indulge me for just a second while I share a little snipet from my grandma brag book…

Makena playing violin at the Arts Festival!Makena started taking violin lessons a little while ago.  This past Saturday, she had the opportunity to perform with several other students at our local Arts Festival.  Makena did an amazing job and knew her songs so well!  Grandchildren seem to grow up almost as fast as our own children!

Makena playing her violin!

Definitely a top highlight of my summer!

What neat summer memories have you made so far?