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luv2travel5 Aug 26th, 2008 10:15 AM

Activities for kids and grandparents?
Hi -
I will be spending the long Labor Day weekend with my in-laws, and my husband and I would like to find some ways for them and our kids (ages 2 and 3) to have some fun. For 2-3 days, we will be in Connecticut, and I was hoping to find some activities for them to do. Both of our kids still nap, so all day activities don't really work - it needs to be 2-3 hours in the morning or late afternoon. One difficulty is that my in-laws are not big fans of being outside - they don't want to get burned, etc. - which doesn't exactly match up w/ my kids' love of things like the beach, pool, amusement parks, playgrounds, etc.

I suppose something like a children's museum might work, but I sort of hate to have them cooped up inside if the weather is nice.

Please help with any ideas for us!


vjpblovesitaly Aug 26th, 2008 10:19 AM

So where do they live? Connecticut isn't that small is it?

luv2travel5 Aug 26th, 2008 10:23 AM

They live in TX - they are not natives of CT. We are all up in New England for a family wedding, so no one is that familiar with the area.

swaymock Aug 26th, 2008 10:25 AM

Your kids are quite young. Am I understanding that they don't get to see their grandparents very often?

I'd think at that age, the kids would be happy to do something new and different at home with the grands.

My kids absolutely loved making cut out cookies, or doing pretty much anything in the kitchen, with their grandparents. They also loved any kinds of arts/crafts activities. All the better if it's a little different than what they do at home.

2-3 year olds don't get all that much out of a museums - or at least their attention span only lasts so long. Maybe your kids would prefer a picnic in the park IN THE SHADE someplace where the kids can feed some ducks, or look at some fish ponds. And how about a trip to an ice cream parlor or candy shop. My experience has been that kids remember the little stuff far more than some of the bigger stuff.

gail Aug 26th, 2008 11:29 AM

Think non-exotic. Out for pizza, even a fast-food place with indoor playground. Some new books to be read by grandparents - with a spare copy for grandparents to take home so they can read it to their grandchildren over the phone when everyone is back home.

Playing with water in the sink, having grandparents give them a bath, Play-Do.

At the age of your kids, they may find the grandparents kind of scary since they do not see them often - warn the grandparents of that and let the kids approach them rather than having these strangers scoop them up and squeeze them. This is something my in-laws never quite got and were sad when they swooped down on the grandchildren, terrifying them, and then felt rejected.

tchoiniere Aug 26th, 2008 11:35 AM

Where will you be in Connecticut? Its not a small state when you look at the roads.

abram Aug 26th, 2008 01:42 PM

We have been lucky enough this summer to have two visits from our beloved 2 1/2 year old grandaughter. Anything we do together is fun for all of us-- coloring, reading books, doing puzzles, having tea parties, rolling a ball back and forth, singing silly songs.

Every day after supper we sat outside and played with bubble wands from the dollar store. Our neighbors have a sand box and a swing set with a slide, which they graciously let us use; our little one often asked to go to the "playground across the street".

Games made up on the spur of the moment are also great fun: She and I held hands, walkied around in circles singing "la, la, la", and then had to fall down on the floor because we got dizzy. When my husband got home from work, she said, "Grandpa, play la-la with me!" My husband had no idea what "la-la" was, but she taught him how to play.

emcash Aug 26th, 2008 01:59 PM

we could be more helpful if you let us know where in CT you will be. Overall, though, if you find a local park with a good swing set and slide, that's a great way to pass an hour or 2 with the toddlers. There's usually a bench or 2 in the shade. By the time you get breakfast done, get the kids in the car and go to the park, you'll likely only have an hour to play before it's close to lunch time.

If you're near mystic, you could take them to the aquarium- my 2 year old loved the boston one. Let us know the general area of where you';ll be and i'm sure we can provide some more suggestions.

dfnh Aug 27th, 2008 01:58 AM

Our two little granddaughters live near us. We've just had a stretch of beautiful weather here in NH and looks good for the next few days. Check the area for local events which might include a petting zoo. We just spent some time at a farm museum which had a small children's playhouse. The girls loved it. Gail's and others suggestions of simple things to do are excellent. Blowing bubbles, a local sandbox, local park are great ideas. It starts to get chilly in late afternoon but it is still sunburn weather. Some areas of CT have wonderful orchards, look for PYO. Some of the orchards near us also have small playgrounds and animals to visit. Most likely the CT Dept of Agriculture has a PYO list on their website. Our 3 YO about to turn 4 has loved easy puzzles. She will do the same one over and over. Just enjoys adult company esp someone who ohs and ahs. Children that age also like water play. If a small wading pool isn't available, a dishpan would probably do. Put in-laws in a shady area with a nice glass of iced tea. All they have to do is watch. It took me a while to remember what playing with toddlers is all about. Simple is best. They can get overwhelmed by too many people, rambunctious goats at a petting zoo, or just being in a strange place. Our girls turned down a tractor ride but the older one finally agreed to ride in the back of a hay wagon. Some orchards also give a wagon ride out to the trees. Simple corn mazes can be fun. It's just a walk on paths thru a corn field. Check out ice cream places. Some of the large ones offer some activities like sand boxes, mini golf, petting zoo, and corn maze (the one near us is a former dairy farm).

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