At Grandma's Place

...having fun, enjoying life, creating memories

At Grandma Place

Join me in creating new traditions with my grandkids.

At Grandma's Place

...making every moment special...

At Grandma's Place

...Having fun never goes out of style...

At Grandam's Place

..sharing fresh and creative ideas that combine the simplicity of the past with the energy of today...

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Old wives tales- true or false?

How uncomfortable are hiccups! And once you start, it's hard to stop.Yesterday, my grandson had them.. and, everyone was suggesting remedies. "They just won't stop!" he cried in frustration between hiccups. I suggested he try a spoonful of sugar. He laughed and said, "That's not going to work." I was pleased to note, though, that it did.

So I checked, and a number of studies have shown that, yes, a spoonful of white sugar will stop hiccups in 95% of cases. Researchers haven't been able to figure out why the remedy works, but they think that 'the sugar may irritate the throat so that the nerve impulses that cause the hiccups are interrupted'.

It's interesting to note that many of the simple, old remedies and solutions for common problems are being proven accurate. Maybe gran does know best. Have you come across any true 'old wives tales' recently?

What about a nice hot bowl of home-made chicken soup when you're feeling ill. It seems that, more than just a comfort food, chicken soup may reduce the inflammation of the lungs and slow down the activity of while blood cells that can cause the inflammation. Who knew?

Have you heard that rubbing a walnut on furniture will remove scratches? Yes, that one's true, too. The oil from the walnut will penetrate the surface removing the blemishes.

For generations, mothers have crooned lullabies to babies to calm and soothe them to sleep.A recent study at a British hospital has found that, not only do lullabies help babies get off to sleep, they also ease pain. Heart rates dropped and children as young as a week old were visibly in less pain. Other studies in US have shown that newborns played lullabies put on more weight and were discharged more quickly from intensive care.

And nursery rhymes are also important. Although modern families often brush aside these old rhymes or substitute other stories and songs, these nursery rhymes play an important developmental role in language acquisition. Nursery rhymes teach important prepositions to children- under, over, beside, on, and more. Think of any rhyme- Little Miss Muffet, Jack be Nimble, Little Jack Horner- teaching it to kids will also teach these important positional prepositions.

While knowledge and information grows at an unprecedented pace due to modern technology, there is still an amazing legacy of helpful hints and remedies from previous generations that should not be overlooked. As current studies investigate the validity of many of these, we are finding that, yes, sometimes grandma really did know best. Share any true old wives tales or remedies that you have come across.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Keeping fit and healthy

I had been debating the purchase for some time. After all, it meshed perfectly with the typical image of a grandma, but did I really want that image? It turned out, I'd timed the purchase perfectly.

As I staggered in with the over-sized box from Ikea, (yes, I know I'd vowed never again to attempt another flat pack from Ikea) I began to feel a little uncomfortable, almost unwell. Overtired, I expect. But as I stood back to admire the completed rocking chair, even the pleasure of realising that all the pieces did, indeed, fit could not dim the knowledge that yes, my grandkids had definitely shared their recent bout of gastro with me. I felt most unwell.

One of the inevitable consequences of caring for grandchildren is the real likelihood of contracting their illnesses. I certainly made good use of that rocking chair as I recovered.
C.S.Lewis once noted, 'Though I get no more tired now than I did when I was younger, I take much longer to get un-tired afterwards.'
 I agree, but I think the same applies when convalescing. But my commitments and general busyness didn't ease so I really needed to get back on my feet quickly and I really felt 'down' and unmotivated. So I checked to see how best to recover and found this helpful advice from  It's especially reassuring that the site's information is maintained by those in the medical profession.

So.. I'm feeling much better and enjoying my comfortable rocking chair. My grandson decided he'd like to try it himself and snuggled happily into the chair and just sat there. He waited few moments and then said, " So.. how do I get it going?" It may be low-tech, it may present a 'granny' personnae, but I don't care. It's really relaxing.

So... what do you find helps you recover quickly from illness?

You might also be interested in:
* Easily organise your medical records
* Calendar/planner for busy families

Thursday, 12 September 2013

10 apps every grandparent needs

Grandparents of today are a different breed. Gone is the image of the little old grandma seated in a rocking chair on the front porch quietly knitting and watching the world go by.

I was reading some interesting statistics about today's grandparents. 75% of those who are grandparents are online. 70% will use search engines to locate information. 63% regularly make purchases online. 46% bank online. 45% are on social media.

The information didn't actually list any details about iPad usage but I've read elsewhere that 45% have downloaded 10 or more apps in a year.

I know that my iPad is an integral part of my life. I'm rarely without it and it's not just to provide apps to entertain the grandkids, though I have different apps for the different ages of my grandchildren. So, I was questioning just what apps are worthwhile for grandparents today, for the Baby Boomers. The difficulty of course is that there are so many. For almost every situation you can imagine, truly, 'there is an app for that!'

So, I thought about the different aspects of my life as a grandparent and I've compiled my list of 10 best apps for a grandparent. They are not listed in any particular order. Click on each for more information. What apps would you consider should be added to this list?

Glo Bible includes Bible, atlas, media and connect to social media and reading plans. Easily add notes while studying.
Medical record keeping for you and anyone else in your family: medication, test results, files. Easily generate reports and share information with doctor or during a medical emergency.
Organise your life and your family activities: organiser and reminder, shopping list, to-do lists, journal. Easily shared with family.

Store and organise your recipes, import recipes from websites and share with friends.

Kids-in-Mind is a great website/app that answers all your questions and provides detailed information about every movie before watching with the grandkids.

Download and read  books, newspapers, magazines, text books and pdfs.

This great little app enables parents and linked family to easily keep a private baby/children blog with auto upload and sharing features. It's like an online brag book for grandparents and family.

Easily take notes, capture photos, make to-do lists and add information from websites emails etc, file, store and share.

Never forget a birthday again. Import birthdays from Facebook, contacts or add manually. Set reminder times. Send greetings & virtual gifts on Facebook or via email.

Customise and use to collect and read the news you care about as well as social media updates. Presented in a magazine style format.

You may also be interested in:
Are you considering an iPad or tablet?
Create a photo journal day by day
Reading with your grandchild

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Spend time with your grandkids- create a book file together

It's been said that grandchildren are God's way of compensating us for growing old. Actually, I don't feel old. I know I am, of course. I have only to look at the awe and amazement on the faces of my grandchildren when I admit that, growing up, we didn't have colour TV to realise that, yep, I'm pretty old. I don't like to even suggest that .. shock.. horror.. the internet didn't exist then, either.

No, I want to be more than just an item of curiosity for my grandkids. I want to be connected and involved in their lives, which is not that easy when the lives of today's families are so fast-paced and varied.

But, I've found it doesn't need to be too difficult or time-consuming to connect- it just takes a bit of planning. For example, my oldest granddaughter, like many girls, enjoys crafts. That's something that we can share and do together. And it doesn't need to be an expensive activity or require too much  time and skill.

Last week, we made a book file together. It was a great idea published in the August edition of Australian Better Homes and Gardens magazine- a project that can be completed in under an hour, takes no real skill and even fewer resources.

As you can see, the magazine's finished article looks very classy. We decided to make one that was a little more colourful for a young girl. So, instead of using a hardcover novel, we found an inexpensive hardcover book filled with beautiful colour photos of dogs. If you're making this yourself (and it's very easy), find a hardcover book with at least 270 pages.

Then, simply fold the first page over to meet the spine of the book. Press the folded page firmly. Repeat with each of the following pages of the book. And  that's it! Sure, you can add some tabs. You can purchase these from any stationery suppliers or even make your own. The completed file can store small items like stamps, paper clips, notes, pressed flowers, stickers... anything.

I've found that doing something like this with my grandkids, provides the perfect opportunity to ask questions, listen to them talk about their day and maybe even find out about their hopes, plans and concerns. And... the craft turned out pretty well, too. We've even had some requests for book files from others.

You might also be interested in:
10 things to do with your grandkids
Reading with your grandchildren

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Baby-sitting Checklist for Grandparents

I opened the car door and my grandson looked up, kicked his feet excitedly and reached out for me. It's wonderful to be given the opportunity to fill a part of my grandchildren's lives. It's wonderful when they wrap their arms around your neck, put their face against your cheek and give you a big hug.

Since I care for them regularly, I like to be prepared and organised when they arrive. As much as possible, I stick with their normal routine and I like to let their parents know how we filled the day, what exciting discoveries they made and the funny things they said or did.

On a practical note, I like to make sure that I'm clear about nap times, feeding times and any other individual requirements. I think that it's reassuring to be able to report back about these essentials, too.

 So, I've designed a printable sheet that I can fill in with some of these details so that everyone is on the same page and nothing is overlooked in the care of these precious little ones. If you'd like to use it yourself, you can find the free downloadable below.

But, there are a couple of apps that you might like to consider that enable you, as parents or grandparents, to share care information or highlights about the kids.

Care Zone family is an app that enables you to organise and share important information about the care of your family - emergency contacts, medications, calendars and to-dos.

 It's largely designed in journal style so that you can simple note anything important or organise lists of tasks plus manage who receives the information or when you request help. You can add entries for multiple children and include photos or files to share. The app also allows you to include important medical details like allergies, blood type and other medical conditions. It is available as iPhone/iPad app or Adroid. Find out more HERE.

Daily Connect app allows you to easily gather and share information about basic care: feeding, naps, nappy changes, moods and activities. It's described as the daily online sheet for your child care centre but it also works for grandparents. You can record important milestones, share concerns, list activities and upload photos. Send all your entries via email or it can be printed, if required. The various headings and activities can easily be customised and an in-app timer is included so that naps and feeding times can be easily tracked and even graphed. The app costs $5.49 but is free after that for families. Available for iPhone, iPad or Android. You can find more information HERE.

Download file:
Baby Sitter Checklist pdf

You might also be interested in:
Teaching Bible memory to toddlers
Kids-in-Mind reviews family movies

Monday, 29 July 2013

What's your real age?

I was told that once I turned 50, everything would start to fall apart. So, I waited in fear and trembling for these dire predictions to be fulfilled. Helpful though it is, it probably doesn't help your peace of mind for government departments to begin sending through the reminders for health scans and checks, either. It certainly can be a little overwhelming. Thankfully, although I regularly adhere to the recommended health reviews, I have had no real concerns to date.

I love that quote about grandchildren: 'If I'd known how much fun grandchildren would be, I'd have had them first.' I will admit, though, that I lack the energy that once I had, and looking after grandchildren can be exhausting. And whenever I forget something, misplace by car keys or find myself hesitating over level 2 or 3 in the supermarket car park, I question the onset of Alzheimer's.

So... I was interested recently to take an online test by ShareCare and Dr Oz, 'What's your actual age?' Have you checked it out?
You can find it HERE.

You'll find quite an extensive number of questions so don't rush the test. And the test isn't designed for any particular age-group so anyone can take the test. It will brighten your day if you receive an encouraging result with your actual age less than your years. But don't be upset if not... there are helpful articles and recommendations for everyone who takes the test to read and consider in regards to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It's worth checking it out! Let me know how it goes.

You might also be interested in:
Create a lasting photo journal day by day
Go back in time to get the right photo

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Reading with your Grandchildren

I love to read books with my grand-kids and yes, it often means reading the same book again and again. I've lost count of the number of times I've read 'Where is the Green Sheep?' or 'Blossom Possum'. What books do you love to read aloud? Which books are you always asked to read again and again?

Over and again, studies highlight the benefits of reading to your kids.For example, a study was made in Rhode Island Hospital to compare two groups of eight months old – one group was read to often as babies, while the other was not.  It was shown that those who were read to have their “receptive” vocabularies (number of words they understand) increased 40 per cent since babyhood, while the non-reading group increased by only 16 per cent. 

Kimdoma is an app that enables you to read aloud with your grandchildren any night of the week, whether they live next door or kilometres away.

The app combines e-books with video calls which means that you can share the book on your individual iPads. You and your grandchild can choose a book together- there are 26 popular stories in the Kindoma library. The screen displays both the book and video of both you and your grandchild.
Either of you can turn the page and an indicator also pops up on-screen when one person is pointing to a particular word or picture. For a better understanding of how this concept works, check out the clip below.