Birthdays for grandchildren ranging from preschool to third grade, or any age, can be a challenge. My grandchildren live away from me, knowing what they are fascinated with, and keeping up on the latest trends is a challenge. Thinking back to my own childhood, I realized I still have gifts my grandmother made me herself. Those I still treasure.
So I started to look for ideas of things I could make that would delight, or at least not get tossed aside and forgotten about. Something that didn’t require batteries. At first I was stumped, it took some thought.
First my oldest, a young lady, remembering all the stories I read to her dad, my son and his siblings. Bedtime stories. So I pulled out my embroidery machine and made her a book mark from some scrap fabric. Very simple design – her name! I have a lamenting machine so once made, it became a permanent and protected keepsake. I didn’t stop there, I went to online books stores and bought some age appropriate classical books. The Secret Garden, Ann of Green Gables , and Jane Eyre. The phone call of thanks was the response I was hoping to get. She was thankful, but to find out I had made that book mark especially for her, and picked books I enjoyed, well, that was the best recommendation she needed. The following phone calls, she was excited to tell me she was reading on my favorite, Jane Eyre.
Next came my grandson, for him I took some of the remnants left from a quilt I had made him out of favorite themed fabric, making a duffle bag to hold his gifts. Boys are always lugging toys and cars and stuff with them, so a duffle bag that was distinctly his was perfect. From www.aboutsewing.com, I found a duffle bag pattern that was so easy to follow. From the local dollar store we bought dominos, to start at filling that bag. Wonderful to find out later at school he plays dominos, and didn’t have a set of his own. He was so happy to play at home with his parents.
My youngest granddaughter, for her too a duffle bag, and since we like to participate in historical reenactments, starting with her to make the grandkids period costumes. One other way that we can spend time together and enjoy activities together when they come to visit. With measurements in hand working on making her an 18th century skirt, chemise and vest.
It wasn’t easy to come up with ideas. The easy answer was to get a gift card or go to the local toy store and spend money on electronic entertainment. But my fondest memories and those of my children were the time, and personal things that my grandmother, and their grandmother (my mom) gave. I have enjoyed making and putting their gifts together, and from the conversations with my grandchildren, they are just as pleased to have received them.