Lifestyle Family

Tshepiso Makhele
3 minute read
10 Dec 2018
2:35 pm

What to pack for a trip when visiting grandparents

Tshepiso Makhele

It can be a kind gesture to bring along some family pictures for grandparents to see and keep a few for themselves.

Picture: iStock

I still remember the excitement I used to have when the time to visit my grandmother came. This for me was more exciting than getting Christmas clothes or going to an amusement park.

It mattered not to me that grandma stayed in Limpopo, five hours away from my home, in Ga-Mashashane village, where at the time there was no electricity and there were only two or three water taps for all families in her section.

What mattered at that time was that I was going to get to see koko (grandma), and I knew she was going to spoil me rotten with the little that she had and all the love and tender kisses. For me, just like most kids, a visit to my grandparents during this time of the year was an event to look forward to.

Time with my grandparents usually involved simple activities. For me, it was a simple trip to the mountain or their farm, where we ate watermelon and maize while sitting under a tree and listening to grandma telling us all sorts of stories.

Picture: iStock

So when a child visits their grandparents, trust me, it’s best to pack plenty of clothes for the length of the stay for a variety of activities. The last thing you want is for the grandparents to have to wash the kid’s clothes. It can be a bit too much for them.

Younger kids are more likely to need more clothes as they get dirty quicker. Comfort is important to consider: if your child has a favourite stuffed toy, pillow or blanket, include that in their bag. You will be surprised at how anxious kids get when they are away from home, even when they are with people they love like grandparents, so these comfort items work wonders.

These are what’s called security items, and can help to keep the kid calm, content and happy. No grandparent wants an irritable kid who is struggling to sleep because mommy forgot her favourite pillow.

My little girl is exactly that. She has this one pillow she has been using for a while, and will not put her head on any pillow … fussy, I know.

Picture: iStock

Kids and their toys. Every parent knows how intense that relationship can be, and you don’t want to be the one who forgot to pack their beloved toys in their travel bag.

An occupied child is a happy child. While you are busy with packing the toys, don’t forget to pack essentials like toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, medication if they take one, and their favourite snacks. Grandma and grandpa will appreciate the thought.

Also, it can be a kind gesture to bring along some family pictures for grandparents to see and keep a few for themselves. It’s very important for kids to know what rules to follow during their visit, such as packing up their toys after playing, hanging their washing rags outside or simple things like helping granny with the dishes after eating.

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