Do you remember the old grandmothers brag books? Little books with plastic sleeves grannies could slide in the latest photographs of their grand-babies. These were tucked into purses, and pulled out to share with their friends and relatives. These little books seem to have gone by the way, and our grandchildren are on our phones out in cyberspace somewhere.

When our grandchildren were young, I took these books and made them into “learning tools.” I found flash cards for colors, shapes, numbers, food, animals, etc. and then added my own songs, poems or rhymes that I wanted them to learn. I tucked these into the glove box of the car, and when I was in the car with them waiting for their mom to run some quick errands, we would play at learning with these little books. Our little granddaughter was only two years old, when her little brother was born very premature. Mom and Dad were at the hospital watching over him a great deal of the time.  I filled one of the brag books with pictures of her family, including aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and others who love her. As she was in the care of her grandmothers and her aunt for a great deal of the time, this little book was tucked in the diaper bag and pulled out for her to tell us who they were, and for us to tell her how much they loved her.

Sometimes all you need is a coin to entertain them. If I was in their car and didn’t have my brag book, I would flip a coin and they had to guess “heads or tails.” We would record on paper our scores. They loved it, and it’s amazing how often they were right. Scary….almost like they have ESP! Another game when they were older was “20 Questions.”  I would teach them the difference between animal, vegetable or mineral, and then we had 20 guesses to figure out what they or I was thinking.

When the children were little, with all the strapping into car seats, and then strapping into strollers, etc., I was made to feel so useful when my daughter would ask me to go along and be with her kiddos in the car while she would nip into different stores or complete errands of some sort. We could chat while driving, and I had a wonderful opportunity to interact with my grand babies while she was completing her tasks. If she was going to be a little longer, like to purchase groceries, I would go along and help out in the store. I love this quote by Alex Haley: “Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.” It’s true. I knew it all along. We grannies are rock stars! Just ask us. We will tell you.

GoodGrandma℠ Grandma Colleen has a book she cares in her purse. It has pictures of her grandchildren and the families within her family. She says It comes in handy when occupying grandkids and it helps them learn and remember all of the family members names.

Side note: Grandpa taught our granddaughter how to play Gin Rummy when she was about 13 years old. She loved it, because it moves along and takes some skill. Now I carry a deck of cards in my purse at all times. If ever we are waiting, we whip out the cards and play. This happened when we were all together in a Dr.’s office, waiting for an appointment for Grandpa. And waiting. And waiting. You know how it goes. We played cards and the next time grandpa and I were alone waiting in the office, and the PA came out and said, “Hey! Aren’t you the family that was playing cards out here last month?” I told him we were. He told us he thought that was the coolest thing. It impressed him that we were having some quiet fun while passing the time. Yea! Another win for the Grandma!

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