If grandchildren coming to visit are 9- to 12-year-old and teens, this column is for you.
For 9- to 12-year-olds, think board games, sleeping bags for a night out under the stars, binoculars, microscope, basketball hoop and ball, diary with a lock, jigsaw puzzles, playing cards or magic tricks.
Ask them to help you plan and prepare the meals. Have a sewing machine? Teach them to sew. My granddaughter Sarah was taught to sew by her Grandma Betty. Now as a 17-year-old, she creates her own designs.
Check out the classes offered at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and while you are there, view the exhibits.
Remember scavenger hunts? The objects you choose will depend on their age, so use your imagination:
Something that feels slippery, round, hairy.
Something that floats, makes a sound, feels rough.
Something you can eat, that never grows or gets smaller.
Something that makes a sound, that feels rough, smells sweet.
Something that is square, green, soft or wet.
Something you can see through, step on.
If you will be hosting teenagers, Nancy Blankenship suggests inviting them to bring a friend.
Teenagers enjoy any of the latest technology or you might have something different on hand, such as a pottery wheel or some old LP records and a player.
If you live in or around Oklahoma City, kayaking and bike rentals can be found on the east shore of Lake Overholser.
Teens don't need to be entertained constantly and time for texting friends will be appreciated. If you don't text, ask them to teach you.
Be a good listener. Skip the lecturing and probing. Do say, “Tell me more.”
Teenagers will probably enjoy sleeping late, so suggest some evening activities, such as the Oklahoma City Zoo Amphitheatre — Oklahoma City's premier outdoor concert venue.
They offer classic rock, country and alternative music under the stars. Visit www.zooamp.com to preview upcoming attractions.
And use those quiet mornings for some extra sleep yourself or enjoy the solitude with your morning coffee and the day's edition of The Oklahoman.
Charlotte Lankard is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.