Summertime and grandchildren are on the horizon and Lois Kenner of Yukon is looking for ideas.
I told her I'd ask readers to send suggestions. Lois's grandsons are 16 and 17 and her granddaughter is 13. In addition, send ideas for any age and we'll use this column to share ideas.
As a general rule, it is always a good idea to talk to the parents and to the kids and find out what interests them. History? Science? Sports? Being outdoors? You might do some research and make a list from which the kids can choose.
For younger kids, it may be a trip to the zoo, aquarium or an art class at the museum.
Older kids might enjoy a Thunder game or a theater production at Oklahoma City's Lyric at the Plaza, a trip to the beach or a cruise.
If you are up for an adventure away from home, check out the American Hiking Society, which offers volunteer trips on which hikers provide trail maintenance part of the day and spend the rest of the day hiking and enjoying the outdoors.
Another good resource is Elderhostel's program for grandparent/grandkid trips. Its website is www.
If a traveler is younger than 6, probably a day trip or maybe an overnight; elementary-age children can handle a week; teenagers might last two weeks, as long as you plan together things you'll both enjoy doing.
Always remember kids need to burn off more energy during the day than we grandparents, so take time out for them to play — a swim in the pool or a couple of hours at a nearby playground.
Snacks are good. Yogurt and granola bars are preferable to sugary or high-fat food. Be sure they drink a lot of water or juice to stay hydrated. Of course, an occasional candy bar, soft drink or ice cream should never be overlooked!
It helps if you don't have every minute planned and stay flexible, leaving room for spontaneous adventures or a day of doing nothing — sleeping late, making breakfast together when they do rise and going to an afternoon movie or reading a good book.
Most of all, have fun and be open-minded and enthusiastic. At the end of their visit, talk about what you will want to do next year!
Charlotte Lankard is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.