Turtle's Progress

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Surprise in Grama's Closet

Is there a special place in your home that your grandchildren can't wait to see the minute they arrive at your house? (after hugs, of course!)

Mine head straight for the large closet in our TV/Family Room.  They know that its bottom three shelves are reserved for the toys and books.  It is always a work in progress.  As they've grown older the baby toys, noise makers, and Duplos have been replaced with Legos, boardgames and art supplies.  It is always fun to have them open the closet and exclaim over whatever they find that is new while often still reaching for the old standbye race car track or drawer full of "little toys" that my own girls used to play with.
The boys tend to go for the cars or Legos while the girls gravitate toward the art supplies and Grama's discarded jewelry.

Another storage space reserved just for them is the vintage suitcase under the bench.  The girls almost always immediately pull it out and check for new additions or get busy creating.  This suitcase has been dubbed "the office".  In here is stored markers, crayons, kid scissors, junk mail envelopes, stapler, tape dispenser, paper, play money, etc, etc.
Their creative side gets to work as soon as they start pulling things out.  Our Family Room has been converted to a jewelry store, a museum, and a baby nursery, a Star Wars set, an office and any other fun thing they can think of to use the things available in different ways. 
I keep these spaces supplied with  age-appropriate treasures by shopping thrift stores and always being on the lookout for games, toys and art supplies.  In addition to the closet and suitcase, the garage houses bikes, trikes, and wagons, all of which were found at my local Goodwill.

My own memories of playing at my grandparents' homes was much more limited than this.  One grandmother had one Richard Scarry book that my siblings, cousins and I had worn out and memorized.  The big draw at their house was that it was usually full of cousins to play with.The other had a few toys but the biggest thing at her house was her attention.  She was a widow and gave to any grandchild who came to visit her undivided attention.  She taught us to play jacks, checkers, rummy and "slap jack".  But no matter what or who I had to play with at my grandparents' houses, I always knew I was loved.  That is what I hope my grandchildren remember too.  I know they will think of "the office" and "the closet", but I hope they know that those spaces were filled with those playthings because their grama loved them and loved having them in her home to play!


At 8:28 PM, Anonymous Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs said...

I love the idea of the suitcase filled with treasures. Gotta make use of some of my old luggage that way.
The hot spot for my grandsons when they visit is the sand area by our backyard waterfall where they get to "dig for treasure." My husband buries coins there and the boys use a variety of sandbox toys to dig them all up. (And no, there are not cats in our backyard that muck up the sand with ickiness!) Your memories of your grandparents' house is much like mine. Very few toys but lots of relatives to play with for hours and hours. I need a few more grandkids so my grandsons will have memories of cousins. :-D
Thank you so much for linking to the GRAND Social. A very enjoyable post.

At 6:20 AM, Blogger J said...

We have so much in common! I love reading here! I saved Barbies, My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake, and Fisher Price buildings and the "Little People" that came with them and my grandkids enjoy playing with what their mommies once did. I need to get more organized like you are, though!

At 9:39 AM, Blogger Terry said...

Yep, I saved Little People too and also their "My Friend Dolls" from long ago. It is fun to see it all being played with once again. Thanks for stopping by! I love your Bingo game!

At 10:52 AM, Blogger Lori Grimes said...

Sure am glad I have you to fall back on when I become a gramma and need gramma ideas.

At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Kaye Swain - SandwichINK said...

I remember visiting one aunt and uncle we especially loved - and they always had a stack of fun games.

Now, during the winter, my grandkids head for the garage to roller skate :) OR my TV to see the latest educational Wild Kratts that I've recorded for us all to enjoy OR my fridge where their favorite - Martinelli's Sparkling Cider always resides. :) (In the summer - it's just as likely to be outside to play ball tag!) Whatever it is, we do have fun doing it! :)

Thanks for a lovely visit to a fellow grandparent!

At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Mrs. Tucker said...

the suitcase is magical!

At 11:31 AM, Blogger Terry said...

So funny to hear about the Martinelli's Cider, Kaye! It is made in my hometown, Watsonville, CA! I know longer live there but was born and raised there and Martinelli's I one of our claims to fame!

At 11:59 AM, Blogger Terry said...

Yep, I saved Little People too and the kiddos love them. Glad you stopped by!

At 7:07 PM, Blogger erin said...

Love that you're blogging again mama!

At 6:00 PM, Anonymous Grandma Kc said...

I absolutely love the suitcase idea and you could easily slide it under a bed, too! I don't ever remember toys at my grandparents but like you the fun in going there was cousins!! Amara has her own room her so it is always the first place she heads. If I have gotten her any new books, toys or crafts I usually lay them on her bed for her to find. So much fun. Oh and Amara is another huge Martinelli's fan. She drinks hers out of a plastic champagne flute!

At 6:21 PM, Blogger Terry said...

Another nice thing about the suitcase is that cleanup is easy. Stuff It all in there until I have time to sort it out after they've all gone! You are lucky to live so close to Miss Amara!

At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Grandma Kc said...

We were so lucky to find the perfect home only one mile from their house! I am a very lucky Grandma and Mom.

At 5:50 PM, Blogger Connie said...

Love the suitcase :) I have several different play areas in my house and a crafting area that gets LOTS of use by the kids. I love doing that for them. Thanks for linking with me.


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