HOW-TO MAKE AN OMA (GRANDMA) KIT
by (my mom!) marty halverson of travelinoma.blogspot.com
my mom is a grandmother to twenty grandkids and has perfected her profession. she is always prepared with a little game, a story, an activity, a craft or a silly song to keep the kiddos busy. she even keeps an oma kit in her car, just in case. whenever Oma arrives, the kids squeal and run to see what she has brought with her in her famous kit!
Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children."
~ Button Kit: Buttons of all kinds—coins, jewels, hearts, balloons, animals, faces. We sort them, count them, hide them, make up stories about them, twirl them on thread, and even practice sewing them. I have a spool of thread, a few needles, some swatches of fabric, and a pair of kid scissors in the baggie, plus a thimble, which can be used for Hide the Thimble later.
~ Memory Kit: Several small objects (comb, spoon, ribbon, etc.) We spread these on the table and It hides her eyes while someone removes one of the objects. Then It looks at the display and guesses what is missing.
~Felt Paperdoll Kit: A bunch of felt pieces I cut into shapes. We play with them on the floor.
~Magnet Kit: Random fridge magnets I've collected—people, a dragon, a cuckoo clock, a violin, flowers, etc. We sit on the kitchen floor and take turns making up stories with the refrigerator as the stage.
~Finger Puppet Kit: They put on a show from behind the couch.
~Game Kit: A typed list to remind me of songs, finger plays and games that don't require anything (I Spy; Hokey Pokey; clapping rhymes; Twenty Questions; Going on a Bear Hunt; Duck, Duck Goose; Gossip; Who Stole the Cookies, etc.) Plus, there's a bandanna for a blindfold, dice, a spinner, pennies, string for Cat's Cradle, Old Maid, little golf pencils, pad of paper, marbles, jacks, Pick Up Sticks, pipe cleaners to bend into shapes, and some little wooden tops.
To assemble the kits, I made a list of activities and the stuff I'd need. I assembled what I had and made a list of what to buy. After a trip to a toy-store and a craft store, I put the individual kits in baggies, in a box which I keep in my car. It took some time, but not much money, and I'm ready for an Oma day anytime with no effort at all.
Make some for the grandkids (or grandmothers) in your life!