The Grandparents Handbook by Elizabeth LaBan with Nana Barbara Trostler and Grandpa Myron Laban is a good first resource for both veteran and new grandparents. Assuming that you want to be the best grandparent you can, this book is rich with practical advice and ideas. Hardcover binding, 192 pages. US price $16.95.
It begins with basic baby information on: diapers, swaddling, soothing, sleeping, burping and more to refresh and update your knowledge of all things baby. After all, it has been a while since your son or daughter, who is now a parent, was a baby. Most projects and ideas feature bold numbered lists to guide you each step of the way. The Grandparents Handbook offers doable ideas for indoor and outdoors games and activities, crafts and cooking projects to do with grandkids and ideas for exploring the world outside with your grandchildren.
The Grandparents refresher course at the start of the book makes sure that you are updated on the best ideas for baby care, home safety and addressing the emotional issues of children. From burping to bath-time, it is covered. Some may feel “I already know that” when the topic is baby food or the words to nursery rhymes. Others, I’m sure, will be grateful for the clear and direct guidance.
As my father-in-law says, he planned extensively to be a father, but becoming a grandfather just happened.
The heart of the book is the nearly 50 different ideas and activities to do with you grandchildren, each with step by step instructions and illustrations as needed. One which I had already envisioned as I awaited my first grandchild was playing pirate for a day. Pirate names, costume ideas, treasure hunts and a grog recipe (with no rum) are all part of this creative play time with your pirate fancying grandchild. No parrot required. Other fun adventures are indoor camping, scavenger hunts, and ice cream making.
When sharing ideas of outings and adventures that require being out among the public, the author offers prudent direction in selecting options that fit with your grandchild’s temperament, spark their interest and take into consideration any physical limits you may have. There is no need to couch potato with your grandchild with these practical ideas at your disposal.
An easy read, the Grandparents Handbook is written in a comfortable direct manner. Numbered lists create structure for more involved activities and illustrations make the directions clear throughout the book.
I was surprised when the review copy arrived as it was smaller than I had imagined. I had pictured 8.5 x 11 inches full-sized pages in a softcover. The book actually is 5.8 x 7.8 inches and hardbound. This format and cover style makes it a durable companion for a grandparent who may just be headed out to spend time at a grandchild’s house while the parents steal away for some time together. Even more portable are the Kindle and iBook formats which let it travel with you anywhere. While the official price is $16.95 it can be found for less than that at many online stores and is even less expensive on the kindle. The content to price ratio is favorable and I expect most readers will find it a good value.