How to Entertain a Pre-Teen

How to Entertain a Pre-Teen

After a week’s excitement—the train, Los Angeles, Boron, the County Fair—how do elderly grandparents, one undergoing a series of medical treatments, 20 miles out of town (except for those 50-mile round trips to a clinic), with no TV and no nearby children, entertain an 11-year-old for a week or two?

Our first recourse was arts and crafts; Grandma and Ruthie used markers, stamps, paints and stencils to make greeting cards. Grandma discovered that Ruthie’s handwriting is neater and took advantage of that for handwritten messages.  Apparently Ruthie, like Angeline, has inherited artistic talent from Great Grandma Ruth. A box to paint for brother Mitch, a wood plaque painted for Christmas decoration, and a wooden “key holder” repainted for Mom to hang necklaces on, were other projects.

These grandparents may be happy without TV, but do have the Internet. Grandpa turned his computer over to Ruthie, whose parents have led her not only to an appropriate game site, but to “IXL” on which all their children are enrolled for academic enrichment. Ruthie willingly earning on-line “awards” for conquering fourth-grade mathematics challenges.

While Grandma was occupied with planning routes and sightseeing for the trip home, Ruthie listed “Things I can do Today,” including “spinning in a chair”—that’s Grandpa’s latest yard sale find, a “pub chair,” as a friend calls it—between dining chair and bar stool height, with a foot rail and arms, and it spins without twisting off its axis. She included

Ruthie's List
Ruthie’s List

“Help Grandma” (with laundry and dishes, and we put together a custom herb-and-spice mix).   Ruthie’s list is our favorite remembrance from these days.

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