A child’s relationship with their grandparents can provide a safe haven and warm place to land when the stresses of life are overwhelming. It can also be that beloved, care-free spot where kids feel totally loved and accepted no matter what. Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani stated, “What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, and lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies!”

According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), grandparents are increasingly providing the stability and security of home for their families. The 2010 U.S. Census revealed a 7% increase in the past decade of children living in a grandparent’s home.

No matter the parameters of the grandparent-grandchild relationship, they provide much needed support for their families. Whether you and your children refer to them as Big Mama, Grammy, or Mumsy, Bumpy, Grandiddy or Pops, they are as unique and special as the thousands of names they are called.

Here are nine quality time ideas for kids to enjoy with their grandparents!

•  Cook an heirloom/family fave recipe together.
•  Have dedicated time together like regular visits to the park or local library.
•  Learn something new together such as a new craft or skill.
•  Make a memory box filled with baubles, pictures, etc. and share the story behind them.
•  Create pop quizzes for each other with random, funny questions.
•  Pretend to be reporters and interview each other about your lives.
•  Do art projects together.
•  Read together.
•  Start a tradition. Traditions provide structure and framework for bonding.
•  Check out Grandparents.com for more ideas and printables.