A.D. Thompson

I spent virtually every Sunday of my childhood at my grandmothers’ apartments, savoring all the love and home-cooking I could handle. Grandma Sadye taught me gin rummy and poker and I made fridge art with her bingo markers. Minnie let me use every single spice in her pantry to “make soup” in a water-filled pot in her sink. They loved grandkid visits as much as I did, and always prepared to make them into the wonderful memories I have today.

These days, there are more cool products than ever for nanas and papas everywhere to do the same when their grandkid visits!

Protection, Theirs & Yours!

It’s been awhile since you ran point like a parent, so if there are toddlers in the brood, it’s definitely time to childproof. Locks for the oven, toilet, bathroom and kitchen cabinets are of the order (though it’s always fun to leave the one with Tupperware, pots and pans accessible for impromptu drum solos!). So, too, are outlet covers and – depending on your grandchild’s height – any drawers with unsafe items.

Bumpers for pointy table corners are a great idea and of course, clear all reachable surfaces of breakable objects. And if you’ve got an escape artist in training, ensuring those doorknobs (to unsafe interior rooms and of course, the outside) have child-safe covers are a must.

When the time comes for potty training, be prepared! Not only can you keep a low-profile potty (or even just a small seat that nestles inside the regular one) on hand for visits, a dedicated stepstool for the occasion can serve double duty when they want to help you with that cookie batter or pie crust and learn all the recipes your grandparents taught you!

Near You


You might have an uber-spacious apartment, but many empty nesters sensibly choose smaller floorplans – why clean more than you need to!? If you don’t have a spare bed or sleeper sofa, investing in an airbed is optimal. They take up very little space, can be super-comfy and they’re conveniently portable! The best airbeds for grandkid visits are easy to inflate and deflate and come with their own storage bag. Some even have “railings,” elevated ridges on either side that keep even the most restless sleepers where they need to be.

Add value by purchasing an inflatable bed that’s adult-sized, ensuring you can use it as your grandkids grow (or even if another friend needs to spend the night).

Boundaries are good

We’re not saying don’t spoil them; that’s your right as a grandparent! The boundaries we’re referring to are literal. Designate space for play – moving furniture if necessary to allow kids room for pillow forts, Lego castles or even a little horseplay on rainy days when you can’t make it to the playground. Keep old magazines and newspapers on hand (or invest in a drop cloth) so you’ll feel okay about letting them channel their inner artist without worrying about a mess left behind.


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About The Author

A.D. Thompson

A.D. Thompson spent the first half of her 25-year career behind the editor’s desk, including time at Playgirl Magazine. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Orlando Sentinel and a host of other publications, print and online. Now a full-time freelancer, she is the Orlando expert for USA Today’s 10Best.com and writes about everything from Mickey Mouse to marijuana-based tourism with equal levels of enthusiasm – and occasional bouts of the munchies.