Author Sally Wendkos Olds embodies her own description of the new Super Granny: Great Stuff to Do With Your Grandkids. She doesn’t look or act like her own grandmother—“a sweet old lady wrapped in a shawl and permanently glued to her couch.” Sally has streaks of crimson in her silver hair and she’s a blogger, a world traveler, a runner and an avid text messager. She’s also written ten books on such diverse topics as breastfeeding to traveling in Nepal.
As a super granny, she’s given a lot of thought to the relationship between grandmother and grandchild. She has five grandchildren who’ve traveled with her, run with her, shopped with her and enjoyed a multitude of other fun activities. Her book will definitely inspire grandmothers to connect with their grandchildren in so many creative ways.
Super Granny is written in a conversational style and so fun to read you won’t be able to put it down—unless you’re like me. I had to stop every few pages and look up the websites and resources she recommends, like backgrounds for emails and text message emoticons.
The book is a well-researched collection of 75 stories from grandmothers describing the activities they enjoy with their grandchildren. The activities are divided into four age groups: Infancy to Age Three; Three to Six; Six to 11; and 12 to 18. Each section begins with a short developmental summary for the age group. For each activity there are icons that give you a quick snapshot of cost, energy level, the kind of creative activity, and whether they’re suitable for long-distance.
As I read, I was inspired and excited to try new activities with my granddaughters like identifying seashells at the beach or finger knitting. For those of you with young grandchildren, you’ll get excited for them to grow up so you can enjoy experiences like attending a Grandparents University or Grandparents camp.
The activities range from low-tech ideas, like creating a magical closet for your preschool-age grandchildren to high-tech ideas, like publishing a family cookbook with your adolescent grandchildren. She encourages her readers to learn new skills, like text messaging to keep current with their teenage grandchildrens interests. At the end of the book there’s a wonderful list of resources with a section on communicating with your grandkids.
Her examples triggered ideas that made me put down the book and do something for my own grandkids. One grandma wrote weekly letters to her two-year old granddaughter with puzzles and cartoons from the newspaper. I remembered an article I’d seen about fancy tree houses, so I sent it off to my five-year old granddaughter with a handwritten note the way my grandma used to do for me.
After reading Super Granny, I couldn’t help envying Sally’s five grandchildren. She is one vibrant grandmother devoted to sharing her energy and enthusiasm with her grandkids. What a wonderful gift this book would make for a grandma-to-be.