Get your house ready for grandkids: Look after them in a safe and happy place

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With lockdown restrictions easing, your grandchildren can come visiting again. But have you checked to make sure your home is ready?

Here are a few pointers for making your place a fun and safe place to be, and for maintaining your sanity when the little monsters arrive!

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Protect your furniture against stains

Fabric or leather, kids can be hard on furniture. Use a stain guard to protect your drapes, chairs and sofas, so if – or when! –  accidents happen, it won’t be a complete disaster. There are plenty of products that will do the trick, and help your furniture survive the onslaught.

Fill your cupboard with snacks

We’re not recommending junk food, but there is a tradition of spoiling to uphold, after all. If you have a muffin or cookie recipe your grandkids love, being home-cooked allows those treats to rise above the junk food level. Throw in ground almonds or nuts and seeds to boost nutrition, and your offerings will be practically health food.

Assign a cupboard for toys and books

Don’t have many toys or books? Ask for old stuff from your grandkids’ parents or have a rummage at op-shops. Even if you have some already, it’s good to refresh your stock occasionally.

Choose a generous storage box or a cupboard in a room where the kids can play, and they will head straight for it when they arrive. When it’s time to go, tidying up is quick and easy.

Update your first-aid kit

It’s easy to let this one slide – you might raid your kit occasionally for the odd plaster, or grab the scissors when all the usual pairs have gone missing. Make sure you have a full kit, including liquid paracetamol and soothing cream, but before you use any of it, check with parents about allergies and sensitivities.

Baby-proof your house

You might think that youngest grandkid is too little to worry about, but they grow up faster than you can blink. Here are some things you can see to:

  • Tuck up dangling tablecloths, wires and curtain cords
  • Put plugs on all unused power outlets
  • Stick down loose rugs
  • Install child-proof latches on cupboards, especially ones that hold dangerous products
  • Put fragile objects out of reach
  • Pad sharp corners of furniture

Organise a quiet room

If you’re going to have your grandkids for longer than a few hours, the smaller ones will probably need a nap at some point. Fit out a room for this, and furnish it with comfy things – stuffed toys, a special ‘blanky’ or a snuggly bed. If you haven’t got a room to spare, the comfy things will have to do the job of making a quiet space feel like home.

Be prepared to enjoy

When you’ve done your child-happy prep, your furniture is stain-proofed, your first-aid kit is ready to go, and you are as baby-safe as you can be, get ready to have fun. Enjoy yourself with those little darlings while you can – they’ll be grown up before you know it.