Sometimes it’s difficult for grandparents to come up with an activity to do with tween and teenage grandchildren. Will the grandkids think the activity is too juvenile? Will they be bored with it? Will they turn up their nose and not participate?

One way to grab grandkids’ interest is to base your activity around something that they are very connected to – their cell phone. Kids spend a lot of time talking, texting, and doing social media on them.

Use that interest as a springboard for activities to do with them. Because of their strong interest in their phones, they will automatically be interested in participating in activities that requires them to use it.

Here are three activities that you and your grandchildren can easily do together using smart phones that have a camera.

1. Mission Possible

Remember the television program Mission Impossible from the 1960s? This activity is loosely based on that show. This is an activity for a group of your grandchildren. The idea is to put them in teams, give each team a list of items, and challenge them to find the items. Your grandchildren have to take pictures of the items and be the first team to return back to ‘headquarters’ (grandma’s house).

Here’s how you play:

  1. Before your grandkids come, create a list of items for your grandkids to photograph. You will need a list for each team. Have different items on the lists so that the teams are not photographing the same things.
  2. Decide where your grandchildren will go to take their pictures. Will they be at your home and yard? Will you take them to the mall? Will they go to a park? Create your list according to the location.
  3. Depending on where your grandkids will go, each group might need a driver. You could have Grandpa help drive a team around.
  4. When your grandchildren arrive at your home, divide them into teams. Give each team a piece of paper with the following message:
“Good morning Special Agents ______________ (insert your grandchildren’s names). Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to take a picture of every item on this list and be the first team to return back to headquarters (Grandma’s house). As always, should you or any member of your team of secret government agents be caught, the Secretary of State will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This piece of paper will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck.”

Besides having fun together, one purpose of this game is to see how clever and creative your grandchildren can be. In addition to things such as dog, car, or flower, have words that are abstract such as elegant, bright, generous, or brave.

Tell your grandchildren to think out of the box and to think creatively. For example, if the word “hard” was on the list, your grandkids could write a difficult math problem on a piece of paper and take a picture of it. For “cold”, they could take a picture of someone giving another person the cold shoulder.

  1. After giving them the directions, tell them they have one hour and give each team their list of items to photograph.
  2. Once the teams return back to headquarters, have them share their list of words and the pictures that they took.
  3. Give a prize to the team that returned first with pictures of every item on their list and a prize to the team that had the most creative pictures.

2. Alphabet Hunt

Pair off your grandchildren. Give them a piece of paper with the alphabet written on it. Explain that they are to take pictures of things that form individual letters of the alphabet.

For example, where a branch of a tree connects to a tree trunk forms the letter V or Y. A car’s tire could represent the letter O. The lines of mortar between bricks could be the letter H.

Tell your grandchildren to think beyond the obvious when looking for something that forms a letter. Alphabet letters can be found in lots of places. For instance, the shadow from a handrail might create the letter ‘N.’ A letter might be in the design of a carpet or curtain. Ornamental filigree of a light fixture or gingerbread trim on a house might have the shape of a letter.

Get the idea?

Tell your grandchildren that they have only one hour to take pictures and then return back to your home. The first team to return within the hour with pictures taken for every letter of the alphabet is the winner. Have your grandchildren share the pictures that they took.

If you feel that your home or yard wouldn’t provide your grandchildren with enough options for pictures, have your grandkids go out into your neighborhood or take them to an interesting part of your city or to a mall.

3. Photo Scavenger Hunt

You’re probably familiar with a scavenger hunt where kids have to collect miscellaneous items on a list. A photo scavenger hunt has the same principle. But instead of collecting items, your grandchildren simply takes pictures of them.

  1. Pair your grandchildren into teams.
  2. Give them a list of items to find. Each team should have different items on their list.
  3. At the end of an hour, everyone is to return back to grandma’s house. Their goal is to be the first team back with a picture of every item on the list.

When you are making up your lists, think of things around your home or neighborhood. Put some items on the lists that would be easy to find such as a bicycle, lawn mower, or a pickup truck. However, you’ll also want to include a few things that would be somewhat challenging to find – a red front door, a poodle dog, or an American flag.

When you’re finished with your activity, serve your grandchildren a yummy treat. Isn’t that what being a grandmother is all about?

If you’re looking for a simple recipe that your grandchildren will love, check out 5 Delicious Treats to Make with Yellow Cake Mix.

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