Monday, May 24, 2010

Little surprises...

In yesterday's post I referred to Chloe finding gloves in her drawer. I thought I'd explain.

My sisters' children are all older than my children, so by the time mine came along, my mother had a lot of grandmother experience. One of the really sweet ideas she had when my kids were little was to keep little surprises in two small dresser drawers...they each knew which drawer belonged to them. These would be little freebie things...stickers she got in the mail...small old toys of mine that she would find around the house...a key chain from a car dealership. The kids absolutely loved knowing that there would be a surprise waiting for them at Grandma's, and would always head immediately to their drawers when we arrived.

It was a tradition I wanted to continue. From the time I became a grandmother, I've been looking for a piece of furniture that had the right drawers for this purpose. Everything we owned at the time had big drawers, or single drawers, or high drawers. Then one day when I was browsing Craigslist two or three years ago, I found this...

Four drawers on each side! The three boys have drawers on one side, and the two girls have drawers on the other (Carey and I get to use the ones that don't belong to a child). It sits low to the floor for even the littlest searchers. And it's in the main room of the house, so I see it every day and remember to have something in everybody's drawers before each visit. They all know which drawer belongs to whom and not to check out anyone else's drawers but their own.

Five drawers are a lot to keep filled, so the surprises aren't always freebies, but they are very inexpensive. Sometimes I grab a child's meal instead of an adult's for my lunch, and I put the toy in one of the drawers. I always make a stroll through Target's bargain area or Dollar Tree for little things they might like. I've put in pencils, word-search puzzles made especially for them on a free website, gum, foreign currency left from a vacation, plastic bracelet giveaway items, miniature coloring books, a small toy that I knit, chalk, empty makeup containers, and the like...oh, and gloves.

The kiddoes love their drawers as much as my kids did. They can't get out of the car and into the house fast enough. I'm lucky to get a hug before they hurry past. :)


  1. Wow, that's such a nice idea - and they know you are always thinking of them by the little things you leave them. Very nice, grandma!

    Cheers - Joolz

  2. WOW! That is simply fabulous! When I'm an Umi I will also have the special drawer system, I'll call it the surprise Kathleen :)

  3. lol or I guess it should be Kathleen's surprise! lol

  4. So, so sweet. This is why I bought my beautiful wooden advent a few years ago... I wanted to always have little presents.
    A beautiful idea. One I'll pass down, for sure.

  5. I love this idea. Your grandkids will remember this always-as you know. So funny how it doesn't take money (much of it) to delight. It's the surprise and the fact that Grandma thinks of them that matters. Always special to Grandma! C

  6. What a lovely idea to pass down through the generations. I think I might do the same when I'm a grandmother.

  7. This is the most beautiful table! And I love the idea that it's a special place for treasures for each kiddo to find. Love it! Now where can I find one exactly like it?? lol


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