Celebrate Grandparents Day in September
Taking Time to Reconnect With Grandma and Grandpa
Sep 13, 2009 Hildra Tague
Grandparents gives society a chance to do some much-needed intergenerational bonding. Even though students study history in school, it might be all too easy to overlook a chance to hear one’s family history from one’s own grandparents.
History of National Grandparents Day
Several countries have a specific day to honor grandparents. The United States had its first National Grandparents Day in 1979 after President Carter established the first Sunday after Labor Day as the official day for honoring these elders. Canada also celebrates Grandparents Day. The United Kingdom celebrates on the first Sunday in October. France has two days: Grandmothers Day on the first Sunday of March, and Grandfathers Day on the first Sunday in October.
In America Marion McQuade, a mother of 15 children and grandmother of over 40, was the founder of National Grandparents Day. She first convinced the people of West Virginia, then lobbied nationally to set aside a day to honor the older adults within a family.
Things Grandparents Can Do on Grandparents Day
- Make a family tree to share with the grandkids.
- Share with grandchildren cherished memories, photo albums, and activities.
- Tell them the stories of their parents so they can partake in the family’s history.
- Pass on talents by doing a project with them: cooking, sewing, woodworking, gardening, nature hike, star-gazing, etc. Whatever hobbies or interest one may have is of value to share.
- Sit on the porch and tell a grandchild a story from long ago.
Things Grandchildren Can Do for National Grandparents Day
- Compile a grandparent’s life story, or a day in the life, or a particular story of one time in their life.
- Write a poem or letter of gratitude for their presence in the child’s life.
- Write a special memory of time spent together, adding a drawing or photo if desired.
- Make a tape or CD with pictures and/or voices of grandchildren which will surely be viewed many times by the grateful grandparents.
- Visit a grandparent or call them on the phone. Even emails are appreciated.
- Set a grandparent up with email, Facebook or other social media to make communication more regular.
- If a child doesn’t have grandparents to honor, choose an older person to act as honorary grandparent for the day, and continue the relationship if possible.
Classroom Activities To Do Before or After Grandparents Day
- Construct a classroom book using stories and memories collected from the students’ grandparents, recipes, jokes, songs, etc.
- Take a field trip to a rest home or other place to visit shut-ins or homebound adults and present a gift of pictures made by the children. Singing a song or two would also be greatly enjoyed by all.
- Tell or write why older adults are known for having wisdom.
- Write what grandparents do for children and families and explain why their contributions matter.
- Interview any grandparent about their growing up days, even if not a relative, and write or tell the class about it.
- Have a Grandparents Party and invite grandparents or if they are unavailable, honorary grandparents for the day. Let the children do the serving of refreshments to the seniors.
Many people observe Grandparents Day in September by taking time to reconnect with their Grandmas and Grandpas. It is a great time to set aside for some intergenerational bonding. Children can learn the history of National Grandparents Day and observe it both at home and at school by activities and even presenting a gift to the family elders. Even the grandparents may want to initiate the opportunity to share special time with the grandchildren. What a fine time to bridge the generations.