By Lynn Shizumura and Denise Lau
Although there are about 65 million grandparents in the United States, it’s estimated that more than half have never celebrated Grandparents Day.
National Grandparents Day, which is typically observed the first Sunday after Labor Day, will be held this weekend. Its purpose is to honor grandparents, provide an opportunity to connect or reconnect, and help children become aware of the guidance their elders can offer.
There are many ways to celebrate, whether you’re helping your children make a nice card or just want a creative way to say thank you. Here’s our list of fun and easy Grandparents Day activities and gifts.
♦ Enjoy a meal together
Nothing brings people together quite like food. Give your grandparents a break in the kitchen and bring them a simple lunch or try to prepare some of their favorites.
♦ Design your own card
Put pen to paper and let your grandparents know why they’re appreciated and special. Make it fun for your children (or yourself) by adding watercolor paint, buttons, stickers, washi tape, and other fun supplies.
Take an intergenerational selfie and use the hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Generations United, an intergenerational advocacy organization, will award a “grandie” prize to the photo that receives the most public votes. Even if you don’t enter the contest, you can print the photo and give it to your grandparents to display in the house.
Choose their favorite flowers
Grandparents Day is also a time to remember our grandparents who have passed away. Bring fresh cut flowers to their grave site and reflect on your favorite memories.
Plant a garden together
My daughter, Abby, had a blast decorating and helping her Papa plant a little herb garden planter in front of my in-law’s house. It made such an impact on her she often talks about how the Chinese parsley is growing and how I have to try some. Her uncle also bought a little toy gardening bag so she really got into a gardening stage and is now willing to help me out at home with our plants as well. If you want your children to appreciate fresh veggies, helping their grandparents start a little gardening project is a great way to bond and learn more.
Here's the planter box they created together, decorated by Abby.
Make a family tree gift
It’s good to teach kids a little bit of their own genealogy and make it fun with a homemade family tree. I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for baby handprints. Too precious! Any grandparent will swoon over a well-made family tree and the kids can really get into it with their own hand, foot or thumbprints. If you add family photos and laminate the whole thing it will last longer and will be a welcome addition to any refrigerator or family brag wall.
Create a special photo gift
My dad is not a warm, fuzzy guy but he sure loves his grandkids! For a fairly decent price, I went online and ordered a magnet and mug with pictures of his children and grandchildren on them. I just love knowing when someone stops by he has a lot of little trinkets around his place that scream “I’m a Papa.” The grandkids grow up so fast, it’s nice to have a snapshot of a time when they were little. You can also order photo books, blankets, mouse pads, and more.
For more ideas, visit grandparentsday.org or share your thoughts in the comment section below.