After Mother’s Day in May and Father’s day in June, we honor our parents’ parents! Celebrated each September on the first Sunday after Labor Day, Grandparents Day is a time to honor our grandparents and experience the love, strength, information, and guidance elders can offer. Spend time with your grandparents this Grandparents Day with these meaningful activities that’ll help you celebrate the connection between your generations!
What will you do for Grandparents Day? Share how you’ll celebrate your Grandma and Grandpa; Nana & Papa; Mawmaw & Pawpaw; Meme & Pepaw; Geema & Geepa; Gramms & Gramps; Bela & Belo; or whatever endearing name you call them — in the comments below!
Give flowers or a potted plant.
The forget-me-not is the official flower of National Grandparents Day and symbolizes, among many things, remembrance, connections that last through time, and reminders of favorite memories. Whether you gift your grandparents forget-me-nots, or another flower or plant with or without meaning, consider one that’s easy to care for, useful, and has a color or fragrance they’ll love.
Spend a day at the park.
Being in nature is a great way for grandparents and grandchildren to enjoy each other’s company away from household and technological distractions. There are so many fun activities to do at a park! Eat lunch underneath a shady tree or picnic shelter, play a game like cards or checkers, toss a beach ball around, walk the trail, practice tai chi, or watch birds. Some parks even offer free live music! September is usually a pleasant time to enjoy the outdoors, so unless it’s raining or extremely windy, you probably can’t go wrong.
Create a playlist.
Do your grandparents enjoy music like, Classical, Opera, Reggae, Motown, Blues, Country, Jazz, Mariachi, Pop, Big Band, Rock and Roll, Disco, or other styles? Get to know their favorite musical genres and artists, and put together a one-of-a-kind playlist on a CD, tape, MP3, or streaming service they use. Plus, consider including the official song of National Grandparents Day: “Song for Grandma and Grandpa“ by Johnny Prill, announced in 2004 by the National Grandparents Day Council. Listen and talk about the music with each other and maybe even dance a little!
Frame a photograph.
Many of us revel in sweet memories of the past, and grandparents are no different! They’ve seen generations of loved ones grow up in front of their eyes and enjoy looking back on good times spent together. Make those moments last forever with a framed photograph of the two of you, the entire family, or of an earlier time in their lives. You could also use a printing service that will preserve the memory on a coffee mug, pillow, greeting card, shirt, or other product.
Have a meal.
Doesn’t it seem like grandparents are always trying to feed you? Before they have a chance to say, “Are you hungry? I’ll make you something,” beat them to the punch and offer to treat them to breakfast, lunch, dinner, ice cream, or coffee. Or cook a family recipe together and use the opportunity to learn a family secret, like Grandma’s potato salad or chicken soup, and Grandpa’s oatmeal cookies or BBQ sauce that could be passed down to future generations!
If your technology skills surpass your grandparents, show them how to do things like, navigate social media to upload photos, watch videos online, or download an app to their smartphone so they can check the weather, count their steps, find a missing device, or something else. In turn, they may be able to teach you how to knit, garden, paint, maintain your car (like, change your tires or oil), do your taxes, woodwork, or throw a football. It’s a win-win!
Listen to them tell a story.
Your grandparents are surely full of stories you haven’t heard before, and there are probably stories you love to hear over and over again. Spark their memory by asking questions about the past, or pull out an old photo album or scrapbook to go through together. Ask them about their life growing up, find out what your parents were like when they were your age, and get to know how grandma and grandpa met. Write all your questions down, and consider recording the conversation on a video camera or cell phone so that you will have a keepsake to hold onto for years to come.
Adopt a grandparent.
Not all of us are fortunate to have a grandparent in our lives, and sadly, many grandparents are also without family support. If you’d like to make a connection with a grandparent this Grandparents Day, reach out to your local church, community center, or senior center about opportunities to spend time with people who are alone, and consider helping them out with things like shopping, running errands, and planning fun activities.