Grandpas and grandmas often cheer at peewee soccer games, offer parenting wisdom and provide special treats without expecting thanks. But Grandparents Day gives you a chance to turn the tables and make grandparents the star of the show. The first national Grandparents Day took place in 1978, with legislation claiming the Sunday following Labor Day as the holiday each year. This September, get your tot involved in celebrating her grandpa and grandma.
Don’t let Grandpa and Grandma sit home alone on Grandparents Day. A planned outing for the whole family is a simple way to make memories while celebrating the day. Choose an activity that matches the interests of the grandparents you’re honoring. For example, if Grandpa a prize-winning fisherman back in the day, plan a trip to a local pond so he can teach his grandchildren the basics. If Grandma have a top-notch cinnamon roll recipe, show up with the ingredients and let her give the kiddos a hands-on cooking lesson. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you spend quality time with Grandpa and Grandma.
Your little one can also make works of art gifts for his grandparents. Again, you can have your child customize the art for his grandparents. For example, for gardening grandparents, let your little artist paint a clay pot or imprint her hands into a homemade stepping stone. A grandparent who spends a lot of time in the kitchen will appreciate a custom apron, oven mitts or towels. For this kind of project, you can use fabric paint or fabric markers to add handprints or special designs from your child. General keepsake gift ideas might include a painted photo frame with a picture of your child and his grandparents inside, or a framed finger painting on a canvas.
Many family traditions are based on a meal shared together. Why should Grandparents Day be any different? Let your little chef help whip up her grandparents’ favorite dishes for a home-cooked meal. Assign her tasks that are safe for her age group — no sharp knives or hot pans for tots. If your family has a few recipes passed down from previous generations, include those on the menu. Making reservations at the family’s favorite restaurant is an alternative if you don’t want to sweat it out in the kitchen. Choose a child-friendly restaurant — and schedule the meal around your child’s schedule so she doesn’t have a meltdown at the table.
If your child’s grandparents don’t live close enough for an in-person celebration, take advantage of technology to connect on this special day. A Skype session gives you a visual connection that will keep your little one’s interest better than talking on the phone. Practice a little performance based on your child’s talents for a Grandparents Day show via Skype. For example, have your little ballerina show off her arabesque. Make an exception to the no-balls-in-the-house rule to let your soccer star show off her moves. Or, help your child practice a song to serenade her grandparents. Sending a package with homemade goodies and keepsakes is another way to connect with grandparents who don’t live nearby.