Grandparents Day is meant to honor your grammy, papa, nana, gramps, grandma, and grandpa — whatever you call your beloved grandparents. These members of your immediate family may play an essential part in your life and have supported you for years. Why not do something special for them on Grandparents Day?
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Here are some activities, crafts, and gift ideas you can give to these special family members.
Grandparents Day Activity Ideas
Most people like receiving beautifully wrapped gifts with bright bows, but your grandparents may appreciate participating in an activity with you on Grandparents Day instead. Here are some things you could do.
1. Go fishing
Spend Grandparents Day on a rowboat, a dock, or on the banks of a lake. Bring chairs, sunscreen, and a picnic lunch. Don’t worry if the fish aren’t biting. It’s the company that counts.
2. Go out for brunch
You probably know which restaurants in your area have the best brunch. Take your grandparents to your favorite spot. Maybe your grandma will even join you for a mimosa or a bloody Mary.
3. Plant some flowers
Grandparents Day is in September, and in many areas of the United States, September is the perfect time to plant bulbs that will come up the following spring.
You may want to surprise your grandparents by showing up with a variety of fall flowers and a planter. Work together to create a fall display that your grandparents can leave on their front porch until Thanksgiving.
4. Look through your family photos and watch old home movies
Your grandparents might enjoy taking a stroll down memory lane. Spend the afternoon looking at old family photos and watching home movies. Ask your grandparents for the stories behind the pictures.
Grandparents Day would also be a great time to update your family tree. Whether your family tree is stored on a website or in the family Bible, make sure the information is as current and complete as possible.
5. Go for a drive
Your grandparents might love to see their old neighborhood. Take them on a drive to explore their old stomping grounds. Listen to stories about their youthful adventures.
When you have a chance, write down their stories. You may forget them, and your children and grandchildren would probably love to know stories about their ancestors.
6. Volunteer together
Your youthful grandparents might enjoy giving back to their community. Perhaps they volunteer regularly and would enjoy it if you accompanied them on Grandparents Day. Your grandparents would probably like to show you off to their friends.
7. Go for a hike, bike ride, or stroll
Encourage your grandparents to stay active by going for a hike, bike ride, or stroll. Remember that your grandparents may not be as agile as they once were.
On the other hand, your grandparents might be in such good shape that you have a hard time keeping up with them. You might even consider gifting them a National Parks Senior Pass.
8. Play games or cards
Some senior citizens love playing games or cards. Learn your grandparents’ favorite games before you visit and surprise them with your new skill.
Whether your grandparents prefer pinochle, bridge, or pitch, spend the day playing with them.
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Grandparents Day Craft Ideas
You know that your grandma doesn’t need any more lotion sets and your grandpa doesn’t need another new pair of slippers. So are you struggling to come up with gifts for older people? Why not use your creativity and talents and create something instead?
9. Create a photo book
Remind your grandparents of all the special people in their lives by creating a photo book filled with memories of past events.
Your grandparents probably love seeing current photos but may also love reliving their childhood memories as well. Include pictures of your great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents if those photos are available.
10. Decorate a mug
Decorate a mug for your grandparents and they'll think of you every time they drink their morning coffee. You may consider ordering a cup from a photo gift website or painting one at a pottery store.
11. Craft bookmarks
Are your grandparents readers? Create a bookmark for your grandparents to use in their daily devotional.
Have your kids create the artwork or enhance it with a quote or verse that’s important to your family.
12. Handprint crafts
Bring the supplies for a multi-generational handprint craft to your grandparents. Use the handprints of all the members of your family instead of just those of the kids.
Look for ideas on Pinterest. Take multi-generation photos as you complete the activity.
13. Share your favorite memories of your grandparents
Find a unique way to share your favorite memories and character traits of your grandparents. List these items in a beautiful book or create a collage of memorabilia. Show your grandparents how important they are to you.
14. Decorate a flower pot
Do your grandparents love indoor plants or flowers? Decorate a flower pot using your talents (or your kids’ art skills). Add soil and a colorful violet before you give it to your grandparents.
15. Create a wreath
Your grandparents’ home may be full of decorative items, but everyone has room to hang something pretty on the front door.
Make a wreath to match your grandparents’ front door. Include the letter of their last name on the display.
16. Make a stepping stone
Perhaps your grandparents’ home is full of decorative pieces and artwork. Or maybe it’s cluttered with 80 years’ worth of stuff. Why not create a decorative item that they can enjoy outside instead?
There are plenty of stepping stone kits at your local craft store. Place your kids’ handprints within the stone or create a mosaic out of your grandparents’ favorite colors.
Grandparents Day Gift Ideas
Buying gifts for grandparents can be hard. Some older people are set in their ways and prefer specific brands. Other grandparents may be struggling to downsize and may not want any more decorative pieces or items that don’t have a particular use. Or perhaps your grandparents have a limited space because they live in a nursing home.
Here are some gift ideas you might want to consider.
17. Get your grandparents a pet
Ask for permission before arriving at your grandparents’ home with a pet. Studies have shown that people with pets tend to live longer lives, but your grandparents’ lifestyle could make having a pet more of a burden than a blessing.
18. Buy a puzzle to do together
Sometimes it’s hard to come up with enough conversation topics to last an afternoon. If you struggle to talk with your grandparents, purchase an activity that you can work on together.
Working on a puzzle is a great project. You can chat when the mood strikes you, but the periods of silence won’t be as awkward if you’re looking for a specific puzzle piece.
19. Show up with sweet treats
You may want to purchase delicious treats if your grandparents aren’t on a restrictive diet. Buy a box of their favorite candy or bake their favorite cookies or pies.
Buy an ice cream cake or pick up cupcakes from your local bakery. Your grandparents may even share their gift with you.
20. Buy a memory-sharing book
Encourage your grandparents to share their memories by purchasing a book designed specifically for that use.
These books include prompts that encourage family members to answer specific questions. You may learn about your grandparents’ first date or their reactions to world events.
Show Your Grandparents You Care
The best gift you can give your grandparents is to visit them more often. You don’t know how much more time your grandparents have.
On that note, tomorrow is not guaranteed for any of us. Make your passing as easy as possible on your survivors by pre-planning your funeral. Start your end-of-life planning now so those hard decisions are already made when your time comes.
- “National Grandparents Day.” United States Census Bureau. 8 September 2019. www.census.gov/newsroom/stories/2019/grandparents-day.html