21 Questions for Your Grandparents’ Memory Book

Contributing writer, former long-term care admissions counselor and social worker

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Your grandparents have seen, done, and experienced more than what conversations at Sunday dinners might reveal. Why not create a memory book for your grandparents? Not only is it a fun idea, but it’s meaningful to carve out time to really talk to your grandparents and ask them about their lives. One way to get all of that wisdom and advice in one spot is to create a memory book

Jump ahead to these questions:

There are plenty of questions to ask older people that will get them to impart important lessons, juicy stories, and advice you will use to fill your book. You can fill it out, your grandparent can, or you may want to do it together. Read on for some thoughtful questions to ask your grandparents! 

If you're interested in unique ways to honor a grandparent who passed away, you can consider a custom urn from a store like Foreverence or even have a memorial diamond made from ashes with a company like Eterneva.

Funny Questions for Your Grandparents’ Memory Book

A memory book might sound like a sentimental gift full of profound quotes and lessons but it can — and should! — include some silly parts. Ask these questions for some laughs and a deeper look inside the imagination of your grandparent.

1. “What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?”

Your grandparents probably have some stories that will impress you. Bonus points if there are pictures for proof. If so, add those to your memory book! 

2. “What was your most embarrassing moment?” 

Your grandparents will probably have a few embarrassing moments they can draw from. As long as it wasn’t a recent memory, it’ll give your grandparents a good laugh to look back on it. 

3. “If you could go back and relive a particular time in your life, what would you do over again?”

Keep in mind this might be a very difficult question to answer. Your grandparent has been through school, jobs, creating a family, and all of the thousands of moments in between. Perhaps they find it hard to choose and you get some insight into several favorite life moments.

4. “How do you feel about social media and the internet these days?” 

Some grandparents are tech-savvy and some are not. The elderly population represents a spectrum of opinions about the internet and social media. Who knows, maybe your grandparents will ask you to make them a Facebook page after you ask this question! 

5. “Were you a rule follower or rule breaker?”

Your prim and proper grandmother may have jumped some fences in her days! Find out with this question. It can be fun to quote your grandparents throughout your memory book, so if your grandparent has any tips for how to sneak out of the house, jot it down! 

6. “What three items would you bring to a deserted island?” 

This should get some fun responses. The question can be altered to “What three people would you bring?” instead. 

7. “Do you have an outfit you wore and laugh about now?” 

Your grandparents endured fashion and fads you’ve likely never heard of. Again, any photo proof is gold for your memory book.

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Questions About Careers and Life for Your Grandparents’ Memory Book

Your grandparents are bottomless pits of wisdom because they’ve done it all. They’ve made choices in career, family, personal life, and more. Pick their brain on how they feel about those choices years later. Use this time with your grandparents to capture their wisdom and get it down on paper. 

8. “When did you know what you wanted to spend your life doing?”

Deciding what path to choose in life can be daunting. Getting some kind of advice from someone you look up to can help, especially since your grandparent has the experience to back it up. 

9. “Do you have any regrets?”

Some people believe in regrets and some don’t. This question can start quite the conversation and might convince you to switch sides in the debate. 

10. “What is love?” 

This is a loaded question, but it’s worth asking someone who may have loved deeply more than once in life. Discussing a grandparent’s great love(s) is a heartwarming addition to your memory book and will resonate with anyone who reads it. 

11. “What is your favorite life accomplishment?” 

Your grandparent has likely done a ton of things worth recognizing. You may be surprised what your grandparent is most proud of accomplishing — it might be you! 

12. “How do you know if you’re on the right path in life?” 

It sounds deep, but if anyone can pinpoint this answer, it’s a grandparent — someone who has an entire lifetime to evaluate. Discuss the ways your grandparent made decisions and when he or she may have pivoted and chased different dreams. 

13. “What is the best advice you ever received?” 

If it’s good advice, you should know it as well! Your memory book can be chock full of helpful life lessons and advice that will be passed on for years to come. 

14. “How do you balance a career and family?” 

It’s a question many people struggle to articulate. Is there a secret? What worked for your grandparents? 

Questions About Your Grandparents’ Family for a Memory Book

A great resource to complete and expand on your family tree is through conversations with your grandparents. Their parents and other family members you may not have known will come up in family stories. You can dive deeper into who made them who they are today. 

15. “Who did you look up to as you grew up?”

Maybe your grandparents looked up to someone you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting. This is a fun way to get to know more about this person and how he or she impacted your grandparents’ lives. 

16. “How is family life different now than when you were growing up?”

So many things in life have evolved, changed, or been created to integrate into current family life. What’s changed — for the better or worse? 

17. “What is/was your favorite family tradition?”

Many families hold traditions close to their hearts. Was your grandparent’s favorite tradition a holiday party? Sunday dinner? It’s so fun to relive the memories. 

18. “How do you define family?”

Family can be friends, pets — just about anything. Find out how your grandparent defines family and what family means to your loved one. 

19. “What is the most important thing you learned as a parent?”

Parenting is quite an undertaking. As you raise and teach a child, you get to learn a lot more about yourself and life. Any lessons learned can be learned from and passed on! 

20. “Is there anything you wish you would have asked your parents?” 

This is a great way to make sure you don’t miss any good stuff. Ask your grandparents anything they wish they would have asked their parents (or another family member). 

21. “What is the secret to a long-lasting, happy marriage?” 

You can also opt for a similar question: “What makes for a happy family?” Either way, you’ll get advice worth taking from someone who has built and kept relationships for possibly longer than you’ve been alive.

Create a Memory Book Worth Treasuring

A memory book is a keepsake to be cherished for years to come. Talk to your grandparents about as much as you can so you fill the pages and learn more.

Their advice and wisdom are endless and chances are, they have some surprising and entertaining stories to tell. Your grandparents can pass on lessons they learned the hard way so you don’t have to. Dedicate the time to discuss and dive deep for a meaningful, amazing memory book! 

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