Celebrating Grandparent’s Day
One of the constant aspects of humanity across all time periods and cultures is the presence of grandparents in families, playing a key role in the lives of their grandchildren. Many families look to the eldest generation as a mainstay of support and influence for the youngest one. Life expectancy in the United States and Canada has increased greatly over the years, and with grandparents living longer and healthier lives, the number of seniors spending their twilight years providing hands-on support to their grandchildren has grown exponentially. From childcare to transportation to moral guidance and emotional support, grandparents are vital in bridging the care gap often experienced when both parents have to work to support the family unit.
Grandparent’s Day is a holiday set aside for giving adult children and their families an opportunity to thank and celebrate their elderly loved ones, whether they are biological grandparents or not. This annual day of recognition is celebrated on the first Sunday after Labor Day, which in 2022 falls on September 11th.
If you and your children would like to plan something special to recognize and acknowledge the impact and positive presence of your elders, but aren’t sure where to start, there are a few tips that will be useful in making this year’s Grandparent’s Day one to remember.
Everyone benefits from taking in fresh air from time to time and connecting with nature. The weather in September is usually pleasant, making it the best time to plan an outdoor activity as a family. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, it could be as simple as a picnic in the park, or if close to one, a trip to the beach. Another, more involved option could be a road trip out to a state or national park, or point of interest. Many places have accessible trails and restrooms, so packing a lunch and some sunscreen could make for a great day hike.
An easy but fun way to have a low key celebration, perfect for seniors with mobility issues or other disorders, is organizing a game night. Asking your older relative what board games they liked when they were young, and then tracking them down, will be a great experience for the whole family. Make sure to let the grandkids pick a few of their favorites out as well so all generations present can learn something new and have a fun experience. And no game night is complete without snacks and treats! You and the grandkids can whip up some appetizers for the grandparents to enjoy and take pride in feeding them for a change.
Another simple and easy celebration that will pay many dividends in fun is organizing some arts and crafts activities. Depending on the ages of grandchildren involved, it could be as simple as doing some watercolors, or as involved as making clay sculptures or casting concrete stepping stones with all the family members’ handprints. And even if you don’t consider yourself to be particularly artsy, a creative afternoon will still be loads of fun. Many craft and hobby stores will have plenty of prepackaged projects that you simply have to open and enjoy.