How to Celebrate Grandparents Day Together & from Afar

Wanting to make Grandparents Day feel extra special this year? Look no further than these fun things to do with grandparents for a day well spent!

Grandparents make the world go round so it is necessary they receive proper celebration each year. This year and every year, mark the calendars for the first Sunday after Labor Day. 

Grandparents Day is celebrated to honor the special relationship between grandparents and grandchildren and celebrate the magic of unique love. And do not worry, Grandfathers Day and Grandmothers Day fall under this category too. 

Check out the following things to do with grandparents to further appreciate all they do for us.

History Of Grandparents Day

Nothing like a little history lesson to better understand the importance and purpose of this day.

President Jimmy Carter officially made Grandparents Day a national holiday in 1978, although it was celebrated in other regions of the world long before that. Interestingly, nine-year-old Russell Capper sent President Nixon a letter nine years beforehand in 1969 suggesting a day be set aside to honor grandparents, though it was politely denied by his personal secretary, Rose Mary Woods at the time.

Thus, Marian McQuade is recognized by the U.S. and Jimmy Carter as the founder of National Grandparents Day. Sources say she wanted to educate youth about the importance of seniors as a whole and the contributions they made throughout history. McQuade even encouraged those without grandparents to “adopt” older adults and learn more about their history, lives, challenges, and desires.

Normally, grandchildren are celebrated by grandparents through an endless supply of love, affection, awe, and often treats in the form of food, money, and gifts. While many do not consider these things very effortful– they simply do them because they want and love to– it’s appropriate to reciprocate their giving nature on this day. 

Every family shares their own traditions, so there is no right way to celebrate, but the following can serve as a starting point!

Fun Activities for Grandparents Day

What is fun for children or even young adults is not always as entertaining for grandparents. Typically less mobile and energetic but wiser and more intellectual, grandparents often enjoy sentimental, meaningful activities. 

Thus, honor their unique stage of life on this important day by engaging in fun activities for seniors. (Simply do not forget to tell them you love them if nothing else!) 

1. Revisit Photo Albums & Home Videos

As mentioned, many grandparents are fond of sentimentality. And what is more sentimental than flipping through vintage photo albums and tape-recorded home videos? 

Scavenge the office cabinets, basement closets, and crickety attics for those books and films! This is a simple way to revisit memories and fun times. Bonus points if they include said grandparents!

2. Cook a Meal or Bake a Treat

Cooking, baking, or pretending to be good at either is many grandparents’ love language. It is a way to show and spread grand amounts of love, and it is likely they will enjoy the process in the company of their favorite youngins even more.

Grab a glass of wine or warm hot cocoa and revel in the process of infusing love into a juicy pot roast or delectable chocolate chip cookies.   

3. Create Arts and Crafts

Equally stimulating for the mind and the heart, crafting with grandparents is a great way to engage. Plus, there are so many different ways to get creative!

For instance, dabble into calligraphy, scrapbooking, painting, drawing, making homemade cards for different occasions, writing poetry, coloring, stained glass, making collages, and so much more. If it is not too windy, take the affair outdoors for the added benefit of fresh air. 

4. Share Old Memories

Sometimes sharing fond memories of the past is the best way to celebrate. Grandparents tend to appreciate the simplest parts of life, and conversing certainly fulfills this notion. Of course, they love old memories that include themselves but they will likely enjoy simply hearing your voice, so share liberally!

Also use these questions as conversation starters, including ideas that range from light-hearted questions to deeper topics. 

5. Read at the Park

Another one of life’s simplest pleasures, grab a book and take it to the park with grandma and/or grandpa. If the park is nearby, consider walking there to log some steps and even more time with grandparents. 

Quadruple bonus points if everyone’s reading the same book and the after conversation flows like a book club!

6. Play Cards or a Board Game

Another fantastic way to stimulate the brain and keep the mind sharp, try playing board or card games with the grandparents. Many laughs and silly mistakes are sure to be made.

Although any game will do, some fan favorites include Chess, Checkers, Rummikub, Dominos, Farkle, Sequence, Hearts, Solitaire, Uno, and Phase Ten. 

7. Work on a Home Project

If able-bodied, working on a home project is a good way to not only spend time together but to lend a literal hand as well. Offer to paint a room a new color or change the light bulbs around the house or mow the yard outside. They will appreciate it all and will probably help out if able!

8. Pick Flowers

Seeing as Grandparents Day falls in the middle of September, it is the perfect time to pick Summer flowers. This is a lovely way to honor the shifting season while also smelling the delightful stemmed beauties and sharing them with your favorite people. 

Turn them into beautiful bouquets and consider giving them to other seniors around the neighborhood who may not be as blessed to relish the day.

9. Zoom Call

If a physical gathering is not possible, do not fret, Zoom is always ready to harbor a gathering! Simply taking the time to call them and tell them how much you love your grandparents will please them. 

Grandparents also genuinely want to know about their grandchildren’s lives. Name it and they want to hear about it, including what they are learning in school, new friends and adventures, scholastic and sports achievements.

10. Show Off a Skill

Similar to the point just made, grandparents truly enjoy talent with their grandchildren. It is why they show up to all the soccer games, spelling bees, and school plays. Celebrating you allows them to celebrate. 

Therefore, do not be afraid to show off some talent and skill. Send a homemade card, do a dance, explain a school paper, what have you, but allow grandma and/or grandpa to shower you in praise because it is one of their favorite ways to spread their immense love. 

In Summary on Grandparents Day

Whether grandparents live at home or an assisted living facility, they can be celebrated in so many unique and fun ways. As a loving family member, try to make an effort to feel the elderly loved with a special event or a simple gesture. 

Use the listed activities for grandparents above as inspiration but also make it unique to them. No matter how Grandparents Day is celebrated, they will appreciate the thought and sentiment!


Grandparents Day – September 13. National Today. Published July 27, 2021.

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