In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a resolution declaring National Grandparents Day be celebrated each year on the first Sunday after Labor Day. This act was set into motion in 1970 by a West Virginia housewife, Marian McQuade, as a way to encourage families to visit their elderly relatives. This year it will be celebrated on Sunday, September 8, 2013.
By the year 2030, 1 in every 5 Americans will be over the age of 65. For the first time in history these elderly individuals will outnumber children under the age of 5. This demographic shift creates the opportunity for rewarding, inter-generational connections! This is your chance to do something big, something fun, and something grand!
Many schools and communities have started organizing activities for this special day. It’s a great way to bring families together and to encourage children to show their love and appreciation toward their grandparents (or other elderly adults). It is a celebration of the value of all generations and the special relationships between them! Check your local area information for scheduled events….or plan your own special day.
Use this as a guide to make your plans….begin creating memories today, that will last a lifetime.
Make a memory box – Kids love treasures! Grandparents can fill a special box with photos, mementos, ticket stubs, and knick-knacks. Bring out the box and share the wonderful stories associated with each item. Include a few trinkets that the grandchildren can keep!
Cook a treasured family recipe – Help your children prepare a special heirloom recipe the entire family will love! Get everyone involved and videotape the “adventure” to share and laugh about later.
No parents allowed – The connection between young and old will have more intensity if the experience does not include parents. Sorry Mom and Dad!
Learn something new – Find an activity or tourist spot that neither has experienced before. Imagine the stories they will have to share by the end of the day!
Interview – Kids love hearing stories! Encourage them to prepare questions in advance that they can ask their elders. Encourage them to be creative! Older kids can records these stories and add to them each year! It will be a wonderful collection to enjoy over and over again!
Break out the art supplies – Unleash the “inner artist”! Use these supplies to have children create portraits of their grandparents, and vice-versa! Inexpensive frames can be purchased to preserve the priceless works of art!
Read – Encourage your children to select a few of their favorite books their grandparents can read to them. Books that have grandparents or older main characters are perfect!
“What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies.” ~ Rudolph Giuliani
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