Grandparents and Grandchildren Together Activity

September celebrates Grandparents Day on the 11th this year. The following contest is one of the many aging initiative projects encouraging older and younger generations to come together to share interests and experiences.

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in. ~ Rachel Carson

The U.S. EPA, Generations United, the Dance Exchange, National Center for Creative Aging, and the after Hurricane Irene 2011Rachel Carson Council, Inc., held a poetry, essay, photo and dance contest.* Entries were to be from a team of two or more persons, a young person and an older person. The creative work should express the “Sense of Wonder” that your team feels for the sea, the night sky, forests, birds, wildlife, and all that is beautiful to your eyes. The purpose was for grandparents and grandchildren to share this love of nature. As stated on the US EPA’s website: “When we teach our eyes and ears and senses to focus on the wonders of nature, we open ourselves to the wonders around us.”

If there is poetry in my book about the sea, it is not because I deliberately put it there, but because no one could write truthfully about the sea and leave out the poetry ~ Rachel Carson

Contestants worked across generations to share through one of these distinct mediums their own interactions with and reflections on the wonders of nature. Dance video entries were not limited to the moving body. Captured movement and change visible in nature: birds landing, trees shaking in a storm, a river flowing…could also be used.

*Unfortunately, I just found this contest while searching for Rachel Carson poems which she began writing when she was 10 years old.  It is too late to participate, but you can click on the link below to view the photos and videos, and also read the essays and poems submitted by mostly grandparents and grandchildren together. Even though it is too late to enter this cross-generational contest, creating a poem celebrating the wonders of nature together is a wonderful idea for a Grandparent’s Day activity that can be done while visiting together or through email, google docs and a webcam, or good old fashioned mail. Don’t forget to take pictures that visually express your poem or write a poem that reflects what your nature photos express to you.

2011 Contest: Cast Your Votes Now thru September 30th, 5pm Eastern time.

Read more on the US EPA site…