Grandparents Day has been celebrated the first Sunday after Labor Day since 1978. The purpose of Grandparents Day has been two fold: to bring attention to the lonely elderly in nursing homes and to encourage grandchildren to share in activities to learn more about their grandparents heritage.  But for many grandparents and grandchildren, for various reasons, that Sunday isn’t always convenient for visiting and sharing. There are activities that can be shared together or at a distance. Grandparents Day can be any day that grandparents and grandchildren come together to celebrate their relationship whether it be in person or via a web cam or telephone.

Grandparents Day Craft Ideas

Whenever grandparents and grandchildren choose to celebrate Grandparents Day, it should be a day when memories and hopes are shared…a day when memories are also created to be shared for lifetimes to come. We grandparents love to receive handmade gifts from our grandchildren, especially those that include original artwork. Grandchildren equally love to show off their creative artwork, so sharing this type of craft activity is a win-win happening. Memories are gifts that are not only priceless, but keep on giving as long as the memory remains.

Family Peace Sign T-Shirts

Recently, while my grandkids and I were browsing through a discount store, we found Petra Boase’s Terrifyingly Terrific T-Shirts. Together Kaitlin and I discussed what we might be able to do together in designing a terrific t-shirt. She suggested we tie-dye the shirts and add a peace sign which is very popular, again. I suggested we add a few butterflies. She asked me why. My explanation was this…

Butterfly Effect Towards Peace

“Have you heard of the ‘Butterfly Effect’?” “No,” Kaitlin answered.

I asked her, “If a butterfly flaps its wings causing a very small breeze leading to changes in the atmosphere, would it be capable of changing a weather pattern?” “I don’t know,” she replied.

“Starting with just a little effort, it is possible that change could  happen eventually even though we may never know. With just one act of kindness, perhaps each one of us could make a change so all children could live in peace. Our butterflies would represent acts of kindness moving towards world peace.”

Kaitlin asked what could she do to start her Butterfly Effect. “Being kind to everyone, especially those who make it more of a challenge may have an effect that you may never know. Hopefully, your act of kindness would one day make a difference in someone’s life.”

How to Make Your Family T-Shirt

To celebrate our Grandparents Day, our grandchildren will help us make t-shirts for family and friends. As we present the t-shirts, we will share the significance of our butterflies… maybe we will begin our own “Butterfly Effect.”


  • If you can’t be together on Grandparents Day, you can still design family t-shirts together. Separately, grandchildren can create their interpretation of the family t-shirt for their grandparents and the grandparents can do the same for their grandchildren. Send them to each other in time for Grandparents Day – take photos and post them on Facebook, a family blog, or a photo sharing website.
  • If you’d rather not use our suggestion, include in your design symbols that are special to your family that represent peace, kindness, love…events, memories or a special story of your own.
  • While you are interacting, exchange childhood memories…even young ones have them, too.
  • Revisit your Grandparents Day memories and others you have of moments together to keep them alive.
  • Other suggestions for this Grandparents Day craft project are door knob hangers, sun visors, tote bags…make it a surprise!
  • For the t-shirts, you can use iron decals…or you can also paint designs instead of tie dying. T-shirts and supplies can be found at craft stores.

Suggestions for materials you might choose from for your t-shirt design are:

For tie-dying…
  • Rubber bands for tie-dying t-shirts
  • protective gloves
  • colored fabric paints
  • plastic covering for workspace
  • Allow at least 3 days for drying

How to Tie Dye a Peace Sign T-Shirt Video

Supplies For Other T-Shirt Project Designs…
  • Stiff Cardboard – place inside t-shirt to protect other side or to make stencils
  • Tracing paper – sold at stationery stores
  • Fabric Chalk – used for drawing outlines
  • Fabric Glue – for applying fabric pieces together, use special brush
  • Fabric Marker – designed for use on fabric
  • Fabric Paint – will not wash out, follow directions
  • Fluorescent Fabric Paint – glows
  • Glitter Paint or Glitter – attach with Fabric Glue
  • Puffy Fabric Paint – hair dryer to dry
  • Pearl Fabric Paint – dries with a sheen
  • Newspaper – protect work surface
  • Paintbrushes – varying sizes
  • Sequins – attach with fabric glue
  • Sponge – used to paint or stencil

Share Your Projects

If you do this craft project, please share photos. I’d love to post them. Happy Grandparents Day!’s Guide to Grandparents Blog Carnival

This post is part of a blog carnival hosted by Susan Adcox,’s Guide to Grandparents.