Every year, since 1978, the first Sunday after Labor Day has been known as National Grandparents Day. September was chosen for the holiday, to signify the “autumn years” of life.
If I knew it was going to be this much fun, I would have become a grandparent first. ~ Willard Scott
National Grandparents Day originated first in West Virginia in 1970. With much time and effort on the part of Marian McQuade, a housewife in Fayette County, her dream was realized when President Jimmy Carter honored her request by designating a special day of celebrating our grandparents to be included in the yearly September holidays.
The purpose for National Grandparents Day is twofold:
- To honor grandparents
- To help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer.
Grandparents Day is a family day that should be celebrated not only by grandparents and grandchildren, but should also include the grandparents’ children. It’s very simple – any fun activity involving grandparents and grandchildren together that creates a memory in itself is all it takes to celebrate National Grandparents Day. Activities that involve intergenerational interactions might include:
- cooking an old family recipe
- playing board games similar – if not the same – that grandparents enjoyed in their childhood
- organizing old family photographs while identifying family members (remember to write names and dates on back)
- sharing stories of childhood and family memories including traditions
- describing what it was like to be a child “back in the day”
- teaching a craft or skill learned as a child
- touring the old neighborhood whether in person or on Google Earth and reminiscing on favorite places and events
- construct a family tree, filling in names, dates, and places. (Ancestry.com offers a two-week free trial where you can search online for ancestors from the 1930 census and back in time to 1850 – in some cases earlier than that.)
Many times, only grandparents have answers to questions about family histories. Grandparents can prepare, with their children’s help, a keepsake journal of their family’s history to be presented to their grandchildren.
Grandparents Day Online Craft and e-Card Resources
For more activities for Grandparents Day, visit the following sites:
- Grandparents Day Crafts and Cards from Enchanted Learning
- Grandparents Day Activities from DLTK
- Grandparents Day from Starfall.com (learn to read interactive story)
- Grandparents Day theme printables and worksheets from abcTeach.com
- Grandparents Day Planning & Activity Guide from LegacyProject.org
Happy Grandparents Day!
PS: for more September holidays and special days, visit About.com