Grandparents Day is observed on the 2nd Sunday in September, the first Sunday after Labour
Day in the USA.  The purpose of this special day is to honour grandparents, and give
grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children's children.  It also helps children
become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer.

A Brief History of the Holiday

In 1973, West Virginia began a statewide campaign to set aside a special day just for
grandparents. The first Grandparents Day was set by Governor Arch Moore.   Through concerted
efforts on the part of individuals interested in preserving their heritage, this campaign was
headed by Marian McQuade of Fayette County, mother of fifteen children.  Senator Jennings
Randolph (D-WV) was especially instrumental in this project. In 1973, Senator Randolph
introduced a resolution in the United States Senate and in 1978, five years after its inception,
Congress passed legislation proclaiming the first Sunday after Labour Day as National
Grandparents Day.

September was the month chosen, signifying the "autumn years" of life, and today this event,
begun by only a few, is observed by thousands throughout the United States and in other
countries of the world.

Join us in celebrating our grandparents with these fun and memorable activities.  We have also
compiled some "grandparent" themed story books for you to download and enjoy with your
grandparents.

For printable activities click here

For other special fun ideas scroll down.

Special talents, such as cooking, sculpting or quilting should be passed on to those who display
an interest.

Old family music, songs and dances, along with meanings and origins, are important in
maintaining a strong sense of family background.

Stress the importance of keeping a
family tree, and strive to preserve particular ethnic or
religious beliefs. Each child and grandchild needs to know the ancestral line of his parents.

You could do a "best memory" note on a pretty sheet of stationery. Have you ever really thought
about the BEST memory you have of each of your grandparents? Maybe it's something they said
to you, something you did together, or some important advice about life they've given you. Maybe
it's a family trip or tradition, or something they taught you like how to bake cookies or how to fish.
Often, people are surprised at what you feel is the most important thing they're passing down to
you or the best memory you have of them (they may not even remember the exact moments that
you remember). Whether you do a certificate or a "best memory" note, you'll be surprised at how
much sharing these kinds of thoughts can mean to grandparents.

Design a Family Shield Activity - Printable PDF Family Shield.

Guess the Memory
Suggested Activity Timing: During a Grandparents Day event.
Curriculum Connections: Art; Language Arts.
What You Need: Paper; markers or pencil crayons.

Doing It:

Guessing memories can be a fun game for young and old.

On a sheet of paper, a grandparent draws a sketch of a favourite memory they have of their
grandchild. At the same time, the grandchild draws a picture of their favourite memory of their
grandparent. Each keeps their picture hidden from the other.

When both are finished drawing, they hold up their picture to the other person to "guess the
memory." Hints are allowed if required!

Once each person has guessed the memory, talk about why it's a favorite memory.



Memory Bag
Suggested Activity Timing: During a Grandparents Day event.
Curriculum Connections: Social Studies/History.
What You Need: No materials.

Doing It:

Before a Grandparents Day event, in the invitation, ask grandparents to bring in a keepsake
hidden in a bag. The keepsake could be personal (e.g. their baby shoes, a piece of jewellery) or
it could have historical significance (e.g. military medals, a World's Fair souvenir).

The keepsakes should be kept "secret" until the appropriate time during the event. Each
grandparent then "unveils" the keepsake and explains the story behind it.

Children can also bring in their own family keepsakes and tell their stories. Grandparents will
often be surprised at some of the things their grandchildren hold on to as keepsakes.



Keepsake Placemats
Suggested Activity Timing: Before a Grandparents Day event.
Curriculum Connections: Art.
What You Need: 11 x 17 inch construction paper; 11 x 17 inch white paper; ruler; pencil; scissors;
marker; clear contact plastic; leaves and flowers; wax paper; big books; poster paint; brush.
Optional -- paper napkin; pen.

Doing It:
Items made by grandchildren often become grandparents' dearest treasures. Making a
keepsake placement also has a practical purpose -- it can be used for a meal or snack during a
Grandparents Day event (the placemats can even serve as place markers on tables).

There are several different kinds of placemats children can make (always add the child's name
and date somewhere in a corner for posterity's sake):

Weaving: Start with an 11 x 17 inch sheet of construction paper. Measure, mark, and cut parallel,
straight, 10 inch lines at 1 inch intervals across the 11 inch width of the sheet, leaving 1/2 inch all
around the sheet. Cut 10 strips of construction paper 17 inches long by 1 inch wide. Weave the
strips in and out of the slits cut into the big sheet of paper to create a woven mat. Write the
grandparent's name along the edge of the mat. Carefully place the mat on the sticky side of the
clear contact plastic. Place another sheet of clear plastic covering on the other side of the mat.
Smooth out any wrinkles, and cut off the excess, leaving a narrow edge of plastic. This makes
the placemat somewhat durable and wipeable. If you don't have clear contact plastic, just glue
down the ends of the strips.


Leaves and Flowers: Sandwich assorted leaves and flowers between two sheets of wax paper
and put them between the pages of a heavy book for a couple of weeks. Remove them from the
book. Arrange them on the sticky side of an 11 x 17 inch sheet of clear contact plastic. You can
also cut out letters from construction paper to spell the grandparent's name. Carefully lay another
sheet of contact plastic on top, sticky side down to create a clear placemat.


Hand Prints: Brush poster paint onto your hands and cover an 11 x 17 inch sheet of white paper
with hand prints of all colours. When the prints are dry, carefully place the sheet on the sticky side
of the clear contact plastic. Place another sheet of clear plastic covering on the other side of the
sheet. Smooth out any wrinkles, and cut off the excess, leaving a narrow edge of plastic.
A nice addition: Using a pen, a grandchild can write a short, special message to their
grandparent on the inside of a napkin (e.g. share a "best memory"). Fold the napkin back up and
put it out with the placemat. When the grandparent unfolds the napkin to put it in their lap, they'll
find the "surprise" message.



Keepsake Bookmarks
Suggested Activity Timing: Before a Grandparents Day event.
Curriculum Connections: Art.
What You Need: Construction paper; markers or pencil crayons; scissors; hole punch; brightly
coloured yarn. Optional: small school photo or colour photocopy of head shot of grandchild; glue.

Doing It:

Grandparents appreciate anything special a grandchild makes for them. A bookmark is a nice
memento from a Grandparents Day event, and a useful item.

Cut a long rectangle from construction paper approximately 2 1/2 inches wide x 6 inches long.
Punch a hole near the top of the bookmark and tie a piece of yarn through it as a decorative
tassel. The yarn will hang out of the top of the book making it easier to find the exact page.

Decorate the bookmark with some colourful drawings and the grandchild's name. The
grandchild can also glue a small school photo or colour photocopy of their face onto the
bookmark.



"Happy Grandparents Day" Photo Keepsake
Suggested Activity Timing: Before a Grandparents Day event.
Curriculum Connections: Art.
What You Need: Inexpensive, 4 x 6 inch picture frames from a dollar or craft store (IKEA also
often has good deals); camera; film; large, brightly-coloured "Happy Grandparents Day" sign.
Optional -- items to decorate frames like noodles, sparkles, or other items from a craft store;
glue.

Doing It:

Grandparents can never get enough photos of their grandchildren -- for displaying in their home
or proudly showing to friends and neighbours. A special photo also makes a nice memento from
a Grandparents Day event.

Purchase a bunch of inexpensive picture frames large enough to hold a 4 x 6 inch photo. If it's a
plain frame, decorate it with glued-on noodles, sparkles, or other colourful little items from a craft
store.

Take a photo of each child holding a big sign that says "Happy Grandparents Day" with the year.
Each child then puts their photo into their frame to present to their grandparents.
Grandparents' Day
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