We’re welcoming brighter days while continuing to promote health and safety.
No matter where you travel in the world, you’ll likely find grandparents playing a key role in the lives of their grandchildren. For many, the family’s eldest generation is a mainstay of support for the youngest one. As life expectancy in the United States and Canada increased and grandparents lived longer, a growing number of them have been able to provide hands-on support to their grandchildren. From childcare to transportation, you find grandparents helping to bridge the care gap families often experience when both parents work outside of the home.
Grandparent’s Day gives adult children and their families an opportunity to thank and celebrate their senior loved ones, whether they are their biological grandparents or not. It’s an annual day of recognition that occurs on the first Sunday after Labor Day. This year, it takes place on September 11th.
If you and your children would like to plan something special and aren’t sure where to start, we have a few tips you will find useful to make this year one to remember.
Intergenerational Activities to Celebrate Grandparents
Here are 5 intergenerational family activities you might want to consider for this year’s Grandparent’s Day celebration.
1) Plan an outdoor activity
Everyone benefits from breathing in some fresh air and connecting with nature. September weather is usually a great time of year to plan outdoor activities in most parts of the country. You could plan a picnic in the seniors’ backyard, head to the beach for a little sandcastle building, or make a trip to a local pumpkin patch.
Another option is a road trip to a state or national park. These generally have activities for people of all ages to enjoy, along with accessible trails and restrooms. Don’t forget to pack a lunch or snacks along with some sunscreen!
2) Organize a game night
An easy but fun what to celebrate grandparents is with an intergenerational game night. Ask the senior what board games were popular when they were young and try to track a few of them down. Chances are that your senior loved ones will have a blast teaching you their favorite games and sharing memories they had while playing them. Let the grandkids pick a few of their favorites for the evening so they can share their favorites too!
Every great game night includes treats! Ask everyone to bring an appetizer or two along with their drink of choice. Remember to take pictures of the fun, too.
3) Get creative
Arts and crafts activities are fun for all generations of the family. Depending on the ages of the grandchildren, you can organize simple DIY projects such as garden steppingstones with family member’s handprints.
Don’t’ worry if you don’t consider yourself or your loved ones to be very artsy. You can still host a creative afternoon for your Grandparent’s Day celebration. Just head to the local craft store or visit one online for prepackaged projects. You’ll find a variety of activities from building birdhouses to making stained-glass birds and bugs.
4) Plan a scavenger hunt
If you’ve ever participated in a scavenger hunt before, you know how much fun they can be for all ages and abilities. You can make them as simple or as intricate as you want. The options are endless! For example, you can organize a photo scavenger hunt throughout the neighborhood. You start with a list of things each team needs to take a picture of to finish the hunt. It could be a dog on a leash or a mailbox with a flag.
Other scavenger hunt ideas could be a nature theme (find a red leaf, take a picture of a yellow flower, etc.), a clue-based search, or even a scavenger hunt at a local museum or zoo.
5) Make a family history video
Grandparents are often the family historians. For most, ensuring that their stories are passed from one generation to another is important. An interesting way to do that is to use a Grandparent’s Day video that explores the family’s roots. Have everyone come up with a question or two to encourage the senior to talk and share. Here are some suggested conversation starters to include:
While you’ll likely discover many more questions pop up during your talk, it’s a good idea to have a list just to get things started.
Intergenerational Activities at Sunrise Senior Living
Through Sunrise Live With Purpose™ programming, residents have an opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities each day. Programs are designed around eight focus areas of which intergenerational mentoring is one. Others include exercise, excursions, art, music, education, community service, and spirituality. If you or a loved one are contemplating a move to a senior living community, call 1-800-934-0139 to today to learn more about the opportunities you find at Sunrise!