President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day in 1979 and Canada followed suit in 1995. President Carter’s proclamation followed many years of grassroots organizing by Marian McQuade, who was herself a grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great grandmother at the time of her passing in 2008.
Elmcroft of Lima in Lima, OH – A pie social, with a professional photographer to take family portraits of residents and their families.
Independence Village of Frankenmuth in Frankenmuth, MI – Ice cream sundaes topped with chocolate and strawberries, in between playing games of Bananagrams, dice games, UNO and much more.
Independence Village of Waterstone in Oxford, MI – Fun-filled afternoon of a Bouncy House, DJ dance music, hot dogs on the grill and yard games for children and grandparents.
Legacy Oaks in Austin, TX – Residents will receive personalized cards followed by lunch and musical entertainment. The festivities on Sunday also kick off National Assisted Living Week celebrations, which include an open house with book signings, food and entertainment, massages and special outings.
StoryPoint Rockford in Rockford, MI – Carnival, complete with a cake walk, photo booth, shuffleboard tournament and a pie in the face of the executive director in exchange for donations to the Alzheimer’s Walk.
Valley View Senior Living in Harlingen, TX – A special chef-prepared Grandparent’s Day lunch kicks off the start of National Assisted Living Week activities.
Ways to Celebrate Your Grandparents
If you want to create your own Grandparents Day celebration at home, here are some ideas for creating a special day for both grandparents and grandchildren of all ages:
Have a family history day. This is a great time to bring out those old family recipes and use the china that has been passed down through the generations. Ask your grandparents about the history of the china and where the recipes come from. Better yet, have them teach you how to cook the recipe.
Have the kids ask grandparents to share favorite stories from their childhood and record their answers. Questions about everyday activities can get the conversation started and, when documented, will make a wonderful keepsake for grandchildren. Here are a few to get you going:
How did you meet grandma or grandpa? What did you like about them when you met?
Tell me about a time you got in trouble at school.
What was a school day like when you were my age?
What was your favorite outdoor game? Indoor game?
Other activities could include reminiscing with family photos or playing a game that was popular when grandparents were young such as checker, Clue or Yahtzee. See if your local library has any children’s books that were written when grandparents were children and read them as a family. If your family has older children or teens, set up an Ancestry.com account and learn more about family history or scan old photos so that they can be shared with family members near and far.
Grandparents provide an important link to the past as well as a roadmap for living life. Often children don’t realize just how much they have learned from the seniors in their lives until they are adults. Grandparents Day is not only a day for fun and family but the perfect time to share your legacy with those you love.
How are you celebrating Grandparents Day? What activities do you have planned with your family? We’d love to hear more in the comments below.
Angel Ridout has been a content writer and SEO editor at A Place for Mom since 2012. She’s put her psychology degree to use working in residential care homes in Washington and writing about mental illness in the elderly. She loves interacting with families and professionals dedicated to seniors’ well-being and sharing their experiences.