Celebrate Grandparents!

by Cora Miller

Grandma and Grandpa, Nana and Papa, or whichever names your family uses for grandparents, are very special people. Warm hugs, sweet treats, and lots of love are just a few of the great things grandparents offer to us. Some of my fondest memories as a child include being spoiled by my grandparents. My siblings and I had sleepovers at their house, received new toys, had candy and ice cream treats (probably not approved by Mom and Dad), and we were always laughing and smiling!

Visit with children about the role their grandparents play in their lives. Keep in mind each child’s situation; some children may not have grandparents, or may not have regular contact with them. In that case, adapt these ideas to celebrate any other special adults in the child’s life. Here are some fun ways to honor and celebrate Grandparents Day:

Grandparent Potluck: Some of our favorite meals come straight from Grandma’s kitchen. Consider planning a special potluck, and invite each child’s grandparents to bring a favorite family dish.

Grandparents Photo Display: Ask families to send a photo of each child with his grandparents. Hang the photos on a wall in your setting at the children’s eye level. Children enjoy looking at photos and identifying their family.

Grandparent Gift: Grandparents love to receive homemade crafts from their grandchildren. They are always so proud to hang the artwork on their refrigerator! Invite children to make this “Owl” Always Love You! art project for each grandparent.

You will need: lavender paper, doilies, circle stickers, eye stickers or wiggly eyes, triangle stickers, glue, scissors, crayons OR markers, and paints.

  1. Give each child two lavender papers and two white doilies. Demonstrate how to cut a curved section out of the top of the doilies (see picture). These will be the head and body of the owls. Have children glue one owl to the center of each lavender paper.
  2. Have children attach two circle stickers to each owl near the curve as the eyes. Then attach eye stickers or wiggly eyes to the center of the circle stickers to serve as pupils. Triangle stickers can be added to create a beak for each owl. Offer crayons or markers for children to add more details, such as legs and feet.
  3. Provide paints in shallow containers. Assist children in placing both hands in the paint and stamping one hand on each side of the doily to create wings. Do this for both owls and let dry. Help the children print their names and add the title “‘Owl’ always love you!” to both papers.

Adopt-a-Grandparent Day: Make arrangements to visit a local elderly care facility. Sing familiar songs, read books, and plan an easy craft to make with the residents.

Books about Grandparents: Children relate well to stories. Collect and read a few of these suggested books. You can also invite grandparents to come to your setting and read a book to the children.

Our Grandparents: A Global Album
by Maya Ajmera

I Love Grandmas and Grandpas
by Joy Berry

The Ultimate Guide to Grandmas & Grandpas!
by Sally Lloyd-Jones

Grandma Loves Me and Grandpa Loves Me
both by Marianne Richmond

Grandma and Me and Grandpa and Me
both by Karen Katz

Please note: Not all books may represent beliefs in your setting. Please screen books before sharing them with children.

Songs about Grandparents:

Grandma, Grandpa
Sung to “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear”

Grandma, Grandpa, I love you.
Grandma, Grandpa, yes, I do!
Grandma, Grandpa, here’s a kiss.
Grandma, Grandpa, you’re the best!

Going to Granny’s House
Sung to “Mary Had a Little Lamb”

Let’s all (crawl) to (Granny’s) house, (Granny’s) house, (Granny’s) house.
Let’s all (crawl) to (Granny’s) house and give (her) lots of hugs.
Let’s all (march) to (Papaw’s) house, (Papaw’s) house, (Papaw’s) house.
Let’s all (march) to (Papaw’s) house and give (him) lots of hugs.

Repeat with different actions. Include the names that the children use for their own grandparents.


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