Photo: Melina Breault
Grandparents can make a big difference in the lives of their grandchildren, and it’s important for kids to remain close to family, young and old.
Grandparents Day is an annual national holiday (held September 13 in 2015) that gives kids the opportunity to recognize the important role served by grandma and grandpa, granny and poppy, nana and papa, dido and babushka, and mémé and pépé—no matter how they are referred to in your family!
Here are some tips on how your little ones can spend some quality time with their grandparents on Grandparents Day.
1. Have a scavenger hunt.
Weather permitting, organize a scavenger hunt for your children and their grandparents to enjoy together in your backyard or neighbourhood park. All you need to do is hide neat baubles or small toys—maybe even a book that your little ones and their grandparents can read together later. Make sure the objects are well hidden so other kids won’t accidently come across them.
Don’t let the grandparents in on where the special objects are hidden—it should be a surprise for everyone!
2. Learn the family history.
If you take the time to ask, chances are your parents will have loads of old pictures they’d be eager to show you and their grandchildren. Your little ones might hear some fascinating stories of great-great-uncles they never even knew they had.
3. Visit landmarks important to the grandparents’ history.
If your parents grew up nearby, take them and their grandchildren to their hometown. It can be interesting and touching to see where grandma and grandpa went to school, where they first met, where their first home was, and so on.
Reminiscing might trigger some long-forgotten memories, which can lead to some pretty interesting stories. Maybe you’ll finally hear how grandpa lost the tooth that gives him that funny whistle!
4. Add to the family history.
Grandma and Grandpa can never have enough pictures!
It’s common for parents to go picture crazy when their little ones are particularly little, but then the frequency of pictures trails off as the children get older. Update the grandparents’ photo albums with recent pictures of their grandchildren and the beautiful family they created.
5. Get to work together.
Have the kids play assistant mechanic on Grandpa’s classic car, don an apron to help Grandma bake something special, or get dirty in the soil to help with the final fall harvest in the garden. Joining in on their grandparents’ favourite hobbies is a great way for grandparents and grandchildren to bond.
6. Teach the grandchildren something new.
Your parents are brimming with decades of knowledge and wisdom—let them pass some of it on to their grandchildren. Knitting, sports rules, or how to garden may be some great ideas, depending on what kind of skills and experience your parents have.
7. Teach the grandparents something new.
Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Keep your parents’ minds spry by encouraging your children to teach their grandparents something new. For example, how to make their favourite school snack, or how to use apps.
If your little one is too young to teach, let them show off new skills that their grandparents haven’t seen them perform yet, like reading or doing a somersault.
8. Learn a family recipe.
Every family has that one food they claim to be famous for, that has a family recipe that has been passed on for several generations. Suggest to your parents that they teach their grandchildren how to prepare that recipe. Even if the little ones are too young to retain any of it, at least they can enjoy a delicious family meal with their grandparents.
9. Make some crafts.
If the weather is unpleasant or your children and their grandparents would simply prefer a day indoors with sparkles, glue, and creativity, try one of these 25 fun kids’ crafts for indoor days.
10. Visit them.
If your parents are less mobile or active than your rambunctious children, simply go for a nice visit. Even if the visit is short and simple, every moment between your little ones and their grandparents counts.
If you live in Toronto, head to Grandparents Day in High Park, which will have a fire engine, a labyrinth, guided walks, and other hands-on activities for the whole family, as well as a Grandparents Day Tea. You can also enjoy the hiking trails, zoo with llama pens open for feeding, and one of Toronto’s best playgrounds. Come out and play with grandma and grandpa!
In Toronto, there are many other fun activities for grandparents and grandchildren to enjoy together, such as the Riverdale Farm Fall Festival, Cabbagetown Festival, or Bloorcourt Arts and Crafts Fair.
For even more happenings in the GTA, see our events directory, updated daily.
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