Photo: Melina Breault

Grandparents Day, a day intended to recognize our history and the important roles grandparents serve in families and in our community, is a supported holiday in Canada and takes place on September 13 this year.

Grandparents can make a big difference in the lives of their grandchildren. Your parents—your children’s grandparents—should be as involved as possible with their grandchildren while they are healthy and able.

It’s important to remain close to family, young and old. Here are some tips on how your little ones can spend some quality time with their beloved grandparents on Grandparents Day.

1. Go to High Park’s Grandparents Day event.

High Park is Toronto’s largest public park, with beautiful hiking trails, diverse vegetation, the lakefront, a zoo, playgrounds, and much more. This year the park is hosting Grandparents Day in High Park, which will have a fire engine, a labyrinth, guided walks, and the llama pen will be open.

There will be tons of hands-on activities for the whole family. Come out and play with grandma and grandpa!

2. 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!

3. 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. The grandparents will feel glad to know their passed loved ones may be gone but their memories live on to the next generation.

With the hope that your parents grew up somewhat 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!

5. 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.

6. Garden together.

The gardening season for most produce plants is almost over, but grandparents with a few plants would probably appreciate help with the final harvest. Getting dirty in soil and tending to delicate, green life together is a great way for grandparents and grandchildren to bond.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. Attend a fair or festival together.

Grandparents Day in High Park is not the only event happening on Grandparents Day. There are many other fun activities for grandparents and grandchildren to enjoy together, such as the Riverdale Farm Fall Festival, Cabbagetown Festival of the Arts, or Bloorcourt Arts and Crafts Fair.

For even more happenings in the GTA, see our events directory, updated daily.

11. 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.

12. 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.

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