grandmother with granddaughter eating cake

Did you know this Sunday, September 8, is Grandparents Day? Remember to honor your grandparents this weekend, but this day is meant to celebrate more than just grandparents. According to the National Grandparents Day Council, it is also meant to be a celebration of grandparents’ love for their grandchildren and a day for children to “become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer.” So, it could also be called grandchildren’s day.

Ideas for celebrating with your grandchildren this weekend:

Tell your grandchildren stories from your childhood

As a child, I loved hearing my grandmother’s stories. She was a skilled storyteller and kept everyone mesmerized as she described adventures from her childhood. As she spoke, I could picture her as a child, with ringlets in her hair and lace-up boots on her feet. Help your grandchildren picture what you were like at their age. If your grandchildren live far away, you may want to write down your stories. Tell them what your childhood was like. Explain the differences between your childhood and theirs. Describe what your clothing was like and talk about your parents and siblings.

Go through old family photo albums together—or create a new photo album

Familiarize your grandchildren with their ancestors and help them make family history connections, putting names to faces.

Spend time sharing your hobbies with your grandchildren

Whatever hobby you enjoy—quilting, crocheting, photography, hiking, gardening, fixing cars, etc.—you will be surprised at how much your grandchildren love to spend time with you, learning from you. My teenaged sons were intrigued with their grandmother’s crocheting. To my surprise, they were excited when she offered to teach them how to crochet, and they were actually pretty good at it!

Play a game together

Sit around the kitchen table and play your grandchildren’s favorite game or teach them to play your favorite game. You could even try playing video games with them or go outside and play ball.

Cook together

How often do you share your favorite recipes with your grandchildren? Do they know your favorite food? Are they familiar with the food your mother used to cook for you? Share your recipes and teach your grandchildren to cook. Even young grandchildren can spend time in the kitchen with you, pouring and stirring ingredients. My siblings and I, in each of our homes, always make grandma’s famous dinner rolls for special occasion family dinners, using recipe cards hand-written by her. Grandma’s cooking traditions live on in our lives.

However you choose to celebrate, enjoy Grandparents Day this year! It is a day meant to celebrate your family and your time together, but these activities can be, and should be, done all year long. Grandparents play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren.

And if you don’t have any grandchildren, or yours live far away, adopt some grandchildren. There are probably children (and parents) in your neighborhood who could use an adopted grandparent. You could have a great impact on their lives. Grandparents have much to offer and much to share.

For more information about this holiday and suggestions of fun things to do, visit the National Grandparents Day website at http://www.grandparents-day.com/