Grandparents Day is Sunday, September 8th. Whether you are an activities director at a senior center or an afterschool instructor, there are lots of ways to help celebrate grandparents on this special day. Host an afternoon of fun with some games and craft stations to keep everyone interested and talking. Add in some simple snacks and everyone will enjoy themselves!
1. Building Birdhouses:
Crafts are a great way to have everyone, younger or older, work together. Building birdhouses is a timeless activity that everyone can share and relate to. Older folks can lend advice or a hand as needed while the younger participants build the houses. Then together a grandparent and grandchild can paint and decorate the house. As a special memory, have each person sign their name on the bottom of the birdhouse in permanent marker.
Tips to make craft time easier:
- Have staff or volunteers to help with using blow dryers to speed up paint drying, replacing water in containers, and promote conversations!
- Remember to mention that if birdhouses are going outside, an outdoor sealant should be used on them so that they will weather the elements.
2. Making Piggy Banks:
Need a simple craft activity? Decorate our Color-Me Ceramic Bisque Pig Banks! A great way to encourage stories of “when I was young” from the grandparents while creating a special keepsake project for the grandchild. Use permanent markers for an easy craft, or add in acrylic paint, gems, and more for a longer activity session.
3. Window Canvas Craft:
Here is another super simple but fun activity for grandparents and their grandchildren. Use a window as a canvas and decorate! Crayola Window markers make this activity easy and mess free and simple enough for the youngest (or oldest) participants!
4. Decorating Greeting Cards:
If you are an afterschool instructor, scout leader or activity instructor, have the kids spend an hour (or more) to create special greeting cards for their grandparent, or someone special. We have lots of great greeting card crafts that kids can create! One of our favorites is the Send A Note greeting cards kit shown below, which comes with 30 pre-printed cards to color, plus markers and envelopes. We also love these Velvet Art cards which come as a pack of 48 and are printed with inspiring words like Dream, Smile, Share and Laugh.
- Extend the learning and make sure the cards get into the mail! Have the kids bring in the mailing address and teach them how to address an envelope. Or you can let parents know that on a certain day they will need to come with the mailing address and a stamp (you may want to have some extra stamps just in case.) Parents can help their child address the envelope and then you can mail them all. Don’t be afraid to ask for donations of postage stamps. Many parents will appreciate that their kids are creating a special card for someone they care about!
- Encourage the kids to write their special message on scrap paper first. That way they can figure out what they want to say and check their spelling before they write on the card. Do the same thing with the envelope – a little practice goes a long way!
Game Stations – Senior Centers
For senior centers and nursing home activity directors, this holiday is a great opportunity to promote an intergenerational activity, and help foster connections throughout a facility and larger community! To make sure everyone feels included, reach out to staff members with older children, scouts or youth groups and invite them to participate with those residents who may not have someone special coming to visit. Here are a couple ideas to get you started:
Everyone loves Bingo! We have several bingo sets for small or large groups. Invite the grandchildren in for a fun Bingo session!
2. Toss Games:
Want to encourage more activity? Set up some of our inflatable toss games, like this mouse & cheese toss game or jumbo ring toss show below, and enjoy seeing grandparents and grandchildren laugh and interact while playing. Of course some fun simple prizes make the game even more fun!
So whether you work in a nursing facility or with younger kids, there are many ways to recognize grandparents and others on this special day. With a little imagination and supplies from S&S, you can host a fun afternoon event or help send special messages that will brighten someone’s day.
Submitted by: Ann Kolleger, Product Manager at S&S Worldwide