Grandparents Day is coming up! This special day is a way to celebrate all that grandparents do for us, including the love they give and the wisdom they share.
Planning crafts and activities with the kids in your care to honor their grandparents will make them happy and their grandparents will be delighted to get a thoughtful, handmade gift.
Let’s look at some ways to incorporate this holiday into your child care center’s day!
What is Grandparents Day?
Marian McQuade, a mother of 15 from West Virginia, began a campaign in 1970 to establish a day of recognition for grandparents. Eight years later, Congress passed legislation marking the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. President Jimmy Carter signed a presidential proclamation, and this special holiday was born!
Grandparents Day has an official flower and song, both chosen by the National Grandparents Day Council. The flower is the forget-me-not and the song is “A Song for Grandma and Grandpa” by Johnny Prill.
Get Kids Thinking About Their Grandparents
Here are five questions to help you get your kids pumped about any project you choose:
1: What does your grandparent do to make you laugh?
2: What is your favorite part about visiting your grandparent?
3: What do you love the most about your grandparent?
4: Use one word to describe your grandparent.
5: My grandparent is really good at ____________________.
Recording the answers to these questions will no doubt make any grandparent smile.
Free templates abound online to collect these never-boring responses, such as here.
Craft Ideas All Grandparents Will Love
One idea is to make a bouquet of flowers from cupcake liners! The only supplies you’ll need are pipe cleaners, markers, scissors and cupcake liners, preferably colorful ones.
Let the kids draw a flower on each liner. Then poke a small hole in the middle of each liner with a pen and let each child pull the pipe cleaner through the hole, Tie a knot, or just push down the pipe cleaner so the liner stays attached. If you like, you can secure the “bouquet” with a ribbon, or even decorate a small vase to display the flowers that won’t wilt!
Painting rocks is another fun idea to add some pizzazz to a grandparent’s garden. Consider not painting the bottoms to avoid any paint leaking into the soil. Let the rocks dry on a foam board after painting. Allow the kids use paint brushes of varying sizes to add dots or other shapes to the rock.
And making a card with potatoes is another great idea! All you need are potatoes of different sizes, paper and paint such as poster paint, acrylic paint or water-based inks. Cut a large, clean potato in half, putting the half you’re not using in a plastic bag. You can cut a design into the potato if you want, or just dip the potato in a shallow dish of paint to make designs such as penguins, snowmen, eggs and even monsters!
Repurpose Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Craft Ideas
You likely already have a list of projects to make for the parents of kids in your care. Take a look at tried-and-true gifts for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day to see how you could revamp them to make them suitable to give to a grandparent.
Ask parents to bring photos of the kids’ grandparents to incorporate in crafts and consider making picture frames from popsicle sticks. And the kids might get a kick out of seeing pictures of their grandparents with their much-younger parents from many years ago!
Now is a great time to take an inventory of your craft closet in your classroom. Check out our list of the 100 must-have materials and supplies for any child care center.
Some children may not have grandparents who are still alive, or perhaps a grandparent is not a part of their lives.
Ask parents if there’s a grandparent figure for any child in such a situation and how you can include that person in your class activities around Grandparents Day.
Bring Joy to Nursing Home Residents
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for many families to visit their grandparents who are in nursing homes. Statistics show that half of nursing home residents have no relatives and 46 percent have no living children. And 60 percent have no outside visitors leaving them feeling lonely and isolated. There’s no doubt the isolation of the pandemic is making it even harder.
Reach out to local nursing homes in your area and ask if you can drop off crafts or cards made by the children in your care to bring smiles to the residents.
You also might schedule a visit in which the kids could wave to the residents from outside the building while carrying signs or banners to brighten the days of the grandparents who might be missing the children in their lives.
Let Procare Help
Parents will love seeing their little ones make projects for the grandparents in their lives. You can share that experience with them using Procare’s built-in parent engagement app to send real-time photos and other updates.
Curious how Procare can become a classroom essential?