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Celebrate Grandparent’s Day in more ways than one.
Did you know that the first Sunday after Labor Day is dedicated to grandparents? You might be asking yourself if it’s too good to be true but just like how Mothers and Fathers warrant a day of celebration, so do grandparents! President Jimmy Carter proclaimed National Grandparent’s Day in 1979 and said, “We all know grandparents whose values transcend passing fads and pressures, and who possess the wisdom of distilled pain and joy.”
Today, the tradition continues. Countries around the world like Australia, Brazil, Singapore, and Mexico recognize the importance of grandparents and have a special day dedicated to honor them too. And it’s not just for relatives – community groups, extended family and neighborhood friendships all benefit from celebrating the wisdom and joy that one generation can impart to another.
Put an extra spin on how you spend time together to commemorate Grandparent’s Day this year. Whether you’re in the kitchen taking turns measuring out the ingredients for homemade chocolate chip cookies or nurturing your relationship outdoors, these are the moments that fond memories are made of. Not only will you get to spend quality time with your family, but you’ll also be promoting a happier and healthier lifestyle. It’s a win-win for everyone!
How do Grandparent Relations Improve Health?
It’s no surprise that spending time with your loved ones can contribute to a happier life, but what about a healthier one? According to the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, on average grandparents who care for their grandchildren may live longer. Social interaction with your family can positively impact your well-being and contribute to good mental health too.
Registered Nurse, Nora Wang suggests that when it comes to connection and mental health, “Communication is key. It’s key to social engagement. It’s key to our lives.” Aside from the positive effects that come from communication with your loved ones, spending quality time together can also provide health benefits for grandparents and children alike:
- Keeps the mind sharp
- Makes you more active
- Lowers the risk of depression
- Provides opportunity for learning
- Builds a stronger immune system
- Gives a sense of purpose
- Provides additional motivation
- Supports social interaction
Learn more about how being a grandparent does wonders for your health.
5 Activities for Grandparents and Grandchildren
Now that you’re even more excited to spend time with family this Grandparent’s Day, here are a few activities that everyone can enjoy.
- Try a new recipe. Do you prefer savory or sweet dishes? Choose a recipe together from your favorite cookbook or try out this recipe for the best chewy chocolate chip cookies that are sure to make this Grandparent’s Day one to remember. Two cups of flour here, three-quarters cup of butter there and a whole lot of love coming your way.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup unsalted melted butter
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Combine the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry ingredients in another. Fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture then add the chocolate chips. Roll cookie dough and space them 3 inches apart on the cookie trays–don’t forget to line with parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes and enjoy!
- Get hands on with crafts. Arts and crafts create a positive impact on children, encourages creativity and promotes different skills that can help with child-development. It’s also an opportunity to create memorable connections that you both will treasure for a lifetime. Need ideas for arts and crafts this Grandparent’s Day? Explore these 17 fun crafts and pick one that’s right for everyone!
- Spend time outdoors. A trip to the park is a terrific way to expend energy and for everyone to enjoy a breath of fresh air–it’s also free! Are you on the hunt for rocks, seashells or sea creatures? Put the beach, river or lake on your agenda. Whichever it may be, take the opportunity to teach and learn new things from each other during your outing. Visit Caring Senior Service for more outdoor activity ideas that you’ll both enjoy.
- Read and share stories. Nothing is more captivating than the words in a story. They may be stories from a book or stories about your own life, but as Dr. Seuss once said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Choose a book to read together from these top 100 books for children or create a storybook together!
- Don’t let distance keep you apart. You might live in a different town or state but thanks to the rapid growth of technology, communication with your loved ones has never been easier! Set up a time to chat on the phone or schedule a video call with an app like Facetime so you don’t miss quality time this Grandparent’s Day. If you don’t have video calls as an option on your mobile device, you can explore Zoom: Video Conferencing and Facebook Messenger for video calls right on your desktop or laptop.
Make the Most out of Grandparent’s Day
So, what are you waiting for? Plan Grandparent’s Day this year with your family and make it a memorable one! You may choose to spend the day together in the kitchen tasting everything as you go, make arts and crafts from household items, or enjoy your time together outdoors. Just remember that however you choose to spend it, the time you spend with one another is the greatest gift of all.
“Love is the greatest gift that one generation can leave to another.”
– Richard Garnett, Scholar, Librarian, Poet