It is said that by the year 2030, one in every five Americans will be older than 65, marking the first time in the United States that people age 65 and older will outnumber children under the age of five.
As the senior-citizen community continues to grow, it’s important to do what each of us can to honor and promote respect for older generations by people of all ages, in a culture known for emphasizing “youth” and “new” rather than honoring age and wisdom.
Grandparents Day on Sunday, Sept. 13 is yet another opportunity to do just that. Here are five Grandparents Day activities to help your family celebrate:
1. Interview grandma, grandpa, or other seniors.
Youngsters love having grandparents and listening to their stories, whether about the days before television and the Internet or about the day when man first walked on the moon. Talking with grandparents and other older people can be a captivating history lesson for children and young adults. Whether your child decides to play “news anchor” or to simply sit on a grandparent’s knee and listen, you could help your child prepare questions to ask. A great resource for sample questions is the National Grandparents Day website. By recording the interview, you’ll create a family keepsake for years to come.
2. Grow a family tree.
Does your child know your family history? Do you? Show your child how to organize his or her relatives into a family tree chart, and then track down old family photos to add to the chart. Grandma or grandpa could help your child put a face to each name on the chart. To get started, download our free Family Tree template, a Gerber Life Grandparents Day gift to you.
3. Prepare a family recipe.
In most cultures of the world, the preparation and consuming of food are steeped in cultural customs and family traditions. Does your family have a favorite dish? What is grandma or grandpa’s favorite recipe learned from their parents? Invite your child to spend time with you in the kitchen to help prepare the favorite dish. If you don’t have a recipe that’s special for your family, why not start a tradition? You could choose a recipe that allows parents, grandparents and grandchildren to have a role and spend time together in the kitchen.
4. Create a “family memories” box.
Your children could create a treasure chest of items special to them and their grandparents, with grandparents adding some treasures of their own. Both the children and the grandparents could explain why they chose particular items, and then put a written explanation into the memories box.
5. Share a favorite hobby or ask for a lesson.
Does grandma like to paint? Does grandpa spend his days fishing on a lake? Whatever the interests of the grandparents in your family, encourage your children to ask for a lesson, taught, of course, by a grandparent. Who knows, it may lead to a lasting annual family event that also gives grandparents the chance to share a favorite activity with your children.