Grandparents Activities & Fun Ideas for Kids
You have come to the right place if you are looking for fun, engaging and exciting Grandparents themed activities to do with toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners. Our activities are widely used by teachers, moms, dads, child care providers and more!
All our activities are available at no cost and are free to print and share. Select below to get started.
Grandparents Arts, Crafts and Activities
This day has a threefold purpose:
To honor grandparents
To give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children.
To help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer.
Ask students to bring in pictures of their grandparents as children. Create a bulletin board with these photos. See if the class can match the grandparents’ photos to the correct classmate. It may help to have pictures of the students as well. This promotes an understanding of growing up and the aging process.
Have students take home a short list for grandparents to complete. Ask prices of candy bar, movies, etc. from their childhood days. Compare costs then and now. Use real money to demonstrate differences.
We have a grandparent’s day. We invite the children’s grandparents to school. We share a story & a song with them. We let the children give a tour of the room. And we serve cookies and a drink. The children & the grandparents have fun. Then we give each grandparent a bookmarker that the children make out of construction paper( any color will do), and the children decorate the bookmarkers with stickers. Then I cover it with contact paper. The grandparents seem to love it!
Grow Your Own Family Tree
Large sheet of paper
markers, or colored pencils
1) Draw a tree on the large sheet of paper. Be sure to give your tree lots of branches!
2) Cut out a color paper shape to represent you — a circle if you are a girl or a square if you are a boy. Write your name on the shape and paste it on the trunk of your tree.
3) Cut out shapes for all of your present family members and others important to you — mothers, brothers, neighbors, pets. Write names on the shapes and paste them on the lower branches of your tree.
4) Cut out shapes for all your past family members and others important to you — grandparents, great-aunts, friends. Write names on the shapes and paste them on the upper branches of your tree.
5) Draw a picture on each shape that tells something about that person.
6) Congratulations! You have started doing genealogy — recording your family history!
More Family History Fun!
* Take your tree to a family gathering! Ask if there are more family members to add to your tree. Remember to add pictures, too.
* Make a memory book! Have family members tell you their favorite family memory. Write them down in a notebook.
Invite children to share what they know or remember about their grandparents. Encourage the children to share with the class the special names they have for their grandparents, too.
Make a book–Grandparents are special because….Each day the children are asked to draw a different picture & complete the sentence with you help. A wonderful book to bring home and ‘read’)
National Grandparents Day Things to do:
-Talk with the children about their grandparents.
-Ask the children what makes their grandparents special.
-What do they call their grandparents?
-Have children draw a picture of their grandparents.
-Have the children make these Family Puppets.
-Teach children how to say grandma and grandpa in different languages.
-Have children make cards for their grandparents (or someone else’s if they don’t have any). Make extra cards and deliver them to a nursing home!
-Here is a gift idea the children can make. Use this Canvas Bags gift idea; change it to fit Grandparent’s Day.
-Have the children make a collage by cutting pictures out of magazines of people they think look like grandparents.
-Teach the children this Do it for Grandma song below.
-Teach the children this Grandpa’s Glasses fingerplay below.
-Have children put on a special play or performance for the grandparents.
-Help the children write a special poem for their grandparents: Or give the children questions about their parents for them to finish, such as “I love it when my grandma and grandpa………..”
Sample Questions for ‘Interviewing’ Your Grandparents
1. Where were you born? What year?
2. What are the names and birthdates of your brothers and sisters?
3. Did you have a pet when you were growing up?
4. Did you get an allowance?
5. Who was more strict, your mom or dad?
6. What were your favorite games and activities?
7. What chores were assigned to you?
8. What did your house look like? Is it still the same?
9. Did your house have electricity when you were young?
10. What traditions did your family have?
11. Did your family have big reunions?
12. Did you like school? What kinds of grades did you get?
13. What were your favorite subjects?
14. When you were a teenager, what time did you have to be home at night?
15. How old were you when you met grandma/grandpa?
16. How old were you when you got married?
17. What was your first job?
18. Tell me about my mom/dad when he/she was growing up.
19. What makes you proud of my mom/dad?
20. Have you accomplished what you wanted in life?
21. What do you think the President should do for the country now?
22. What advice would you like to give me?
Grandparents Games and Activities
Play the game:
“I am going to Grandma and Grandpa’s house and I am going to take a/an __________.” The first child picks an object that starts with the letter “a.” The next child picks an object that begins with the letter “b.” The game continues alphabetically until someone reaches the letter “z.”
NOTE: You may have the children repeat the objects already given before adding their object. This is challenging for older children.
1. Have school age children interview their grandparents. Should include the following in their interview’s:
-Where did they grow up as children/teenagers/adults?
-Did they have both parents raising them?
-How many siblings?
-Did they have any pets?
-Who was their best friend as a youth/adult?
-Who was their favorite teacher?
-What is their favorite food?
-What did they do for fun as children/teenagers/adults?
-What scared them as a child/teenager/adult?
-What was their most embarrassing moment as a child?
-What was their funniest moment?
-What was their happiest moment?
-What was their saddest moment?
-What was their favorite music/group/band?
-What things do we have today that were not in existence when they were young?
-What was their first job?
-If they found a magic lamp w/a Genie granting 3 wishes what would they wish for?
Once the interview is over child(ren) can post the Q & A on poster boards w/a picture of their grandparent(s) and themselves. Or the questions can be put into a story form.
1.Child draws around Grandparent’s hand. Then places her own hand in outline of Grandparent’s hand and child and Grandparent together trace child’s hand. This idea can be used to make a refrigerator drawing, a framed keepsake, a placemat, etc.
2.Another idea is to make grandparent’s handprint with red or yellow fingerpaint. After it dries, overlap child’s handprint using blue or green fingerpaint.
3.Or both hands can be cast in 3/4″ deep plaster, side by side.
4.Or handprints can be traced then embroidered. (This is an opportunity for grandparent to teach grandchild how to embroider.)
5.Craft stores also have fabric paints which could be used to outline the handprints on T-shirts for grandchild and grandparent. Me and My Gran – Hand in Hand!
Suggested Grandparents Day Activities For Families or Groups
-Complete a family tree chart Grandchild can “interview” grandparent about his/her life, using either video camera or cassette recorder.
-Grandparents may help grandchildren write names and dates on backs of old family photos.
-Grandparents can relate info about ancestors, to preserve family history. Preserve family photos and history on video tape, CD’s, etc.
-Make place mats and deliver to nursing homes.
-Make favors for lunch trays and decorations for tables in dining hall at nursing home.
-“Adopt” a grandparent at a nursing home and visit regularly.
-Invite retirement homes to bring seniors to school to read (or tell) stories to students.
-Put together a talent show with your classmates and perform at a retirement home.
Have a grandparents day where the grandparents visit and participate in the daycare or classroom.
If a grandparents day is scheduled have the GP participate in show and tell by bringing something that they have saved from their childhood. Even better if they can do this w/their grandchildren doing the same. Example: Grandpa brings his baby shoes and granddaughter brings her baby shoes for show and tell.
-Photo copy or scan pictures of all the children’s grandparents baby pictures and grandparents resent pictures. So you would have two sets of each grandparent. Label the grandparent baby picture “Then” and the grandparent current picture “Now”. Do the same w/the children’s baby pictures and current pictures. Take copies and have them displayed on poster board. See if the children can guess who’s baby picture goes w/the current picture. They can also see if the grandparents baby pictures resemble the grandchild’s baby picture.
-Contact management at a local retirement home to see if your group of children could visit the homes for elderly. The children could play games, read or do arts and crafts making this a fun fieldtrip for both the youth and young at heart. If your group is talented a talent show could be put on with songs and a short skit. This would need to be approved by management.
-Grandparents can tell us a lot about historical events that occurred before we were born in a much more fascinating way than we can read in a text book. Several ideas can really make this a fun week. Start the week with an assignment to interview grandparents about an event that occurred while they were kids and what affect it had on them. This is a great history tie-in. Students can either write down the interview or record it on audio- or videotape. A visit to a nursing home to bring joy to elderly patients is also fun for the children and the patients! Grandparents’ Day can be held at the school as a picnic on school grounds. Family trees can be explored. Another good thing to do is to have a writing contest in which students write why theirs are the best grandparents. The best writer can award their grandparents with a certificate and have them honored at the Grandparents’ Day picnic.
Read the book “Just Grandma and Me” by Mercer Mayer. Then have each child talk about what they like to do with their grandmas. They can also draw a picture of themselves doing something special with their grandmas. And write on the top of their drawing”Just Grandma & me”
Let’s Go See Our Grandparents
(Take Me Out to the Ball game)
Let’s go see our grandparents,
Take us there for a while.
Mommy and Daddy both need a break.
We’ll play games and we’ll stay up real late!
Oh, we want to thank our grandparents
For all the things that they do,
So it’s time..to..say you’re the best
And that we love you!
GRANDPARENTS H.U.G. (Heart Uv Gold) AWARD This is to certify that you both GRANDMA & GRANDPA HOGAN are hereby entitled to the GRANDPARENTS H.U.G. AWARD
For your heart of gold, your cheerful smile, Your thoughtfulness and style. For your good advice and understanding, too- But most of all for being you!
Signed this 12th day of Sept. 1999 by _______________________________________________
HAPPY GRANDPARENT’S DAY
I added visuals from clipart and a photo of each child, placed them in a frame from the dollar store….BIG HIT!!
As Grandparents Day approaches, help Children and/or Grandchildren to identify and date all photos in old family albums, while they have someone to ask. Many happy memories can be derived from this in years ahead. Everyone is a grandchild and can be involved in the observance of this day – a time to discover one’s roots and learn patience and understanding for the elderly. This is also a perfect time to establish a communication that will never be broken. Many times only grandparents have knowledge or answers to questions about family histories. When this information is passed down to the grandchildren, everyone can be assured of his heritage being preserved&emdasha valuable and necessary asset in a day and age when close-knit families are becoming a thing of the past.
Special talents, such as cooking, sculpting or quilting should be passed on to those who display an interest. Old family music, songs and dances, along with meanings and origins, are important in maintaining a strong sense of family background. Stress the importance of keeping a family tree, and strive to preserve particular ethnic or religious beliefs. Each child and grandchild needs to know the ancestral line of his parents.
In 1973, West Virginia began a statewide campaign to set aside a special day just for grandparents. The first Grandparents Day was set by Governor Arch Moore. Through concerned efforts on the part of individuals interested in preserving their heritage, this campaign was spearheaded by Marian McQuade of Fayette County, mother of fifteen children. Senator Jennings Randolph (D-WV) was especially instrumental in this project. In 1973, Senator Randolph introduced a resolution in the United States Senate and in 1978, five years after its inception, Congress passed legislation proclaiming the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. Excellent cooperation was received from radio, television, the press and several national publications, while contacting governors, senators, congressmen, churches, and organizations interested in senior citizens.
September was chosen, signifying the “autumn years” of life, and today this event, begun by only a few, is observed by thousands throughout the United States. (and Canada!)
Proper observance of Grandparents Day is very important. Some families enjoy small, private gatherings, but for those who entertain larger groups, it can be fun to have a story-telling time, allowing grandparents to relate stories of their past, enlightening children as to how it was to grow up “back in the old days.”Ice cream socials, picnics and lunch box socials have also proven successful.
A very significant part of such reunions should include an update of family albums and pictures. Names and dates should be put on old photos and many grandparents and grandchildren have begun family scrapbooks which live on, carrying many memories.It is interesting to take a census, such as oldest and newest grandchild, family with the most grandchildren, or five generation families.
Facts About The Founder of Grandparents Day
A native of Fayette County, Marian McQuade and her husband Joe are the parents of 15 children, ranging in age from 50 years old to 30 years old. They also have 38 grandchildren, ages 29 years to 3 months.
Mrs. McQuade began a campaign in 1973 to set aside a day for grandparents, but her work with senior citizens dates back to 1956,beginning with the Past Eighty Party,originated by Jim Comstock, editor of the West Virginia Hillbilly, a well-known publication.
She has worked in several states with seniors and in 1971 was elected Vice-Chairman of the West Virginia Committee on Aging and appointed as delegate to the White House Conference on Aging by Governor Arch A. Moore.
Having served as President of the Vocational Rehabilitation Foundation, Vice-President of the West Virginia Health Systems Agency, appointed to the Nursing Home Licensing Board and having served as Co-chairman for the Bi-Centennial Centenarian Search for the West Virginia Commission on Aging, Mrs. McQuade has dedicated her life to fighting for the rights of senior citizens and those less fortunate than herself.
Along with Grandparents Day, we should not forget shut-ins and those in nursing homes who are unable to be with their families or have no families. Every effort must be made to include these people in the mainstream through cards, community projects and visitation at times other than just holidays.
For those not fortunate enough to have either grandparents or grandchildren, the need is increasing every day to fill these voids. There are many lonely people who would love the opportunity to be a Foster Grandparent &emdashand for children it’s not such a bad idea to adopt a grandparent.
Grandparents Songs, Poems and Finger Plays
Do It For Grandma Song
Sung to the Tune of Did You Ever See a Lassie
Let’s clap our hands for Grandma,
for Grandma, for Grandma,
Let’s clap our hands for grandma,
Let’s clap them this way.
Clap this way and that way,
Clap this way and that way,
Let’s clap our hands for Grandma
Let’s clap them this way.
Have the children do the proper actions. Use these other actions also: Let’s stomp our feet, Let’s nod our heads, etc.
Fingerplay Grandma’s Spectacles
(good for quieting down)
These are grandmother’s spectacles, (makes circles around eyes with fingers)
This is grandmother’s hat.(use both hands and cup on head)
This is the way she folds her hands, (fold hands)
And puts them on her lap.(put hands in lap)
These are Grandpa’s spectacles
This is Grandpa’s hat
Here’s the way he folds his arms And THAT IS THAT!
Books to read:
Just Grandma and Me
The Berenstain Bears and the Week at Grandma’s
Going to Grandma’s
Grandma and Grandpa
Grandmother Bryant’s Pocket
Grandpa Putter and Granny Hoe
Max and Grandma and Grampa Winky
Dear Reader: You can help us make this theme even better!
All of our theme ideas have come from our imagination and from reader submissions. Please use this form to contact us if you have crafts, activities, games, recipes, songs or poems that you would like us to add to this theme.