Grandparents’ Day is a time for kids to say “thank you” and celebrate the relationships they share with their grandparents. This may include an invite to their elementary school to share in classroom activities, a lunch outing, or a trip to a local zoo or other event.
Grandparents’ Day’s inception can be traced back to 1970, when Marian McQuade began a campaign to establish a special day of recognition for grandparents. Through her efforts, she reached out to the civic, business, faith, and political leaders and began a statewide campaign for Grandparents’ Day. In 1973, the first Grandparents’ Day was proclaimed in West Virginia by Governor Arch Moore. In 1978, the United States Congress passed legislation proclaiming the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents’ Day. President Jimmy Carter signed a presidential proclamation and thus began the observation of this special holiday.
What if, this year, you turned that celebration around and let your children’s children – or other special young people in your life – know how “grand” they are? Wouldn’t it be great for seniors and their friends to connect with a group of children or young adults and together make a difference in the world, while at the same time creating a special bond?
This year, Grandparents’ Day takes place on Sunday, September 11. Generations United, a non-profit group whose vision is to help create a world that values and engages all generations, has a detailed list of ways seniors and younger generations can connect and make a difference in each other’s lives and the lives of those around them. Here are a few grand ideas:
- Reciprocate the Love – Let your grandchildren or other young people in your life know you think they are special.
- Help Others – Volunteer with and advocate on behalf of another generation.
- Get Social – Encourage your friends and family to swap their regular Facebook profile or cover photos with one that includes their grandparents and/or grandchildren and keep it up throughout the week.
- #TakeAGrandie. Take an intergenerational selfie for Generations United’s “Grandie” contest and post it on social media using the hash tag #TakeAGrandie
- Exercise Together. The National Institute on Aging at NIH has Go4Life, an exercise and physical activity campaign. They feature different exercises and ways all ages can be active.
- Register a Young Adult to Vote. Pass on strong civic values to the next generation by encouraging at least one young person to register to vote.
- Go Pokémon! Did you know that the Pokémon Go! app could be a big step toward bringing the generations together? Here’s a guide on how to maximize Pokémon Go’s intergenerational potential.
- Spread the Love. Encourage your friends and family to visit or contact their grandparents and grand-friends.
And at the beginning or end of your day together, seniors and their special young person might enjoy some quiet time, reading together about some famous and not-so-famous people who were raised by their grandparents.
Ask our staff about bringing your grandchildren or special young adult to participate with you in a fitness class, outing or other fun and educational activities offered by the community!