12 Ways to Celebrate Grandparents Day


The bond between child and grandparent is heartwarming and universal. Grandparents’ Day is a day for celebrating that special relationship between the generations.

A vital connection to the past, grandparents nurture a sense of history, heritage, and identity. They pass on important family traditions and life stories that grandchildren delight in when young and cherish in adulthood.

In turn, grandparents reap many benefits from close relationships with their grandchildren. The desire to be present as a child grows encourages many grandparents to remain active, to stay on top of trends and issues important to youth, and to protect their own health.

Why We Celebrate Grandparents’ Day

According to the Legacy Project, there are three purposes for National Grandparents’ Day:

  • 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.

Celebrated on the second Sunday in September, National Grandparents’ Day was officially recognized in Canada in 1995. Submitted to the House of Commons by Mr. Sarkis Assadourian for the purpose of recognizing important link between grandparents and grandchildren and “a generation of individuals who may be older but surely are wiser”.

Grandparents’ Day Activities

Grandparents are a very special part of our lives.  If you have been fortunate enough to enjoy time with your own grandparents, you know that the memories you share with them are priceless. Here are a few ideas to help you both enjoy the day and make more memories!

1. Send a Homemade Card

A card is a loving gift for grandparents both near and far, especially if it’s handcrafted. Gather some art supplies, such as paint, colorful paper scraps and stencils, and see what children create.

2. Make a Photograph Craft

Grandparents love photographs of their favorite kids, so incorporate pictures into a project. Try making a place mat by laminating a photo collage. Or, add magnetic tape to the back of a photograph for a special refrigerator decoration.

3. Share A Hobby

Grandparents’ Day is the perfect occasion for sharing interests and hobbies with your loved one. If your grandpa likes woodworking, make something with him. Or, if your grandma loves painting, go outside in the fresh air for some impromptu art lessons.  If your grandparents wants to share their green thumb secrets – embrace it.  You or your children may discover a new interest, continuing a tradition in the footsteps of a grandparent!

4. Learn A New Skill — Together

Have you ever wanted to learn a new language? Or to master digital photography? How about putting together a lavish French meal, practising yoga, or painting birdhouses? Not only would it be fun to learn a new skill together, but the memories would be priceless.

5. Sit Down for a Meal

Few things are more precious to grandparents simply spending time with their grandchildren.  Organize a family lunch, dinner, BBQ featuring their favorite food. Whether elaborate or a simple sandwich on a park bench, grandparents will cherish your time together.

6. Plan A Special Event. Indulge Them!

From a day at the carnival to an ice-cream social, themed parties infuse some fun into your day. Many of our senior living communities organize activities around Grandparents’ Day, inviting family members for celebrations featuring entertainment, activities, refreshments, music and more.  Check with your loved ones residence to see what is being planned! Here are a few snapshots:

Newly opened, Cataraqui Heights in Kingston, ON, is planning a social for all the residents and their families, complete with treats, music, and a family-feud style trivia! Meanwhile, at McCarthy Place in Stratford, ON, residents will be treated to a Grandparent’s Social.  With themed puzzles, reminiscing stories, special refreshments and snacks, and a viewing of Parenthood in our theatre, everyone is bound to feel special.

The Brag About Your Grandchildren Social at senior residences in Edmonton is guaranteed to stir up some friendly competition! Join us for morning and afternoon socials, a family free swim, and country drives.

Sturgeon Creek I retirement home in Winnipeg is inviting all the grandchildren to the party! There will be a Candy Bar, entertainment, kid-friendly meal, and a family favourite movie.

7. Take a Walk Down Memory Lane

Everyone has a fascinating story to tell— kids will be fascinated to find out what life was like when grandma and grandpa were growing up. The easiest questions to answer are specific: “What did you love to do after school when you were a kid?”, “What was your favorite thing to do in the summer?” and “How did you meet each other?” Remember to record the conversation for posterity!

8. Start a tradition: Matching T-shirts

Instead of “#1 Grandpa” or “World’s Greatest Grandma” coffee mugs, surprise the grandparent in your life with custom t-shirts. Have kids draw a picture of them with their grandparents or create outlines of everyone’s hands. Find your favourite picture of the kids with their grandparents. The options are endless.  Print t-shirts for everyone: these make wonderful keepsakes to bring out on Grandparents’ Day every year.

9. Perform a Song

A performance dedicated to your grandparents will be a special memory. Organize cousins to sing a song for grandma and grandpa. Better yet, have a sing-a-long that includes all their favourites. If grandparents live far away, why not send an audio or video recording of the children singing?

10. Bake a Treat

Adult relatives can help kids bake muffins or cookies for their grandparents. The No. 1 thing grandparents want from their grandchildren is time, so another fun idea is to hold a baking day, where several generations work together in the kitchen.

11. Offer Thoughtful Services

Grandparents do many things for their grandchildren, so the kids can use their own abilities to reciprocate. Make a little coupon booklet of things the grandchildren can do for the grandparents. Children can offer to pose for a picture, do yard work or wash the car.

12. Reach out Virtually

Grandmas and grandpas love to hear about successes and milestones. From a first word, first tooth, or twentieth gold star at school, you can rely on grandparents to take an interest. A simple Facetime or Skype call is a great way to catch up and let them know they’re appreciated. It’s also a wonderful time to share the joy of their favorite book, activity, or meal. No matter what you do, your effort to connect will bring a smile to their face. For grandparents who are far away, it helps them feel closer too.

Senior Living Celebrates Families

The best retirement communities offer many opportunities for intergenerational activities. At All Seniors Care, we believe that being involved with youth is crucial for maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle. Therefore, we welcome and encourages family interaction—not just on Grandparents’ Day, but all year long.

Many of our senior living communities organize activities around Grandparents’ Day, inviting family members for celebrations featuring entertainment, activities, refreshments, music and more.  With more relaxed restrictions, we encourage family members to take advantage of these fun community activities and use them as opportunities to connect with your loved one. We welcome family visitors, including children, and encourage interaction between our residents and their grandkids. Please check with local visitor guidelines prior to coming to the residence.

You can also use these opportunities to encourage your loved one to connect with friends and neighbors in their community. Living in a community of friends and neighbors is one of the greatest benefits of living in an Age-in-Place community and forming relationships is a wonderful way to thrive.

If you’re thinking of choosing a retirement community, we would like to tell you all about All Seniors Care Living Centres and invite you to see first-hand any of our family-friendly Ottawa senior living homes or our Manitoba senior communities. Please contact us to schedule a visit or to learn more about our caring senior living homes.


Writer  – Julianna McLeod

Julianna is a health and wellness expert at All Seniors Care. Her mission is to create content that empowers seniors to form sustainable solutions for lasting health and happiness. She is an experienced writer, editor, and Recreational Therapist living in Toronto.

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