5 Fun Ways to Appreciate Your Grandparents
The word “Grandparent” invokes a special place in one’s heart. No matter if you are one, have one, or are becoming one soon, there is no doubt the role fills you with a sense of pride and appreciation.
Grandparents are our greatest link to our past and serve as sources of strength, inspiration, and vast information. Hey – they were around before the internet, so Google them! These elders are our mentors, caregivers, and friends and have the power to teach patience and understanding between generations.
If you feel like doing something special – just to let the Grandparent in your life know how truly valued and special they are – check out these ideas below!
Reverse Memento Box
So much of the fun of talking with Grandparents comes from listening to their personal histories as they share their dreams for their families. A truly unique and fun activity that incorporates both of these things is the reverse memento box idea. Grandparent(s) and family will sit together, with pen and paper, and essentially go through a life on paper.
Choose milestone ages, such as 5, 10, 15, 20, and “reverse-interview” one another. For example, have the Grandparent list what the child will be like, or doing, when they are the listed ages. If the child is already past the listed age, then just have them write what they were like and / or doing at that age, or share a funny anecdote about the child at that point in his or her life.
As for the children’s part of the exercise, have them imagine what their Grandparent was like and / or doing when they were the listed ages. Once the child completes each age have the Grandparent compare the answers to their actual life. This is a great way for children to be interactional and learn from their family heritage. When discussions are finished, put all the answered papers into a memento box (which can be personally decorated together, as a side project) and save for a wonderful keepsake.
Tour Your Neighborhood
Everyone loves to talk about themselves, so take advantage of this fact by driving through your old neighborhoods and hot spots. Load up the family and drive through your history, all the while explaining the significance of each place. If you live close enough to walk to the old hang outs, even better!
Grandparents will delight in remembering their past and children will adore listening to the stories that come with each place; especially if the stories involve their parents as children!
As well-known as the idea of a “family tree” is, how many people actually take the time to construct one? Organize the perfect opportunity to sit down and get to know where your family comes from. Some information only Grandparent’s know, and it is best to get it all onto paper directly from the “horse’s mouth,” as they say.
Depending on how tech-savvy your family is, trees can be made either by hand or many computer programs, including Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. Start with the oldest generation at the top of the tree and end with the newest additions to the family at the bottom.
Recipes for Success
Many families covet their recipes in such a way others may never get to make and enjoy them. To ensure this doesn’t happen, have a recipe exchange day. Grandparents write down their five favorite recipes on index cards and the kids write down their favorites. If the child is too young to actually know how to make their favorites, let them imagine what is in it and write that down! This exercise could get amusing if the child has a wild imagination. Group all of the recipes together and tie them with a ribbon, or add them all to recipe book for tasty nostalgia later.
I personally think the greatest gift you can give is yourself, so Grandparents videotaping or recording questions will be a win every time. There are many angles you can take for this project, but personal questions are sure to hit home and heart. The added bonus of a videotape is that it is true to sound and sight!