Grandparents Day is the first Sunday following Labor Day. Started in 1970 by Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade and made official by President Jimmy Carter’s 1979-signed proclamation, Grandparents Day was not another florists’ or card-makers’ marketing campaign, but a grass-roots effort to provide an opportunity:
1. To honor grandparents.
2. To give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children.
3. To help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer.
- Hold a large family reunion, or a small backyard family get-together.
- Play an intergenerational board game such as checkers, Chinese checkers, or chess.
- Conduct oral interviews. Grandparents have rich histories to share! (You’ll find helpful resources below.)
- Make your grandparents a card that expresses your appreciation of them.
- Share the family photo collection. This is a good time to write down the names and significance of those in the photo along with the occasion.
- Enjoy your grandparent’s hobby with him or her. Grandparents usually have amassed a wide variety of skills that can be passed down through generations.
- Have a grandparent help you construct the family tree.
- Visit those elderly in nursing homes who do not have family nearby.
A Detailed History of National Grandparents Day
Learn about the history of Grandparents Day, its founder Marian McQuade, and her ideas for how it can be enjoyed.
National Grandparents Day
Text of Jimmy Carter’s 1979 proclamation establishing the holiday.
Sample Questions For Interviewing Your Grandparents
Ideas for getting the conversation moving.
A Family History Questionnaire
A more complete and formal option from Texas A&M.
What happened in your family? Find out and create a timeline with this help at EduPlace.com.
Free and easy interactive printable at BillyBear4Kids.com.
Interactive from Starfall that helps youngsters create a card.
Activities and printables at AKidsHeart.com.
Just Grandma and Me by Mercer Mayer
One of the Little Critter series that we just loved. For Little Critter, nothing ever goes exactly as planned!
Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs by Tomie dePaola
Heartwarming story from a favorite author about his grandmother and great-grandmother.
Unit Studies & Lesson Plans
Grandparents Day at School
Ideas for making a record of a grandparent’s life.
Lesson Plan for Grandparents Day
Five simple ways to celebrate at NationalGrandparentsDay.com.
Children Long Ago
Lesson plan that helps children understand what life might have been like for their grandparents.
Printables & Notebooking Pages
Form for recording the family tree.
Semi-Circular Ancestry Chart
Another option at EnchantedLearning.com.
Grandparents Day Coloring Pages