How to Celebrate National Grandparents Day When You Can’t Visit

Senior woman writing in her journal

What and When Is National Grandparents Day?

Grandparents Day is a national holiday in the U.S. It always takes place on a Sunday in September. In 2020, Grandparents Day falls on September 13. A woman named Marian McQuade came up with the idea for a holiday celebrating the positive influence of grandparents on the lives of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Jimmy Carter declared the first official National Grandparents Day in 1978.

Typically, time spent together is an ideal gift for this holiday. But if your family can’t physically be with grandparents to celebrate, either because you live far away from each other or you’re social distancing, we’ve created a list of thoughtful National Grandparents Day activities and gifts that capture the spirit of the holiday.

National Grandparents Day Activities and Gifts

  1. Create a video for them. If you live far from grandparents, create a short video of their grandkids sending them love. You can text the video or email it. If the file is large, you may need to use a Dropbox link or a WeTransfer link. Or, if their grandparents don’t use either of those options, you can burn a DVD and send it to them. Don’t forget to share the video on social media too. It may remind some of your friends to reach out to their own grandparents.
  2. Send pictures. It’s a classic gesture for a reason. What grandparent doesn’t love pictures of their grandkids or great-grandkids? Text the pictures, email them, mail them, collage them, put them in a frame or print them on a coffee mug. Pictures are always a great idea.
  3. Share a virtual game night. You can still spend time together, even if you’re apart. Call over a video conferencing app, like Zoom or Skype. Then find an online game you can play together, like Scattergories or trivia.
  4. Design a homemade card. This is another perennial favorite for grandparent gifts. No matter what ages grandchildren are, a personalized card showcasing their artistic talents will be treasured. Plus, one of the beautiful aspects of homemade cards is the sentiments inside are entirely unique to their relationship. If kids have trouble thinking of what to say, have them describe what they love about their grandparents or recount a fun time they spent together.
  5. Make and drop off a favorite recipe. If your senior loved one participates in video calls, you can have them coach you through the preparation of one of their famous recipes. If you live close by, you can drop them off a serving. If you live far away, send a photo of their grandchildren with the finished dish.
  6. Host a virtual movie night. Several streaming services have created methods to support group watching. Grandparents can introduce their grandchildren to a classic film, or grandchildren can share a modern favorite.
  7. Drop off a plant in a personalized pot. Have grandchildren or great-grandchildren decorate a flowerpot and plant a flower or herb you know their grandparents like. Grandparents will think of the youngsters every time they water or prune the plant.
  8. Send a hug. There are a couple of ways to send a hug to a long-distance grandparent. One way is to have the kids lie down on a large strip of butcher paper. Outline their torsos with their arms outstretched, like they’re preparing for a hug. Then have the kids color their outline to look like them, and send it. Another option is to create a hug pillow. Order a throw pillow, cut out tracings of their arms and hands on felt and sew them to the pillow. You can find detailed instructions here.

Any gesture you make in the spirit of honoring grandparents will surely be appreciated. Even when they’re apart, the bond between grandparents and grandchildren is special, and it’s always something to celebrate, especially on National Grandparents Day.

To learn more about the ways we’re celebrating and socializing safely at Sedgebrook, contact us. We’d be happy to share more information.