National Grandparents Day-Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016

 “The reason grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is that they have a common enemy.”- Sam Levenson

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National Grandparents Day 2016

It seems as though there are holidays for everything.  Some of these holidays are pretty humorous like National Donut Day and National Dog Day; others have more significant meanings and deeper traditions.  One holiday that continually gains more recognition each year is National Grandparents Day.  This special day is celebrated on Sunday, September 11th this year (or on the first Sunday after Labor Day).

What is National Grandparents Day?

Grandparents Day was founded in 1970 by Marian McQuade.  Mrs. McQuade, who had 15 children and 40 grandchildren, wanted to create a way for young and adult grandchild to take the time to visit, talk to, learn from, and enjoy time together with their grandparents.  In 1973, after lobbying with policy makers, West Virginia declared the first Grandparents Day and in 1978, only five years later, President Jimmy Carter decreed it to be a national holiday.

The Importance of Grandparents

Children are molded in many different ways throughout their lifetime and a closer relationship with grandparents only deepens this molding, growth, and ultimate success in life.  Rita Brhel’s article, The Vital Importance of the Grandparent-Grandchild Bond, discusses the significance and positive outcomes from this bond.  According to Brhel, the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is second in emotional importance to that of a child and their parent.  There are many reasons why a grandparent’s presence in families is essential for children.  Grandparents transmit norms and values and play a special role in teaching grandchildren about family history. With life expectancy growing, more children have grandparents in their lives.  Also, with changing household dynamics, more children are living with at least one grandparent.

How to Celebrate Grandparents Day

Whether you have been celebrating Grandparents Day for years or want to begin a new tradition, it is a great way to watch a grandparent’s and grandchild’s relationship grow.  Whether the grandparent lives in the same house, in the same city, in another state, or even another country, there are many wonderful Grandparents Day activities, crafts, and ideas for children that can be planned.  Here are a few:

  • Watch their favorite movie
  • Play their favorite board game
  • Grandparents can help children create books and photo albums with illustrations of their family
  • Grandchildren can make signs, banners, or pictures for the special day
  • In the kitchen, grandparents can help their grandchildren (young and old!) cook a favorite family recipe and talk about the history behind its ingredients
  • If weather permits, plan a fall picnic full of family dishes
  • For those who live far away, grandchildren can mail homemade cards showing their love and appreciation

Celebrating Grandparent’s Day is a delightful way to acknowledge all that grandparents do and promotes family bonding among generations.  Not only can Grandparent’s Day be celebrated at home, but it can also be celebrated in preschool and early childhood education programs.  Grandparents can come and read a book to the class, work on a craft with their grandchild, eat lunch, and simply spend the day together.

Mark your calendar!

If your child is fortunate enough to have grandparents in their lives you should acknowledge all they do on Sunday, September 11, 2016.  Please feel welcome to share how your family celebrated National Grandparent’s Day by posting pictures to The Compass School’s Twitter account @CompassSchoolUS!

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The Compass School strongly promotes positive relationships among teachers, families, and the surrounding community.  Schedule a tour or visit one of The Compass School locations to see what a Reggio Emilia inspired environment is all about!