By Lee Scott, Chairperson of The Goddard School’s Educational Advisory Board
Per a recent study, 42% of working parents rely on grandparents for childcare. These generational role models play a crucial part in their families’ lives, often providing much-needed support for households across the country. Despite the large age gap between little ones and their grandparents, children can learn a lot from their elders, and it is important that families help their children develop an appreciation for older generations.
While a grandparent’s impact cannot be summarized into a single conversation or activity, there are a few simple ways parents can bring their children closer to them. With Grandparents’ Day coming up on September 10, The Goddard School shares a few activities that can help children show their grandparents just how loved and appreciated they are.
Create a hand or footprint masterpiece for their grandparents
Take an opportunity to commemorate your child’s age by marking the size of their foot. Gather some non-toxic paint and have your child dip their hands or feet in it. Then place their hands or feet onto a sheet of paper, a t-shirt, or a piece of canvas. After the paint has dried, help your little one sign their name for an extra special touch.
Grandparents have been able to watch their children come into their own, and now they have the gift of watching their children’s children grow up too.
Look through old pictures and compile a photo album
Sit down with your little one and sift through photos you have taken of them with their grandparents over the years. Choose the best ones (though they are all great!) and create a photo album filled with wonderful memories.
Grandparents will be able to reflect on this gift for many years and enjoy reminiscing about the beautiful moments they’ve spent with their grandchildren.
Use online connections
A great way to connect with grandparents who don’t live close by is to put online connections to work. Send one of your child’s favorite books to their grandparents (keeping a copy at home, too). Connect at a set time for a reading session. Your child can follow along as the grandparent reads the story with them to create a virtual storytime! Another way to do this is to have grandparents record themselves reading the story and send the recording to you. You can then play the recording and follow along with the book when your little ones are ready.
The time spent with grandparents is a gift, and there are many opportunities for children to share their appreciation for the ones who paved the way for them. For more parenting guidance and resources, visit goddardschool.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lee Scott is an education consultant with more than 25 years of early childhood education program development experience. She serves as the chairperson of The Goddard School’s Educational Advisory Board and supported the development of The Goddard School’s summer, after-school, Life Lesson Library, and kindergarten programs.
Lee has launched strategic partnerships on various family-oriented and educational projects with National Head Start Association, Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute, National Geographic Society, The Discovery Channel, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Amazon Kids. She is the author of the national Partnership for 21st Century Learning Early Learning Framework (P21-ELF) and is an expert collaborator on the Mattel Fisher-Price Play Lab.
Photo credit: pexils.com