Our parents deserve a vacation on a 5-star cruise line with a lobster dinner for everything they do for us and our children. National Grandparents Day is coming up (Sunday, September 8 to be exact), and let’s be honest: we’re more than likely throwing together a last-minute gift because, well, kids. And if anyone understands, it’s our parents. Plus, we’ve already given them the greatest gift of all: their grandchildren! Am I right?
If you’re like me, you have the urge to bust out the craft box and put together an elaborate gift for your parents, but also you’re tired, and you just really want to lay down. Here are five easy but meaningful ways to celebrate those awesome grandparents in your kids’ lives that won’t break the bank or your patience:
1. Bust out the printables!
Go to Pinterest, type in “grandparents day printable,” and choose whichever option speaks to you! You can even add the word “free” to your search query to get the best value. One of my personal favorites is from The Frugal Sisters. It’s a fill-in-the-blank interview for your child to answer questions about their Grandma, Grandpa, Nana, or Papa. This one’s likely to bring you some entertainment, too. Minimal prep work required.
2. Take a family day trip.
On Sunday, September 8, you can visit the Detroit Historical Museum for FREE. In partnership with the AARP, the Detroit Historical Society is putting on their first annual Grandparents Day event. There will be crafts and activities for children and adults throughout the museum galleries, a live band, and more. Admission is free from noon until 5 p.m. on Grandparents Day. Learn more at detroithistorical.org.
If you’re looking to get outdoors, visit one of the many apple orchards in the area. It may not feel like fall yet, but most Southeast Michigan orchards are open, welcoming guests with family-friendly activities and delicious treats. Check out DMB’s guide to local apple orchards here.
3. Make personalized awards.
Now, this one might require that craft box I mentioned earlier. Cut out some construction paper in the shape of an award, or keep it rectangular to mimic a plaque. Add ribbons, glitter, or any other miscellaneous items you’ve stocked up on. Have your child come up with a unique award that is personal to each grandparent (they may need some help with this part). Then, deliver the award in person with some donuts or flowers in tow.
4. Plan a sleepover!
This could be as simple as packing up your child’s favorite toys and spending a few hours at Grandma’s house before bed. Or, have them take their pillow and blanket and camp out in Grandpa’s living room on Saturday night. Your parents could introduce their favorite movie or classic board game to the kids. And you could head out for a much-needed date night or drinks with friends. It’s a win-win!
Bonus: Order take-out from your parents’ favorite restaurant and have it delivered for a little extra “thank you.”
5. Cook a family recipe together.
This is the most versatile option. Whether it’s a recipe that was hand-written by your great-great-grandma, a cultural dish from your ancestors, or the directions on the back of Toll House chocolate chip cookies, time spent in the kitchen is sure to bring some giggles. And children of all ages can help! Cooking is also a great idea if you only have a few hours to spend together. Or, you can make a whole day of it (because who doesn’t like leftovers).
Just make the time matter.
How do you juggle all of this with multiple sets of grandparents? Split the day in half on Sunday, or make plans with one set of grandparents on Saturday and one on Sunday. You could even celebrate the holiday on a weeknight or the following weekend.
The point is that one of the best gifts you can give is the gift of time, regardless of how you spend it. Grandparents have a wealth of knowledge to share, and it’s our responsibility as parents to teach our kids the importance of taking the time to listen, slow down, and really pay attention to the things and people we too often take for granted.
Happy National Grandparents Day to all of the wonderful grandparents out there.
Thank you for all that you do for us and our families!