Sunday is Grandparents Day, and celebrating the bond between generations is a little more challenging during a pandemic. Grandkids may not be able to spend the day with their grandparents as they have in previous years, but there are still ways to make the day special.
Every year, Grandparents Day coincides with the kickoff to National Assisted Living Week, which makes it a special time for both residents and staff at The Arbor Company.
"What’s important this year is the focus on children and how much joy children bring to seniors," said Laura Ellen Christian, vice president of engagement for The Arbor Company. "We did a small survey with a group of our residents, and they noted that one of the things they’ve really missed during the pandemic has been interaction with children. So it’s more important than ever for people to find creative ways to connect with their loved ones, wherever they live, whether in a senior living community or at home."
Here are five suggestions to help grandparents and their grandchildren connect in a safe way for Grandparents Day:
- Video interviews. Get to know each other a little better. Pick an aspect of Grandma’s life -- a favorite childhood memory, first job, wedding day, for example – and ask her to talk about it, and record her answers. Then she can turn the tables and ask the grandkids about special moments in their lives.
- Trivia games. Do a little research about Granddad’s favorite subject, whether it’s World War II, James Bond movies, or golf, and create a trivia game to test his knowledge. It’s easy to play the game on a video call. If kids are feeling artistic, they might want to create an awards certificate to commemorate how well Grandpa knows his stuff.
- Socially distanced dinner. Cook some of Grandma or Grandpa’s favorite foods and serve them at a meal in which everyone sits at least six feet apart. If it’s not an option to eat together in person, try a mealtime video chat.
- Scrapbooks. Kids can create and decorate a scrapbook detailing some of their favorite moments with their grandparents. Use photos and stickers to enliven and illustrate the stories. The children can show it off over a video chat, then grandparents get their own copy to cherish for later.
- Talent show. This is another easy way to connect virtually. Learn a couple of Grandma or Grandpa’s favorite songs and sing them over a video call or socially distanced visit. After the music is over, talk about why those songs are special.
No matter the activity you choose, it’s a great time to get to know grandparents a little better. The wisdom and life experience they share could benefit the kids in later years.