7 Creative Ways to Connect with Grandparents During COVID-19
Did you know that National Grandparents Day is the always observed on the first Sunday after Labor Day? In 1978, President Jimmy Carter declared the first Sunday after Labor Day to be Grandparents Day after Marian McQuade campaigned for the special day that would honor grandparents. Every year since then, the sitting president issues a proclamation to keep the tradition going.
This year, that special day falls on September 13, 2020. But in the era of a pandemic, a family gathering to celebrate our beloved grandparents might not be the safest idea. We know that COVID-19 is particularly dangerous for older people…and we know that little kids are really good at spreading germs. So, in order to keep everyone at a safe distance, hugs and kisses might be off the table, but these other fun ideas are definitely not.
Here are seven ways to connect with the special grandparents in your life this National Grandparents Day (or any other day!):
Mail a Hug
This is a fun activity for little kids. You’ll need a long piece of paper, so either roll out some butcher paper, or cut apart a paper grocery bag and unfold it. Have your kids lay on the paper with their arms spread out and trace them. Then, ask your kids to color in their traced-out body. You’ll end up with a fun piece of art that can be rolled up and mailed to your child’s grandparents with a sweet note explaining that this is a long-distance hug.
Handwritten Card or Letter
Some things never go out of style, like handwritten letters and cards, especially from children. The cutest cards are filled with big expressions of love even when the words are misspelled or run off the page. Help your child create a letter or card by hand to mail; this is a great opportunity to learn the fine art of how to craft a letter and what kinds of things to say. Or, for kids who are too young to write, a hand-print painting could be a sweet way to deliver a personal message.
Did your grandparents live through an important event or time? Did they have an interesting job or travel much? Help your child generate a list of interesting questions and then using video chat or the phone, have your child conduct their interview. Make sure to record the interview so you can look back on it for years to come.
For families that live close enough to their grandparents, a driveway visit, in which everyone is socially distanced by at least six feet and also wearing masks might be exactly the thing that everyone needs. Although hugs and kisses might not be allowed, at least everyone can see each other in person for a brief period of time.
Little kids love to be read to. If video-chatting is an option, have the grandparents in your life read a beloved book to your children. This is especially sweet during bed time when kids and grandparents can bond one last time before snoozing for the night. Or, if a live chat doesn’t work, Grandma and Grandpa can pre-record a video and send it via text or email. Bonus: This way, your tot can watch it over and over again!
Craft, Bake, or Play a Board Game…Virtually
Some kids (and grandparents!) don’t like to sit in front of screen and just talk. Try setting up something fun for both by creating a virtual experience. With a little bit of planning, kids and grandparents can do a craft together, play a board game, and even bake all with the help of a video chat.
Good Old-Fashioned Care Package
Who doesn’t love getting packages in the mail? Grab a box and fill it with fun things for the grandparents in your life like Grandma’s famous chocolate chip cookies that you baked from her recipe, a handwritten card, a fun craft your child did, or any other items that might be meaningful for your child’s grandparents.
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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.