Grandparents Day is always celebrated on the first Sunday after Labor Day. While we should keep our grandparents in mind every day, on this day we take an extra moment to appreciate all the joy and wisdom that they bring to children’s lives.
Teaching children about grandparents
It is important to teach children about families and how they are structured. From a very young age, most children can grasp the concept of mother and father. From there, you can expand to learning about siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. You can even make learning about family structures an activity for the children in your classroom! Each child can have the chance to draw a photo or talk about those that are most important in their lives.
It is important to emphasize that all families are different. Your family can be anyone you love and who is important to you! Families come in all different shapes and sizes. Teaching children to recognize and celebrate their differences is essential as they grow and learn about the world around them. Some children have relationships with their grandparents and some do not. Some live with their grandparents, some do not. There is no right or wrong, better or worse.
Celebrating grandparents in the childcare classroom
Grandparents play many roles when it comes to their grandchildren: doctors, caregivers, playmates, friends, and educators are just a few hats they can wear. When they have a relationship with their grandchildren, their unique position allows them to help nurture and shape their grandchildren’s lives.
One of the most important things that grandparents do for their grandchildren is spend time with them. This is how relationships are formed and skills are learned. During their time spent with grandparents, children learn lessons that will remain with them all their lives.
When celebrating Grandparents Day in your classroom, you can discover the official flower, the forget-me-not. You can show children what this flower looks like, what it represents, how to care for it, etc. Older children could even make paintings of their own!
You can also try a sing-along! A great song to use is Johnny Prill’s “A Song for Grandma and Grandpa.” The video is linked below!
Celebrating Grandparents in your community
There are countless ways to celebrate grandparents in our community. Every caregiver in a child’s life deserves to be honored for their contributions to the growth and development of the next generation. Here are some of the most notable ways to celebrate grandparents:
- Reading: Reading to young children improves their cognitive and language skills. Using time between grandparents and grandchildren to teach words, colors, letters, and objects and tell stories about the pictures while reading books can go a long way in a child’s growth.
- Learning new skills: Children are always looking for role models that they can learn from and mimic. If they see their grandparent or any caregiver doing something that catches their attention, over time they will want to learn that skill. For example, if a grandparent is consistently baking, watering the plants, knitting, or using a tool, their grandchildren will often be excited to help them and learn.
- Teaching family traditions: Family traditions get passed down from generation to generation. Grandchildren can learn about their family traditions from their grandparents and continue partaking in them as they get older. This is a great way to learn new recipes and ways to celebrate various holidays.
Grandparents are the pillars of our communities and can often play a large role in a child’s upbringing. It is important to teach children about how grandparents fit into the family structure and show various examples of their relationships with their grandchildren. Showcasing the differences between families sets the foundation for children to grow up accepting their relationships with their family members!