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Happy Grandparents Day!

Sunday, September 13, 2015, is National Grandparents Day. According to its 1978 statute, this holiday, held annually on the first Sunday of September after Labor Day, is designated "to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children's children, and to help children become aware of strength, information, and guidance older people can offer."

5 free family activities for Grandparents Day

You can make Grandparents Day – or any day spent together with your grandchildren – extra special without breaking the bank. Here are a few fun ideas:

Grandparents Day 1

Dance like it’s 1959. Have you ever taught your grandkids to dance? If you have any old-school dance moves, share them with the young’uns, and see if it doesn’t tickle everyone’s fancy to do the twist together. Can you swing, jive, or do the jitterbug? Find out what dances your grandkids know – maybe you’ll learn a new step or two!

Grandparents Day 2

Prepare a favorite family recipe together. Whether it’s Aunt Sarah’s Secret Casserole or Nana’s Double Chocolate Cookies, there’s nothing tastier than a home-cooked meal or dessert you’ve prepared together. Give your grandkids’ culinary skills a boost and teach them a recipe to pass down to their own grandchildren someday.

Grandparents Day 3

Have a good ole’ movie night. Chances are you have collected quite a few classics and family films over the years. Have your grandchildren ever seen “Mister Ed”? Perhaps they’d get a hoot out of that old talking horse. What about home videos from when their parents were young? Pop in a video and pop some popcorn, then kick back and enjoy an afternoon.

Grandparents Day 4

Would you rather spend a day outdoors? Take your grandkids on a nature walk. The little ones will enjoy feeling crunchy leaves, scratchy tree bark, or smooth rocks, while you and the older children can spot and identify the birds, plants, and wild critters you see on your path. Just remember to leave nature – and the wildlife that lives there – as you found it.

Grandparents Day 5

For another outdoor activity, have a campout in your own backyard. If you’ve got one, pop up a tent and fill it with pillows and blankets. Enjoy some nature-themed snacks like ants on a log or worms in the dirt. Adults can help children to make s’mores over a fire pit or grill. Don’t forget flashlights for telling silly or spooky stories once the sun has set. If spending an evening outdoors would put a crick in your back, you can always build a pillow fort for the kids to sleep under.

Whatever you choose to do, may you enjoy this Grandparents Day and look back on it with fondness!

Don’t go it alone! It you’re a grandparent raising your grandchildren, we’re here to help. Franklin County Home Care offers support for grandparents who are 55 years or older and raising their grandchildren. Read more or call 413-773-5555 or 978-544-2259.

"Dancing" photo courtesy of Flickr user Donnie Ray Jones: