Disclosure: Links to the books mentioned in any posts are Amazon affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase on Amazon after clicking on a link/photo, I get a reimbursement.
One of my favorite days is Grandparent’s Day which is usually early in September. Growing up, I was very close to my grandpa and loved visits to their house. He has since passed on, but I still celebrate and cherish the time we did have. Grandparent’s Day is an amazing way for students to learn about the past. There are so many great ways to celebrate this day.
If your school has an actual grandparent’s day, be sure to know in advance who is coming. Often, not everyone has a grandparent to do activities within the classroom. It’s good to plan for this and make small groups of kids with grandparents who are able to make it.
One fun activity to do is to have the kids write/draw what they think they will look like when they get older! You can also have students interview the grandparents and have them “present” the grandparent to the rest of the class. With older students, discussing events that they are learning about and talking with someone who has lived through it would be an amazing lesson.
For Grandparents’ Day, one of my favorite things to do is get pictures of old appliances, machines, electronics, etc. and have the kids guess what it is! Reading the responses on them was hilarious! A floppy disk was thought to be a battery, fire alarm, or game station! This made me feel old!
Another way to make grandparents feel welcome is to have them pick out a favorite children’s book to read to the class. If you would rather have books about grandparents, read by grandparents, fear not! Below are some really great ones to incorporate for Grandparent’s Day. One cute series is “How to Babysit A Grandpa” and “How to Babysit a Grandma”. These two books go into the mind of a young kid and what would happen if the roles were reversed and they were the babysitter! This book is pretty short and would be great for younger children.
Hearing about a person’s past is super fun and interesting and draws similarities between youth and the elderly. Growing up I loved to sing and dance! As I got older I learned that I had inherited this love from both of my parents (who acted in plays, sang, etc) as well as my grandma who was an assistant ballet teacher. “Song and Dance Man” is a fun way for kids to see that their grandparents may have a hidden talent or special skill they weren’t aware of!
A fun way to incorporate this book into Grandparent’s Day is to talk to grandparents prior to the special day to see if they have any talents they would be willing to share. Can you imagine the look on your student’s faces if they saw Grandpa tap dancing?!
Abuela is a fun and engaging read. In it, a young girl and her grandma (abuela) take an imaginative journey over New York City. What is great about this book is that it weaves in Spanish phrases too. This allows students to also learn about different nationalities. Abuela would be a great way for older kids to explore their heritage and research what grandma and grandpa are in other languages! As a kid, I never realized my great grandparent’s names actually weren’t Nonna, Nonno, Busia, and Dziadek( which I pronounced Jaw Jaw).
One of my FAVORITE children’s book authors is Patricia Polacco. Her books touch on some very hard subjects at times, but she always manages to weave in lyrical storytelling. Many of her books are actually about her when she was younger and her grandma. Within each book is a different lesson. Some are about overcoming fear, dealing with racism, family time, and so much more. As I said, many of her books do deal with tough subjects, so these are probably best for older children. These are some of my favorite Patricia Polacco books that are great for Grandparent’s Day.
Finally, one of my absolutely favorite books ever is “The Remember Balloons”. I don’t remember how I first came across it, but just remember crying for an hour. Be forewarned, it is a very sweet story but will tug on some heartstrings!
To see all these books, just click here!