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5 Cheap or Free Activities for Grandparents Day

Posted on 8/20/2013 14:02 EST

Celebrate Grandparent's Day on September 8 by spending multi-generational quality time together. Here are several ideas for things kids can do for grandparents, grandparents can do for kids, and grandparents and grandkids can do together. All are either cheap or free.

Photo by flickr.com/jdecker12

Teach the Grandkids Something.

What do you remember learning from a grandparent? I remember my grandfather teaching me how to skip, a simple memory that always makes me smile. Creating such memories with grandkids on Grandparent's Day can be joyous. Maybe there's a favorite recipe you can prepare with your grandchildren or introduce them to a treasured hobby. The point, really, is not what they learn but how they learn it and how it becomes part of their history, something to recall later in life. And you don't have to spend much, if any, money to do this.

Organize Family Photos.

As a child I loved going through my grandparents' store of family pictures; I still do. My grandparents have hundreds, perhaps thousands, of photos (many in black and white) and there's always a story behind each one. I could spend hours looking at and talking about the photos with my grandparents. Come Grandparent's Day, sit down with the younger generation and use old photos to help pass on family lore. This is also a great opportunity to organize and preserve the jumble you've stashed away.

Share a Memory Box.

…Or treasure chest, as my two-year-old likes to call this. Find a special box and fill it with items that are special to you. On Grandparent's Day open the box with the grandkids and explain the significance of each object. Items can be anything from a rock to photos or drawings, ticket stubs or maps, or whatever has personal meaning and is worth sharing.

Joint Art Projects.

Grandparents.com suggests a simple art project that involves creating two portraits. Sit across from your grandchild and draw her/him while she/he draws you. Use markers, watercolor, crayons -- whatever works. When complete, frame the artwork and display in your home.

Another fun craft to do together is hand art, this idea courtesy of Grandparents-Day.com. Let your grandchild trace your hand, then place their hand inside your traced hand and you trace theirs. Alternatively, try this with finger paint. Use a paper towel or sponge to cover the palm of your hand with one color and make a handprint on the paper. Then cover your grandchild's palm with a different color paint and have them make a handprint inside yours. When dry, frame it as a keepsake.

Salt Dough Handprint.

If grandparents don't live close by and there are no plans for a visit on Grandparent's Day, make and send a present. This easy recipe from Homemade Grits for a 3-D handprint uses 4 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt, and 1.5 cups of water. Mix the ingredients together and kneed for 15 minutes and then roll flat. Cut the dough into circles and have the children press a hand into the dough. Poke a hole near the top with a straw and place the dough ornaments on a cookie sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes. (When we tried this it took far longer -- more like 50 minutes; the time will vary depending how thick the dough is. Also, if the handprint is to be used as a Christmas ornament, roll the dough thinner, otherwise it may be too heavy to hang on a holiday tree.) Once completely cool, thread a ribbon through the hole and leave the ornament as is or have the child paint it. If the back is rough use a hot-glue gun to attach a piece of felt. Pack up carefully and send off to grandma and grandpa.

by Raechel Conover (Google+ Profile)

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