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2024 Grandparents’ Day Activities in Schools

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WF1833890 Shaped 2024 Blog Post Grandparents Day Activities for School Hero

Grandparents and grandparent figures can play significant roles in our lives. Now that Grandparents’ Day is approaching, we are here to share some 2024 Grandparents’ Day classroom activities in schools to honor the influential people in your students' lives.

When celebrating family relationships, it's important to acknowledge that some students may not have traditional grandparents, or their grandparents may no longer be with them. Whether your students call their grandparents Grammy, Nana, Abuela/o, Pop, or simply by their first name, they can play an important role in a child’s life. Keep this in mind when planning celebrations and include all types of families.

Grandparents’ Day Classroom Activities for Elementary School Students

Below is a list of Grandparents’ Day ideas for elementary school students to celebrate this special day.

1. Make Cards

A specially designed letter or card is always a great way to express our love and care for those who matter most to us while also tapping into our creative sides. Provide students with materials for making cards, like the following:

  • Construction paper
  • Writing and drawing utensils (crayons, colored pencils, markers, pens/pencils)
  • Arts and craft materials (scissors, glue, tape, glitter, pipe cleaners, yarn, stickers)

To have students practice more advanced writing skills, this activity can be expanded by requiring the use of certain literary devices, including metaphors, symbolism, and imagery.

2. Grandparent Reflections

Give students a list of writing prompts to answer about their grandparents. Here are some possible writing prompts to get you started:

  • Share your favorite memory of your grandparent(s).
  • Write 3–5 words that best describe your grandparent(s).
  • What do you love most about your grandparent(s)?

The activity can be extended by facilitating a discussion that uses the students’ responses. You can have students do a turn-and-talk or share a few of their answers with the class.

3. Design Coupon Books

Have students design a fun and free gift to give to their grandparent figures. Provide students with the same materials used for making cards (see Activity 1 above) to design coupon books. Gifting a coupon book is an interactive and lighthearted way to show just how much students care. Think about coupon vouchers that reflect each student’s unique family situation. Possible ideas for coupon vouchers include free hugs, walk the dog, clean the dishes, breakfast in bed. Download our coupon book template for students and customize the vouchers for your classroom and grade level. Or, have students fill in their own ideas.

4. Lead a Grandparents’ Day Read-Aloud

Read-alouds are always a fan favorite. Have students choose (or you can choose) a grandparent-themed book, or books, to read aloud with their classmates. Below is a list of books your students may find interesting, including a few from HMH Into Reading:

  1. Abuela by Arthur Dorros
  2. Rainbow Stew by Cathryn Falwell
  3. Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina
  4. Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell
  5. The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster

5. Plan a Day with Your Grandparent

Although writing, crafting, and reading are great ways to honor our grandparents, it is important to spend time with them too. Have your students create an itinerary for a special day with their grandmothers and grandfathers. Students can plan the day in different ways, for example by creating an invitation, storybook, or checklist.

Keeping in mind that every student’s family situation is different, here are some suggestions for activities. Students may plan to engage with their grandparents via video chat or phone call if they are long distance. If students are unable to spend time with their grandparents, look for other appropriate ways to honor students' family or heritage. For example, students could spend time with their family, participating in a hobby that their grandparents love or once loved.

6. Research Your Grandparents’ Time Period

Our grandparents were born in very different time periods. This can lead to a rich discussion about the different dynamics, cultures, and events of the past. Try celebrating Grandparents’ Day by having students research the time period in which their grandparents were born. How you teach about different eras of history will depend on who your students are. For example, assign students a year and have them each research and fill in a list of categories about the year. Categories can include “major event that took place,” “type of music that was popular,” and “political figures who were prominent.” Then, facilitate a discussion about what students notice and wonder about living in those different years. This lesson teaches students more about their grandparents’ history and builds connections between generations.

Grandparents’ Day Celebration in School for Teachers

If you are a teacher looking for ways to celebrate Grandparents’ Day with your students, below is a list of ways to have a Grandparents’ Day celebration in school.

1. Decorate Bulletin Boards

Another Grandparents’ Day activity idea is decorating the classroom bulletin boards with items that remind students of their grandparents or represent them in one way or another. Students may choose to bring in physical photos, written stories, drawings, physical items, or any object that seems appropriate to them. Students can take turns sharing more about their contributions, giving their peers the opportunity to learn more about them and their families.

2. Throw an Era-Themed Party for Your Students

Encourage your students to learn more about the era in which their grandparents lived. What’s a party without food, games, and music? With adherence to school policy, assign your students with the task of either bringing in a snack, a list of songs, or a game that was popular during the years their grandparents were born or lived in. The goal of the celebration is to learn more about the culture and dynamics of a particular time period or era that preceded them.

Regardless of the activity, it is important to acknowledge the different ways in which the composition of families may vary and lead each activity accordingly. Acknowledge the potential differences in family dynamics and make every student feel comfortable and included as your celebrations take place. There are many great ways to honor and celebrate our grandparents this Grandparents’ Day in schools and in classrooms.

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Stay up-to-date on all other holidays to celebrate with your students in the new school year by visiting our 2023–2024 Monthly Calendar Themes blog post.

Download our FREE calendar of activities!

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