Grandparents Day Intergenerational Activities

Here are some of the intergenerational activism projects that were planned for Grandparents Day 2012.  Share your projects with Generations United.

Windsor Place, Coffeyville, Kansas

Windsor Place of Coffeyville will be hosting a “GRAND” Olympics with an emphasis on “Proud to be an AMERICAN” for the students in their Age-to-Age program and residents of Windsor Place as the main event to coincide with Generations United’s Grandparent’s Week.  Throughout the week, during centers in the classroom, the Elders will be reading books about America to the children.

Olympic activities will include: a joint coloring contest of the American Flag for both Elders and children, a day of Olympic events where the children will compete on teams with the Elders to do physical activities, opening ceremonies that include American songs and poetry, and an intergenerational American trivia day.  Additionally, the children will invite their natural grandparents to join them and their adopted Grandparents at Windsor for song, games and snacks.  The children will also be joining the Elders for a reminiscence group where the Elders and the children will discuss memories they have of their Grandma.  On Friday, there will be an Olympic Spirit Social for the students and Elders.

AirForce Village, San Antonio, Texas

Grandparents Week will be themed “Patriotic and Proud.”  Each day will be full of patriotic activities.  Below is an example of one of the days –

Friday, September 14 – “Patriots of the Past!” Throwback Day             

  • USO Dance! Invite residents and grandparents to a dance with 1940s era classics in our classroom.  Period “Dress up” will be encouraged.
  • Using white fabric, make a large flag to hang in the classroom.  The white stars will be infant handprints, and the stripes will be toddler footprints.  Talk about how important our flag is to our country and the men and women who serve.
  • Learn and sing: “You’re a Grand ‘Ole Flag”
  • “War Bond Stand!” Bake sale fundraiser featuring decorated cookies and brownies.  Funds will be donated to Fisher House in San Antonio (Children’s drawings and letters to soldiers from earlier in the week will be included with donation to Fisher House)

RSVP, Chanute, Kansas

Objective: Bring high school students and older adults (RSVP Volunteers) together during Grandparents Week (September 8th-14th ) to discuss and share knowledge about voting history, their experiences of voting and the importance of civic engagement through voting.

Outcome: Students and older adults who share a classroom experience will gain knowledge about the history of voting, hear personal stories, and reflections on voting that will assist students in embracing their civic responsible to vote.

Process: The American Government Instructor at Chanute High School, David Cadwallader, will schedule two classes including older adults during Grandparents Week.  Six or more older adults and approximately 25 students in each class will join together to share history, information and stories on voting in America.   Students will be involved by having time to ask questions and give their views on voting.

Suggested topics for the classroom discussions:

  • Women and their history of voting: I remember my mother talking about when she was first allowed to vote…
  • Why people choose a certain party: When President Roosevelt was elected my parents found out…
  • Your vote make a difference: Some of the closest Presidential elections have been between…
  • Susan B Anthony and her suffrage activism was not enough to get women the right to vote before she died.  Her efforts included…
  • The voting age requirement was not always at 18.  I remember when…

The JCA Heyman Interages Center, Jewish Council for the Aging of Greater Washington (JCA®), Rockville, MD

The JCA Heyman Interages Center will engage their volunteers and program participants in a meaningful discussion about civic engagement and the impetus for their intergenerational choice in volunteerism. The Interages staff will video tape interviews with young children and their father who regularly volunteer at an assisted living facility, as well as some of the frail elders who have participated in student visiting programs. Additionally, volunteer mentors will be videotaped responding to questions about their civic engagement. All the videotaped conversations will be sent to the local government in honor of Grandparents Day sharing how much The JCA Heyman Interages Center appreciates their support of intergenerational programs.

Annual Listen to a Life Essay Contest

Start Planning Your Interview Now!  On Grandparents Day, September 9, the Legacy Project will kick off its annual Listen to a Life Essay Contest.  To enter, young people (aged 8-18 years) interview an older adult (50 years or over) about their life experiences – including their dreams and goals, obstacles they overcame, pivotal moments and how they found hope.  After the interview, the young person must submit a 300 word essay to be considered in the contest.  The contest runs annually from September to March. Entries can be submitted starting September 9.