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How to Celebrate Grandparents Day When You Can’t Be Together

A teenage girl video chatting with her grandparents on a laptop.
fiskes/Shutterstock

Grandparents Day is just around the corner. If you can’t get together in person, though, try some of these fun ways to connect with grandma and grandpa.

The Sunday after Labor Day (September 13, this year) is Grandparents Day. For those who can’t get together, there are plenty of other heartwarming ways you can reach out to your grandparents, or help your kids do so.

Send Some Family Photos

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then sending your grandparents some family photos will surely let them know just how much they’re loved. These days, there’s no limit to what you can do with photos. Whether it’s picking the right location, or posing for them, the options are limitless.

If you’d rather not make a big production, candid shots will still show grandma and grandpa what you’ve been up to at the beach or the park, or in the backyard or the kitchen.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Take a picture with a message: These aren’t just for “She said ‘Yes'” or “We’re having a baby” photos. You can just as easily create one that says “Family,” “Happy Grandparent’s Day,” or “We love you.”
  • Pose during family time: Having a bonfire? Have everybody pose for a quick shot while roasting marshmallows. At the beach? Take some pics when the kids first run into the water.
  • Take some instant photos: Yes, these are still a thing! If you don’t have an instant camera, there are apps you can use to make your digital pictures look like retro Polaroids.

Make Some Arts and Crafts

Handmade gifts are a fun, creative way to show how much you and your kids love their grandparents. Whether you’re an adult making something for your grandparents, or a parent helping your little ones make something for your parents, there are all sorts of ideas on the web.

For crafty adults, a fancy homemade card will work. A junk journal made from scrap paper, stickers, and other items also makes a unique gift. You can use family photos with both to personalize them even more. Choose paper in colors and designs you know your grandparents will like.

For crafty kids, handprint plaques or finger-paint masterpieces or just a couple of fine gift ideas. Be sure to find just the right picture frame for any artwork you’re gifting.

Send a Special Care Package

Care packages offer various ways to let the people in your life know how much you love them. Grandparents who are far away will especially appreciate reminders of visiting with you and your family. Care packages can include everything from snacks to accessories.

You might send your grandparents some items you can get locally that are difficult for them to find where they live. For example, Michiganders might send their out-of-state grandparents some Koegel’s meats, Faygo pop, and Vernors.

You can also create a care package that reflects the things you all usually do together. Maybe your grandparents taught you how to make rock candy or cookies—if so, make them some. If your grandma taught you how to knit, knit her a new shawl.

Write a Letter

A young girl writing a letter to her grandparents for Grandparents Day.
Lucky Business/Shutterstock

Handwritten (or even typed) letters are always a great way to communicate in a more personal way. Rather than sending a generic greeting card, write a full-length letter about what’s going on in your life. From vacations and layoffs, to college courses and new romantic relationships, fill your grandparents in on everything.

Kids can write their own letters. If they need some pointers, suggest they tell grandma about any of the following:

  • What they missed about school during the pandemic
  • What they did over the summer
  • How they stayed in touch with their friends while everyone had to stay home
  • What they’re looking forward to this fall and winter

Call and Ask About Family History

Whether it’s on the phone or via video chat, call your grandparents and talk to them about your family history. Ask them about their childhood, and what they remember about the world before you came along. Record the conversation and save it as part of your family’s genealogy. You can share it with other family members and pass it on to your children.

Below are some questions you might want to ask:

  • Where were you born?
  • What was your life like when you were little?
  • Did you move around a lot?
  • Were you named after a family member? If not, does your name have a special meaning?
  • How did your family spend time together when you were young?
  • What was your first job, and how old were you when you started working?
  • How much did things like bread and books cost when you were a child?
  • Who were your best childhood friends, and are you still friends with them?
  • What were some of your hobbies as a child?
  • Did you play sports?
  • What were your favorite childhood toys?
  • What was something you wanted for Christmas when you were little?

You can also ask your grandparents how they met, and how they knew they were right for each other. Both kids and adults can come up with questions to ask, and they can be about anything.

From what grandpa’s childhood and teen years were like, to where grandma went to college, you’re sure to gather tons of interesting information.


Each of these ideas offers a unique, memorable way to celebrate your grandparents, even if you can’t give them a big ole hug!

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow is a professional writer with two decades of experience. She has written and edited for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and more. Yvonne is a published poet and short story writer, and she is a life coach. Read Full Bio »

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