Mark your calendars, Grandparents Day is on September 13th this year! A holiday that can easily be overlooked as all of the hustle and bustle of the fall season gets underway but a day that is a great opportunity to show some love to grandparents and the special role they play in all of our lives.
We have one set of grandparents that live locally and one set of grandparents that live out of town. Finding a balance in quality time and making all of our grandparents feel equally loved and appreciated can be hard at times. Being an in-town grandparent means more frequent visits, the possibility of dropping in on a dance class or babysitting on a Friday night. Being an out of town grandparent means less casual visits, but more intentionally planned quality time during trips, sending fun mail, and the novelty of video phone calls.
We aren’t perfect and are always working on finding new ways to make each pair of grandparents feel loved and appreciated every single day, but I thought I would share some ways we have found to love on our out of town grandparents in the hopes that they feel appreciated not only on Grandparents Day but all year round.
Regularly Scheduled Video Calls
While living out of town means a grandparent can’t just stop by on a Tuesday afternoon, you can create the same sense of an impromptu visit with a video call. Some of our favorite calls are when the grandparents just get to watch the kids do everyday things, talk about their school days, play in the playroom, or show them a new toy. The calls don’t have to be long to be impactful and fill everyone’s needs for quality time.
Art Care Packages
School (especially preschool!) provides parents with an abundance of art projects and school work. More often than not, random projects get recycled and thrown away to cull the clutter of the ongoing art paper trail. Next time you clean out a backpack with the school day’s art remnants tuck them away in a large envelope. Once the envelope is full send it to the grandparents! They would probably love some new fresh artwork to adorn their fridges or office walls.
Digital Photo Frames
One of the best presents we ever gave to my husband’s grandmother (my kids’ great grandmother) was a digital photo frame that we could send pictures to, from our phones. She put it next to her favorite spot in the house so she could see whenever new pictures came through and we could keep her in the loop on daily cute happenings.
Preplanning The Next Visit
At the end of a trip my kids are often pretty sad to see their visitors go and the grandparents feel similarly. It helps ease everyone’s emotions to talk about the next possible time a visit can happen as one visit ends. That way we aren’t ending on a sad note but leave everyone excited in anticipation of the next visit.
Photobooks and physical pictures
Having physical reminders of family around the house keeps the conversation going about loved ones. I also love these books from Pinhole Press for babies! They can help with facial recognition to keep physically distant relatives familiar. I love the idea of sending a few physically printed snapshots from Instagram or your camera roll randomly in the mail to make for some fun surprise mail.
For more fantastic tips to keep in mind, I loved this Dallas Moms post from the archives about encouraging a close relationship with long distance grandparents. Take some time this September 8th to recognize the loved ones in your life – it doesn’t have to be a grand gesture to be heartfelt.