No matter what you call them – Grammy, Papa, Nana, Gramps, Bubbe, Zeidi, Oma, or other endearing names, a grandparent by any name means love. They give it and they get it unconditionally. They hold a special place in our hearts and this Sunday, September 9th, is National Grandparents Day, the day to show them how much they are loved appreciated.
Nothing warms the heart more than a handmade gift by the kids who mean the most to grandparents. (Way more than their kids!) These projects are easy to make by even the smallest child, with a little help and adult supervision. These little keepsakes will be treasured and can be proudly displayed for years to come.
Top 10 gifts to make this Grandparents Day:
1. Booklet - Cut typing paper into quarters and help the kids complete a few sentences about the recipient, i.e. “Grammy’s favorite color is ___.” “Papa likes to _____.” “My favorite thing to do with Nana is ____.” Print one sentence at the bottom of each quarter sheet, have the child illustrate the sentence, and staple the entire collection into a booklet to wrap and give.
2. Magazine Collage - Have the kids cut out all the pictures in a magazine that remind them of Grandma and/or Grandpa and the things they like to do together – cereal, activities, etc. Then glue them all onto a large poster board, leaving a 3” border at the top for the title and a generous 6 – 7 inch border along the bottom. Create an appropriate title with markers or press on letters for the top of the poster. Finally, have the kids add their handprints at the bottom. Handprints can be created by dipping hands in paint or on larger-sized stamp pads.
3. Photo collage – Collect photos of the kids and their grandparents across the years. Photo copy the pictures, cut them out, and arrange in frames or on a poster board. Use double-sided tape, spray fixative, or anything you have handy to glue them to the board. Add a title (i.e. World’s Best Grandma, #1 Grandpa, I heart you, Grandma and Grandpa, etc.) and let the kids sign (or add handprints as in #2 above.
4. Coupon book – Cut 8 ½ x 11” sheets of paper into thirds. On each strip, write a gift or treat the kids can give, redeemable with coupon. These might include, “Good for one giant hug”, “Good for pulling weeds from Grandma’s garden”, “Good for butterfly kisses”, “Good for one car wash”, etc. Decorate the coupons with markers, stickers, star, glitter, paint or whatever else is age appropriate and then staple them into a booklet.
5. Picture Frame – Cut out any shape in the middle of any rectangular piece of cardboard (empty cereal box sides, milk cartons, and file folders work nicely) to make your picture frame. Decorate the frame with noodles, buttons, stickers, markers, or however you like. Tape a picture of the kids or the kids with their grandparent(s) to the backside of the frame, and your gift is ready to give.
6. Bookmark – Glue a small picture of the child onto a thin rectangular shaped piece of cardboard. Print a message under the photo, i.e. “Grandma holds a special place in my heart”, or “To Grandpa with hugs and kisses”, “Love and Hugs to a Great Daddy”, etc. Have the kids decorate it and if you have clear contact paper, cover with it or laminate. (Most Kinko’s have laminating machines.)
7. Pencil holder – Decorate a piece of construction paper, glue on a school-sized photo of your child, and cut the paper to fit a soup can. Glue paper to can and cover with clear contact paper.
8. Paperweight – Have the kids find an interesting large stone or rock. Wash it and dry it; then paint it any color. Glue on googly eyes, and add features as desired (ears, tails, etc.) using felt and yarn. Glue felt to the bottom of the rock and your paperweight’s ready to give.
9. Original masterpiece – Have your favorite little Picasso paint a picture for grandparents on paper, posterboard, canvas. Add a photo of the child, message, and date or quote about grandparents onto the back. Framing optional.
10. Verticle Mobile – This is great for families with more than one grandchild. You’ll need a ribbon, string, photos of the kids, markers or crayons, laminating paper or clear contact paper, hole punch. Photo copy the kids’ pictures, cut out in variety of hearts or other shapes leaving borders to decorate with markers or crayons, as if frames. Laminate each shaped photo. Punch hole at top and bottom of each photo, except for the one that will be displayed at the bottom – for this, punch only top hole. Thread ribbon through top hole and tie into a bow. Add second photo by tying a string knot to the bottom of the first picture and to the top of the second. Repeat for rest of photos, stringing the photos together so they will display vertically. They can be suspended from a beam, the ceiling, or a nail on the wall.
This Grandparents Day, create away!
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