The unconditional love of a grandparent is unlike any other, and the shared bond between grandparent and grandchild is something cherished for a lifetime.
This Sunday 26 July is the Feast day of Saints Joachim and Anne - revered for centuries as the parents of Mary, mother of Jesus.
Many Catholic schools celebrate this day as Grandparents’ Day. So, what better time to celebrate and nurture the relationship between children and their grandparents!
In the time of COVID-19
With the strict lockdown we are currently experiencing in Melbourne, for many this means that children will be unable to spend time with their grandparents.
Fortunately, there are now many online platforms useful for not only maintaining a good relationship, but developing it.
The following suggestions for activities can be used to foster positive relationships between grandparents and grandchild, even during lockdown.
Long-distance activities for grandparents and grandchildren
Try some of these activities* below with your grandchildren or share them with others to use!
- Each keep a gratitude journal and share excerpts from time to time.
- Plan an imaginary trip together, using online resources such as travel documentaries, photos, maps. This can be adapted to the age of the child, getting more detail from transport and accommodation booking sites as appropriate.
- Pray together, using symbols such as candles, water, seeds, and the cross. The Family Week 2020 Home Prayer Service could be shared via your video chat app.
- Watch a TV show together and comment on it.
- Send coded messages through the mail for your grandchildren to decode. This will make you the best long-distance grandparents of any fourth grader in their school!
- Record a story to be played for the children at their bedtime. Or read one over video chat (consider Bible stories and authentic stories of broadly-defined “saints”).
- Send your grandkids “open when” letters. Mark some milestones during the coming weeks or months and write a letter to your grandchild for each of those times. Send them all at once and have a specific open date (and/or time). You can call them after they open each letter and tell them how much you love them.
- Organise a home-based scavenger hunt – the findings can be revealed over video chat.
- Swap jokes – see who can get the most laughs!
- Imagination quiz – “Would you rather…?”
Happy Feast day of Saint Joachim and Anne from all at CatholicCare!
Jeff Wild | Community Engagement Coordinator
*Some of these activities were sourced from (or inspired by) the websites below: