They’re just like you, only they let the kids eat ice cream for dinner, buy them toys just because and let them stay up an hour past bedtime.
The grandparent and grandchild relationship is a unique one, says grandparenting expert Jerry Witkovsky, author of The Grandest Love: Inspiring the Grandparent-Grandchild Connection, a book all about being a grandparent.
“Entering your grandchild’s world is a wonderful experience,” he says. “What is their world of music? What is their world in the books they read? What is their friendship world? I also want them to enter my world. What is my world? What is it like to be a grandpa?”
Here are some ways to do that in person or virtually through Skype or Google Hangout. Don’t forget, Sept. 10 is National Grandparents Day.
Bake a family recipe
There’s something sweet about passing down family recipes. Get the generations together to make a family favorite. While mixing the ingredients, share the story of the recipe and recall significant moments spent around the table.
Break out the baby books
Kids will love seeing themselves in photos, and if their own pictures aren’t enough, break out their parents’ baby books. Kids will get a kick out of seeing their parents as tykes, and who better to explain the stories behind the pictures than grandparents?
Bond over favorite board games
Get the kids and grandparents together for a game challenge featuring some favorites from the grandparents’ time and some from today. It’s guaranteed laughs for all.
Take a trip down memory lane
When grandparents share their favorite stories about growing up, help kids spot the differences and similarities between the generations and talk about them.