By Beth S. Pollak
Grandparents Day is on Sunday, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to connect and celebrate with family and friends. Grandparents and grandchildren (and grandfriends!) share special relationships: Kids bring fresh energy and wonder to the world, and can fill conversations with joy and smiles. Meanwhile, grandparents’ loving warmth allows kids to relax and have fun with stories, games, recipes, and routines that differ from the ones they are used to with their parents. Even when you are not able to see grandchildren in person, connecting online with Caribu is an opportunity to meet virtually face-to-face, hear each other’s voices, and share the activities you enjoy most together.
With this in mind, schedule a Caribu video-call with loved ones for Sunday, and choose your favorite books, puzzles, and drawing pages to share from our in-app library. Here are some of our top picks for Grandparents Day:
Plan A Virtual Party
Decorate your video space and share a virtual Grandparents Day Party! Bring favorite foods, and wear silly hats to the main event. To get more ideas, read Bert and Beth Plan Grandpa’s Party by Valeri Gorbachev. Little monkeys Bert and Beth draw pictures, get flowers, and practice their dance moves to prepare for their grandfather’s birthday. Read this story with your grandchildren, and then draw some of your own pictures using Caribu’s coloring pages! Afterwards, turn up the music and do some dancing to celebrate.
Start A Gaming Tournament
Get your Xs and Os ready for a Caribu Tic-Tac-Toe Tournament! You can find this old-time favorite game in the ‘Activities’ section of the Caribu library. Pick colors for your team, and take turns playing with your grandchildren to see who is the champion of the grid. Try out different strategies and see if you can foil each other’s plans for the win. (Of course, you might want to let the little ones take the lead from time to time!) When you’re ready for a new challenge, play a few more of Caribu’s games and puzzles: Spot The Difference, Hidden Pictures, creative mazes, colorful word searches, and kid-friendly Sudoko.
Have A Good Laugh Together
From the Ellie+Ott series, Grandparent’s Protest is a hilarious book about a grandmother who takes to the streets to demand more time with her grandchildren! When her relatives see her on T.V., they realize they need to give her more opportunities for quality time together: snuggling, baking muffins, and giving the parents a break. The funny line cartoon drawings and the grandparent’s protests will bring a smile to your face. Read this entertaining tale for some laughs with your family, and talk about ways that you too can plan more special moments together in person or online.
Discuss Ideas For A Fun Weekend
In the book A Busy Day, by Marianne Mitchell and Katherine Mitter, two children named Mark and Kelly spend the weekend with their grandparents. They share many fun experiences together: reading books and comics, helping in the garden, baking cookies, and walking the dog. Notice the sweet images of these quality moments, and talk about your favorite memories of busy days with your grandchildren. What would you like to do together on your next visit? Share ideas, plans, and activities to tackle for your next in-person or virtual playdate.
Search For Surprises
Caribu has some new Surprise Eggs in store! If you haven’t yet tried coloring one of these mysterious pictures in a Caribu Call with your grandchildren, Grandparents’ Day is a great opportunity! Pick a Surprise Egg page from the ‘Activities’ section of the Caribu app, and color away with the little ones. Gradually, a hidden picture will appear from the background. For more fun, color in the picture slowly, and pause to guess what you think the invisible image might be along the way. See who’s theory is the closest to the result, and celebrate together when the truth is revealed.
Make A Wish
The books Grandpa’s Wish List and Grandma Wishes are two great choices to share hopes and dreams together. Grandpa’s Wish List, by Madison Lodi and Sydney Hanson, is the story of a caring Grandpa who prepares a number of special activities he would like to do with his grandchild. Grandpa plans to teach his grandchild lessons about nature, creativity, music, and tools, and take him on adventures in the outdoors. You will enjoy the bright illustrations that capture the warmth of the relationship between grandfather and grandchild.
In Grandma Wishes, by Julia Lobo and Helen Rowe, a grandmother shares her blessings for a new grandchild. She wishes for health, laughter, thoughtfulness, and strength, and describes her love for the special little one in her life. Take note of the cute animal pictures as you turn the pages with your loved ones. Which are your favorite creatures? After you read, make some of your own wishes for the months ahead. Which animals represent your hopes? Share your ideas together. To add some fun to your wish-making, write your wishes down on notepaper and save them in a special envelope or wishing jar. Open them next year on Grandparents Day, and see which dreams will have come true!
Stargaze Together Even When You Are Apart
The Moon Sees You And Me is a magical and comforting story for family members who might be far apart from each other. The book, by Caleb Burroughs and Lisa Alderson, is told from the perspective of a kind little bear who describes how natural elements connect all of his loved ones despite the distances between them. The story is written in heartwarming rhymes, and captures the beauty of the idea that the moon, the stars, the winds, the sands, the rains, and the oceans are watching over all of us. Share this story in a bedtime video-call, and observe the night sky together as you read.
With so many ways to celebrate, Grandparents Day can be a fun and memorable occasion, even if distance separates you physically from family and friends. Plan a Grandparents Day Caribu Call, and enjoy the magic of reading, playing, and drawing together in a virtual playdate. Wishing you a special weekend filled with smiles and love!
Beth S. Pollak is a writer and educator based in California. In addition to working with Caribu, she consults with educational organizations and EdTech companies. Beth has worked as a teacher and journalist in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. She holds degrees in journalism, bilingual education, and educational leadership. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, biking, picnics, and dance.