One of our post popular posts on Sugar, Spice & Glitter is our 40 Mom-Daughter Date Ideas for Every Budget, and I’ve been itching to create a list of grandmother-granddaughter dates, too.
There is a special bond between grandparents and their grandchildren. They care for them as much as they did their own children and often, it can feel like they’re getting to live out the best parts of that parenting thing all over again. Less guilt and responsibility, and more perspective on just how quick childhoods can fly by (and how much you really need to soak them up while you still can).
Being a military child, I didn’t grow up around family members and as a result, I’ve really prioritized that for Ella. She has weekly “dates” with each set of grandparents and also gets a few hours of one-on-one time with my brother (to help add that positive male role model into her life).
Spending quality time with grandparents is great for kids forming secure bonds and learning how to interact with people with a variety of personalities and ages. There’s also research that suggests that children who regularly spend time with their grandparents are less likely to hold stereotypical beliefs and are more empathetic to a wide variety of people – qualities I think we all would love to foster in our children.
Also, having a better understanding of one’s family history (and the people who make up that history) is linked to a decrease in depression, and grandparent involvement is surprisingly a great indicator that kids will do better in school! Plus, what kid couldn’t use more people who love them unconditionally in their lives? (Although, loving blindly might be a better description for grandparents!)
While many of the activities in my original Mom & Daughter Dates post would be great for a grandmother and granddaughter, my mom has a very different personality than me. We have different interests and like doing different things with Ella, so I catered this list more to her liking (plus I wanted to offer as many new suggestions as I could). Be sure to check out both lists for a wide assortment of fun activities to do with kids – no matter your budget. (And who knows! Mom might like the grandmother-grandaughter list better, and grandma might like my “mom-daughter list” better. It’s all personal preference.)
Many of these activities would also be great for uncles/aunts and nieces/nephews, grandfathers and granddaughters, etc. Anyone who is looking for some creative ideas for quality time activities could benefit from these two posts – and please feel free to add your ideas and suggestions to the comments of this post.
So, without further delay, here are my mom & Ella’s favourite picks for 40 Grandmother-Granddaughter Dates for Every Budget.
(I’ve also added a free printable list at the bottom of this post – so be sure to grab that!)
Free Grandparent Activities
- Visiting a park
- Nature walk or hike
- Doll or bear tea party
- Nature crafts
- Baking – maybe a special family recipe? (Check out our giant assortment of kids’ recipes here.)
- Share special memories from your childhood – look through a photo album
- Sleepover party
- Teach a special skill
- A special craft to “keep them little”
Grandparent Activities under $10
- Swimming at the local pool or splash pad
- Hot chocolate at a local bakery
- Visit to the book store to pick out a special book (maybe one from the grandparent’s own childhood)
- Themed movie night – menu, crafts, and decor surrounding a special movie
- Teaching them a classic board or card game
- Bring them to one of your “stomping grounds” and show them off – church, golf club, favourite cafe, etc.
- Visit an art museum
- Spa night or home pedicures
- Get together to make a craft for mother’s day or father’s day
- Visit a local farm – there’s berry picking, apple orchards, cheese tastings, petting zoos, etc.
Grandparent Activities under $50
- A visit to the beach (this may be in another category for you, but for us it’s at least $15 in gas to the beach – plus there’s the obligatory ice cream afterwards)
- A night at the movies
- Attending a child-friendly theatre performance
- Sharing a favourite hobby (maybe setting them up with some starter materials)
- Special lunch date
- Bowling (I loathe bowling so this works out well for me!)
- Make a shadow box from a special event or to celebrate a birthday
- Local event – county fair, summer concerts
- Concert tickets to a children’s performance (my daughter has been treated to Sharon, Lois & Brahm, the Wiggles twice, and Fred Penner by her grandparents and now when she hears songs by those performers she is reminded of those special days)
- Explore a local town, go for a half-day road trip
Grandparent Activities under $100
- Membership to a local children’s museum
- Membership to a monthly craft or activity box, and doing it together
- Groupon vacation – sometimes you can get a great deal, my parents have been able to snag Great Wolf Lodge passes
- Theme park day
- Visit a zoo
- Research and donate to a charity in your grandchild’s name
- Or, sign your grandchild up for a continuous donation – like a “sponsor a child” program where they will have a pen pal and sustained relationship to charitable giving
- Water park day
- Special dinner and a movie night out
- Be tourists for a day – hit up all of the attractions your grandchild may have missed out on
What are your favourite grandparent-granddaughter date ideas? Be sure to pin this collection of Grandmother and Granddaughter Activities or send it to a loved one who may need some ideas!