Mother’s Day is fast approaching (remember, it’s always on the second Sunday of May!), which means you are probably hard at work coming up with a few special ways to show mom just how much you care. However, don’t forget that Grandma is a mother, too, and she deserves just as much extra attention on Mother’s Day. Why not use the holiday as a chance to spend some quality time with both Mom and Grandma? There’s nothing better than getting multiple generations of family together to celebrate the most important women in your life.
Craft Time: Make a Family Tree
What better way to spend time with your grandma than to work together to create a visual history of your family? Grandma will love sharing stories and reminiscing about the past, and you’ll love learning more about your family’s origins. You can use genealogy sites or rummage through Grandma’s old photos to create a visual picture tree. Your children are sure to have fun drawing pictures of things that represent each family member. A stethoscope can represent your uncle, who was a doctor, or a firetruck can symbolize Grandpa, who was a firefighter. Each person you add to the tree is sure to inspire hours of stories and memories, which is really the best thing to get from time with your grandma. And when you are done, you’ll have a wonderful memento to hang up as a memory of your special day together.
Set up a little home studio, grab your video camera and hit record. For the home studio, you can easily create a backdrop with a solid color bed sheet or tablecloth. Add a couple of chairs and a plant and you are ready to start recording. If you don’t have a regular video camera, most phones are equipped with a strong enough camera to do an excellent job. Help your children write the questions, and then play dress-up as their favorite newscaster. The fun comes when the kids actually get to do the interviewing, as they ask their grandma all sorts of great questions about what it was like when she grew up. If you have basic editing software like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, you can also have a lot of fun editing the video with music and titles to create your own little family news video. When it’s done, post it to YouTube to share with the rest of your family.
Spend Some Time in the Kitchen
Cooking is always a great activity to share with your children. It can become a special activity when your kids get to learn old family recipes from their grandmother. Have her show the kids a few family secret recipes, create them together and share the stories that accompany them. Was the recipe handed down from multiple generations? What is Grandma’s earliest memory of eating that particular dish? What makes it special? These are all great questions that your children will have a blast learning the answers to as they spend a few hours cooking with Grandma in the kitchen.
Make a Time Capsule
Spend some time coming up with a few very special items to put in your own family time capsule. There is no limit to the imagination and creativity that your kids can use as they come up with a list of the things to add. Once you have created your time capsule, put it in a decorative box and bury it in the yard together. Make sure to remember where it is buried, and then plan on digging it up five or even 10 years later. Sure, it seems like a very long time to wait, but when you do, you’ll have so many amazing memories from those items, and from the special day you spent creating this capsule as a family.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.