35 Ideas for Interaction Between Grandparents and Grandchildren

Updated on January 13, 2020
MsDora profile image

Grandparent, added to MsDora's profile of teacher and counselor after she became a senior citizen, gives her a new interest to explore.

Photo Credit: charly-k
Photo Credit: charly-k | Source

In the 1900s, family experts became seriously concerned. Adult input into the lives of their children was steadily decreasing.

The attitude of Generation X (born 1965-1979) craving freedom and leisure in their golden years did not help. Grandparents became less available than they previously were to make up for the missing attention of parents, who were busy making a living.

There are several other reasons why grandparents were not at their traditional post, yet we are all aware of the social and emotional impact grandparents and grandchildren make on each other.

Research shows that grandchildren do not respond to the role of grandparent but instead to each person fulfilling the role. In other words, if grandparents, no matter where they are, fulfilled the role of grandparent to any grandchild needing adult interaction, both substitute grandparents and grandchildren would benefit. Here is a challenge in which we all are encouraged to participate.

"First Steps."  Photo by Georgios Jakobides
"First Steps." Photo by Georgios Jakobides | Source

The following 35 ideas for interaction between grandparents and grandchildren are intended to trigger even more ideas for fun, teaching opportunities, social and emotional satisfaction, whether the grandparents are biological or substitute. Each section begins with ideas suitable for interaction with the younger upward to the older. Some are good for any and every age.

If grandparents fulfilled the role of grandparent to any grandchild [whether or it is their biological grandchild] needing adult interaction, both grandchildren and substitute grandparents would benefit.


(1) Compliments on their outstanding attributes—appearance, speech etc.
(2) Commendation for deeds well done—anything from throwing the candy wrapper into the garbage bin to scoring a touchdown in little league baseball
(3) Encouragement and assistance to improve in areas in which they seem challenged
(4) Continual assurance of love in verbal expressions and hugs


(5) Stories featuring the grandchild to demonstrate his worth and his position in the family
(6) Family stories about love and loyalty as well as fights and forgiveness
(7) Bible stories—personal favorites and lessons learned from them
(8) Historical episodes about culture and customs “back in the day”
(9)Selected biographies of people who excelled in areas of interest to the grandchildren

Show and Tell

"Grandma's Favorite."  Painting by Georgios Jakobides (1853-1932).
"Grandma's Favorite." Painting by Georgios Jakobides (1853-1932). | Source
(10) Sightings of different colors and shapes around the house
(11) Family albums of members past and present
(12) Drawings, paintings, any kind of craft done by family members
(13)Fashion parade of outdated clothes and shoes

Nature Exercises

(14) A walk in the park or an a trail
(15) A visit to the zoo, identifying animals
(16) Identifying plants in the yard and neighborhood
(17) Sea shells or rocks or butterfly collection
(18) Admiring the sunrise, or sunset or a rainbow

Media Exercises

(19) Listening, singing along, talking about and dancing to wholesome song lyrics
(20) Not just watching television; but watching a movie, turning off the television and talking about it
(21) Reading together (newspaper or magazine) testing comprehension, and discussing the subject matter
(22)Learning from the grandchild—features on your cell phone or on his iPhone, how to send an email etc.


(23) A birthday message, gift or visit on the grandchild’s birthday
(24) Special messages for first-day and first-day-back at school
(25) Meaningful gifts after an athletic game, craft exhibition, dance or music recital
(26) Attendance at graduations—school and extra-curricular classes

Long-Term Projects

For the very young, anything that is not completed in a day is long term. So one or two days may be it all it takes to satisfy the concept for some.

(27) Jigsaw puzzles
(28) Board game competitions, for example, “Who will be the first to win three games?”
(29) Collectibles: postage stamps, hot dog coupons, small round rocks
(30) Planting seeds and waiting for them to grow

Long-Distance Interaction

(31) Telephone calls to express love and inquire about the grandchild’s welfare
(32) Video chats on Skype or FaceTime in arranged regular meetings or sharing special occasions to match faces with voices
(33) Text messages—a teenager’s favorite way to communicate
(34) Instant Messaging on popular sites like MSN and Yahoo, or Facebook (if the teenage grandchild will befriend a grandparent)
(35) Snail Mail—the old fashioned way to express love from a distance through cards and gifts, for grandparents who are unable to use other media systems

Questions & Answers

  • I've been having a tough time finding something for my dad and daughter to do together. He's 70 and she's 15. They both love to dance. How would I go about finding something in my area? I've looked and can't find tap dancing for them to learn together. Is that a weird request?

    Yours is a noble endeavor to find an activity that your father and daughter can share. Since there seems to be no tap dancing in your area, try something else. They can help you find something they both like if you talk with them. There's shopping in the mall; walking in the park; board games wherever they can find space; karaoke in the community center; driving on a country road; attending church services, concerts, sporting events, and the list goes on. If they want to, as much as you want them to spend time together, they will find a way.

© 2013 Dora Weithers


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

      I share your excitement. You'll figure it out and do such fine. Grandparenting brings the wisdom out of you. Congratulations, again.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      We have twin grandchildren due in December and they do not live nearby. Our only other grandchild has lived in the America town and we have seen him almost daily for 14 years. It will seem strange not to be able to see these twins as much and will require some different Grandparent skills. Thanks for this article

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      Jackie, you may be right. What does a twenty-something year old know about grand parenting? Some do not even want the title. Those of us from "back in the day" are blessed. Thank you for your comment.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      6 years ago from the beautiful south

      A great hub, and such a shame grandparents role seems to be changing, I suppose due to the fact they are younger in the worldly sense. I cannot imagine how lacking my memories would be without my grandparents.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      Marlene, thanks for your interesting comment. Thrilled to find someone else who still likes snail mail. All the best to you and your grandsons.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      6 years ago from USA

      I don't know what it is about being a grandparent, but I absolutely love being a grandmother to my grandsons. Your tips are wonderful. My favorite thing to do is send messages through snail mail. The grandchildren really seem to like that a lot.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      Nell, it will be wonderful. I'm experiencing it for the first time. It is worth waiting for. Thank you for sharing.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      I loved the picture it really went well with your words, and you are so right. lovely ideas and suggestions, I am not lucky enough yet to be a grandparent but I would love to be, wonderful!

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      Lastheart, so good to hear from you. It says something beautiful about you that you consider other children your grandkids. They are blessed to have you in their lives. Be patient concerning your kids (smile).

    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 

      6 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      I love the painting you used, it reminds me of me in my dreams with a grandkid. I still haven't been blessed with them. I do have some kids around my life which I consider them like grandkids.

      This is very useful, thanks for such lovely suggestions. I will share and treasure.

      Hope my kids change their mines and start the fabric.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thank you Ben. Glad you enjoyed the article, and that you're in favor of healthy grandparent/grandchildren relationships. We know the value of it, and should try our best to bless the next generation in the same way we were blessed.

    • profile image

      Benjamin Chege 

      6 years ago

      Hi MsDora. I enjoyed reading the hub a lot. It is the high time people went back into the times when grandparents were the most important figures in people's lives. Good tips on how to improve such interactions. Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      Frank, you're always so kind and encouraging. Thank you. bless you, too.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      6 years ago from Shelton

      This is such an awesome article.. makes you think and the advice is so practical you corner the hub page market with hubs like these Ms Dora bless you

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      Michael, thank you very much for your input. Very well written. Thanks for the votes.

    • Michael-Milec profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi MsDora

      Powerful hub , listed here, so much wisdom and practical advices to invest into grand children's open - hungry souls. Love implementations of grandparents without vocal repetition of the word, is permanent and cherished for lifetime.

      I'll always bless them.

      Voted up and beautiful.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Ebonny. What grandparent cannot create his or her own story featuring a beloved grandchild? I like this one too.

    • Ebonny profile image


      6 years ago from UK

      The story telling is a great idea/reminder. I particularly like the one about featuring the child within the story, a sure fire way to grab their attention. Great hub.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      Faith, thank you for your continual support. I appreciate your kind comment.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      Denise, thank you for sharing. So then it's true that we benefit from substitute grandparenting. Thank you for your input.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Sheila. I appreciate your comment.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      6 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Being a grandparent is a new adventure. I have found that the concept you have discussed here is definitely applicable for me in my life. All of my grandchildren are over a days' travel away from where I live. I am able to visit with them via telephone, Skype, and e-mail, but that does not substitute for real-life interaction. I have found that when I treat other children "as if" they were my grandchildren, I can have that desired interaction and make a meaningful contribution in someone else's life.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very cool ideas and a great hub!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 years ago from southern USA

      Dear MsDora,

      What a most important hub here as to the role of every grandparent, for it is such an essential role indeed! Speaking of which, I enjoyed my grandchildren this weekend and we were blessed beyond measure to celebrate the life of my grandson on his first birthday just yesterday!

      Affirmations of love and encouragement from a grandparent adds much to the life of those precious little ones.

      You are always spot on in your insight and I thank you for sharing here in your writing on most important issues to benefit all families.

      Up and more and sharing

      God bless you, Faith Reaper

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      Laurie, thank you for sharing. I also have one, so far. I'd like to follow your example and do all these interactions. All the best to you and our lovely granddaughter. She is blessed to have a great grand.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for your comment, Billy. Grandparents are like precious jewels; they shouldn't be left to waste away.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have one grandchild and she is my life as most grandchildren are to grandparents.

      I do follow all of these interactions with her when I can.

      Now she is 9 and she is a home body. She use to love spending weekends with me or even my mom (great grandparent) but now she loves to be at home. I guess it's a good thing. She is content.

      They grow fast and not one single moment should be wasted trying to be away from them or any child that is part of your family.

      They are way to precious. Thank you for the great hub



    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      There has been a subtle shift away from this type of interaction in the United States. You have given great suggestions so that children may better know and learn from their grandparents. Well done Dora!

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      LyricWriter, looking back it is easy to see how important our grandparents were. Your children can learn from you when you become a grandparent. All the best for such times!

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thank you for your kind comment, DDE. thanks also for the positive vote.

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 

      6 years ago from West Virginia

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting. These are some great ideas Ms. Dora. As children, we don't see the importance of spending time with our grandparents, I guess we're too young to know better. I wish I had more time with my grandparents, certainly something that I will teach my children. Great article, very useful!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Ideas for Interaction between Grandparents and Grandchildren great hub and I m glad to have come across this new hub, well thought of and a very helpful hub indeed,interesting, useful and I voted up.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wehavekids.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)