Grandparents are typically thrilled to receive gifts made by their grandchildren. When those gifts focus on special memories that the two generations have shared, they're even more cherished.
Sometimes you may struggle to think of what kind of present would be most appreciated. However, putting in the time to help your kids make gifts of special memories is an important way of passing on love from one generation to the next.
Consider these ideas for inspiration:
1. Take pictures whenever your kids are with grandparents. Even though you may feel like you're overdoing it, today's digital cameras make it easy to take hundreds of pictures for special memory projects.
* With photo software like Photoshop Elements, you can place elements of any two or more photographs together. Use such software plus your creativity to help your child design and produce a special gift of memories for Grandma or Grandpa.
2. Designate special drawers or storage boxes for keepsakes. Save small mementos of times your kids spent with grandparents.
* Gifts and souvenirs may not always seem like a big deal at the time. But that t-shirt purchased by Grandma for your son when he was two can make a special (and possibly hilarious) gift someday when he's older!
* Ticket stubs from a Broadway show they saw together when your kid was 10 can be the foundation for a memory box. Team them up with a copy of the old playbill and a picture of the two of them taken that evening. Grandpa will be thrilled.
3. Encourage children to do sketches. Over the years, have the kids draw pictures about activities they do with their grandparents. Saving these ensures they'll be available later to be part of a treasured present of shared memories.
* One of these pictures presented in a nice frame is a great gift for Grandma or Grandpa. It also shows your thoughtfulness in saving the items to give later.
4. Have the kids write stories. After your children spend time with grandparents, have them write stories about what they did. These make great gifts years later because grandparents are lovingly reminded of the times spent together.
* Pictures of the event will add to the story. Placed in a double-frame, this would make a poignant gift of a memory.
5. Film videos of your kids with their grandparents. You never know when you might need a snippet of a filmed event involving children and grandparents. Or let your kids play musical instruments like that of a professional clarinet at guitar center.
* When your kids are in their teens, prepare a montage of film clips taken through the years they were growing up. Grandparents will treasure this visual memory of those precious, short years.
Part of your job as a parent is to teach your children the importance of close family ties. When children are raised in a family where parents save cherished memories, they more easily recognize the incredible value and impact of close family relationships.
Help your children create special gifts of memories for grandparents to not only preserve their memories, but their love. Both generations will thank you for years to come.