Joyful Grandparenting: Fun & Traditions

We've talked about several aspects of  joyful, intentional grandparenting: 
1. Sharing our gifts
2. Sharing our faith 
3. Praying

And my final suggestion:
5. Have Fun and Create Fun Traditions

We want our grandchildren to have special memories, and sometimes that gets messy.

My granddaughters love rolling and cutting cookies or cinnamon rolls. Days after one of our baking projects, I’m still cleaning flour from the corners of the kitchen, but it’s worth the mess. And one of my Grammy-traditions is to make sure they add the most important ingredient to every batch of dough—the love.

Whenever we go out to eat together, my grandchildren depend on another “Grammy tradition.” They know I have small toys, drawing books, and fruit snacks in my purse to keep them happy while the grown-ups talk. I keep a stash of these in the glove compartment of my car so I’ll always have them ready.

There’s also “Grammy’s bag.” On Christmas Eve, my grandchildren take turns reaching into a big red fabric bag to choose small inexpensive toys to tide them over until they can open their gifts on Christmas morning. I search for small treasures all year for this purpose.

Friday movie night with the grandkids is another custom at the Purath house, and the older ones often sleep over. I’ll never forget one Saturday when they woke me especially early. As I peered through barely opened eyes, two little smiles met my sleepy gaze. “Would you like to watch cartoons?” I asked, hoping for a little more rest.

“No!” said Gracie emphatically.

“I thought you liked cartoons.”

“We’d rather spend time with you, Grammy” said Emma.

Well, you can guess that was all it took to get me out of bed and into the kitchen where my two helpers made a huge mess and a pan of cinnamon rolls (with extra love stirred in).

Grandparenting is more than an awesome responsibility; it’s an awesome opportunity to love and be loved. And part of the fun is enjoying our “second childhood” by rolling on the floor, being silly, playing with paper dolls, and riding bikes. We soon find that grandchildren are some of the best playmates we’ve ever had.

So share your gifts, pray for your grandchildren, and be available. Start traditions and have fun. Most importantly, be ready to share “the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord” so each generation of your family will know Christ (Psalm 78). It’s a grandparent’s joy and privilege to leave a Jesus-loving legacy to future generations.

Leave a comment and share some ways you have fun and create traditions with your grandchildren. I'd love to hear your ideas.

This article first appeared in Reach Out Columbia, Columbia, SC, September 2012.

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Christian grandparents, check out these suggestions for creation special memories for your grandchildren.

Christian grandparents, check out these suggestions for creation special memories for your grandchildren.


  1. AmaraLand is full of love and traditions from our long good bye rituals to our movies and baking -- much like yours! We love it that we have lots of traditions!Peace/Peas!

  2. I treasure those traditions that I had with my grandmother. She would make oatmeal cookies and then we would have tea parties out in the yard with grape Kool-aid poured out of the teapot. She would spread a blanket under the shade of the mimosa tree and sit with us for our tea party.

    We will have our first tea party in my living room when our princesses visit in mid-December. I can't wait.

  3. Such sweet traditions. I'll have to incorporate the adding love to each recipe made together. Cute. We have several traditions, from the boys visiting me first thing in my bed when I stay at their house to me handing each a Hot Wheels car when they pick me up at the airport. Traditions are what define a family.

  4. I have ever so many wonderful memories with my Granny! I named my son after her, that's how much she meant to me. (He took the masculine form of her name). Unfortunately, my mom is disabled and in real bad health. This makes her unable to do some of the things I know she wants to do with my son. I pray, however, that he still has precious memories of his time with her, no matter what they can find to do together.
    Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library.
    Be blessed,
    Julie @ Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk

  5. Well, I'm back! I just skipped around to most (or all) of your grandparenting posts and even read again ones that I had already read :-) What a blessing you are to so many women who are entering or are in these years.

    You are blessed to have your children living close enough for you to see your grandchildren often. I didn't have that experience growing up, since I grew up overseas. It was a willing sacrifice on the part of my grandparents. They sure made up for it when we were able to visit!!