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What is Grandparents Day?

grandparents day 
This year Grandparents Day falls on Sunday 4th October, 2020 in the UK and we are definitely feeling excited. Grandparents come in all shapes and sizes (step-grandparentspaternal grandparents and even grandparents who provide kinship care), but they all have one thing in common - the joy they experience from knowing and being able to support their grandchild. In a year where coronavirus and the subsequent lockdown has kept so many families apart, grandparents have been suffering from not seeing or being able to hug their grandchildren. However, things do seem to be slowly easing back to normality and we've got plenty of information here on how coronavirus is affecting grandparents especially. 
Becoming a grandparent changes your world in so many ways, so we think it's only fair that the world gives a little back one day each year. Here's our guide to Grandparents Day, including how it started and how you should celebrate. 

What is Grandparents Day?

Grandparents Day is a day dedicated to acknowledging and celebrating the important contribution made by grandparents to the well-being and education of children within their family. It is an opportunity for family to show their gratitude and respect for the older generation and to honour grandparents. The average age of a grandparent is just 49 and a day in the life of a modern gran is as far removed from pearls and twinsets as possible.
But is the day really as special as it seems and is it necessary?
Gransnet editor Lara Crisp says, "While Grandparents Day is a lovely idea, our users don't necessarily need a special day in order to know that their grandchildren love them. But they certainly wouldn't pass up an excuse for a visit and a cuddle either way."
While it's not as widely celebrated as Mother's Day or Father's Day, Grandparents Day is increasing in popularity, and it's the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time with your grandchildren. 

When is Grandparents Day?

In the UK, Grandparents Day 2020 is on Sunday 4th October. Each year it is usually celebrated on the first Sunday of October. However, Grandparents Day is also celebrated all over the world and although some coincide, each country has their own day of acknowledgement.
In the United States, for example, it's usually celebrated on the Sunday after Labor Day, so this year it will fall on Sunday 13th October, and there are often dedicated Grandparents Day events in schools and cities.
 grandmother and child


When did Grandparents Day start?

Grandparents Day, as we celebrate it in the UK, originated in America after a woman called Marian McQuade wanted to create a day to celebrate grandparents after discovering many of the the residents in a nursing home didn't have visitors.

The day was first recognised in West Virginia in 1973, and became a national holiday in the US five years later when Jimmy Carter, the president at the time, signed a federal proclamation. It was first introduced as a day in the UK by Age Concern in 1990, and is something that is celebrated across the world. 


Why it's important to acknowledge grandparents 

Grandparents Day can help to make children more aware of the many ways in which their grandparents often influence their emotional development and education. It's a good time for grandchildren (and their parents) to reflect on the guidance they receive from older generations and to show their appreciation. 
With our childcare survey showing that over half (51%) of grandparents look after their grandchildren regularly all year round, and with 7% looking after them five days a week, it is clear that childcare is one way in which grandparents make a very large contribution. 
In addition to providing (mostly) unpaid childcare, grandparents often also contribute financially to their grandchildren’s well-being. With 84% of grandparents saying they help with money, and a quarter (25%) contributing towards holidays, the financial support of grandparents should not be underestimated either.  


How to celebrate Grandparents Day 

We think you'll agree when we say that most grandparents won't really mind what they do with their grandchildren as long as they spend some time together. Gifts, surprises and special occasions are lovely, but it's the thought that counts on this day and all we really want is to know that we're appreciated. If you're a new or soon-to-be grandparent, why not spend this day thinking about whether you want to be called 'Grandma' or 'Nana' or even 'GaGa'? There are hundreds of grandparent names to choose from - you might just be surprised.

Six Grandparents Day activities

Grandparents Day is the perfect time to share hobbies and interests and bond with your grandchildren. Perhaps you could ask your grandchild to share their favourite activity with you, or show them the things you enjoy? Whatever you are able to do, whether it's baking up a storm in the kitchen or looking for the best days out for grandparents, today is about enjoying each other's company. 
what is grandparents day
If you're in need of some inspiration ahead of 6th October, we asked our wise gransnetters for their favourite activities to do with their grandchildren so you can celebrate Grandparents Day UK accordingly... 
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