Passionate About Wine Country
and the Moms Who Live Here

A Memory-Making Gift {for the Grandparent Near or Far}

[Mark your calendar: Grandparents Day is Sunday, September 10th this year! You’re welcome.]

I’m a gift giver. Yep, even on Grandparents Day.

At this point in my life, I make sure to send a card to my living grandparents, as well as make the time on this small, often over-looked holiday to call them, giving their sweet, old hearts a reminder of how special they are to me. When it comes to my children’s grandparents, I try and have my kids color a picture or greeting card for them, as well as buy them a little something, whether it’s materialistic and mundane from Target or personalized and cutesy off Etsy. However, after gift giving multiple times a year (Mother’s + Father’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries, winter holidays), I start to run empty on ideas. If your parents and/or in-laws are anything like mine, they’ve already got every kitchen tool, every t-shirt from local sports teams, every wall in their house fully decorated, every “As Seen On TV” knick-knack, and much, much more.

So, what do you get for grandparents who have everything? {Insert drum roll…} I present to you, today’s take on the old-school “coupon book” gifts you once made in elementary school for Mother’s Day… a Memory-Making Jar!

A Memory-Making Jar

A memory-making jar (or whatever cute name you want to call it) is just that – a jar or small tin filled with experiences your child and his/her grandparent(s) can do together to create lifelong memories! You and your child can come up with a few handfuls of memory-making activities or topics of conversation to be put into the jar. Then your child’s grandparent can pull a stick when they’re together (in person or over the phone), completing that activity as a duo while spending quality time together and learning more about one another.

Whether your child’s grandparent lives across town, across the country, or across the pond, this simple-to-make gift’s adventures can be tapered to the type of interactions your child has with his/her grandparent(s) – from physical interactions of “grabbing ice cream at Screamin’ Mimi’s” to over-the-phone “dreaming of what to buy if you had $1,000,000” chats. Remember, to grandparents, it’s the thought, love, and forever smiles that count.

Materials Required:          

  • jar, tin, or some small bucket
  • memory-making label {pick one}
  • cardstock paper
  • scissors
  • tape
  • popsicle sticks
  • Sharpie marker
  • twine – optional, for decor

Popsicle Stick Experience Ideas:

{To Make/Create/Build}

  • draw our family tree
  • draw a family picture
  • build a pillow fort
  • make a bird feeder
  • paint a self-portrait 
  • build a Lego/block town
  • build a marble run
  • create a pretend restaurant (menu + play food)

{Low-Key at Home}

  • movie + popcorn date
  • take a nature walk
  • play a board game
  • learn a new card game
  • learn to sew
  • share your favorite tablet app
  • read a book
  • start a classic chapter book
  • write an acrostic poem using your names
  • try a new recipe in the kitchen
  • bake cookies for the neighbors
  • paint pottery
  • plant in the garden

{Places to Visit}

  • visit the library
  • visit the Children’s Museum
  • try out a new park
  • try out a new restaurant
  • grab an ice cream
  • grab donuts one morning
  • visit a trampoline park
  • walk your favorite path

{Far Away Phone Convo Topics}

  • what I would buy with $1
  • what I would buy with $1,000,000
  • if I could go anywhere on a plane
  • what animal would make a great pet
  • favorite recess game
  • what book you’re currently reading
  • dreams for the future
  • what is something you learned recently
  • favorite outdoor activity
  • last movie seen at a theater

Directions for Creating:   

  1. Gather all materials. Using a Sharpie marker, write your experiences to be had on the Popsicle sticks (the more, the merrier, and see above for examples and inspiration).
  2. Print out the memory-making jar labels on cardstock. Plain printer paper works, but a thicker paper, like cardstock, will hold up better. 
  3. Choose the label with the wording + font you like the best. Cut it out, then tape it to the front of your chosen jar, tin, or small bucket.
  4. Place your Popsicle sticks (memory-making ideas already written on) inside the jar. If desired, add some twine for jar décor.

For the grandparents who have everything, be sure to surprise them with this kid-friendly, easy-to-make jar filled with memories to be had by all. It’s a little holiday that can mean a whole lot. Happy Grandparents Day!

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