The summer months are the longest of the year, so why not make the most of the extra time by creating memories with your grandchildren?
Sometimes, it can be a trip with the family to a new and exciting place where you can take keepsake photos and later turn them into a cherished scrapbook. Or, it can be as simple as swapping stories on a front porch swing with a glass of frosty lemonade.
Either way, summertime is the ideal opportunity to reintroduce your grandchildren to the traditions and stories you hold dear and to share the qualities that make you unique and endearing to them.
Anne Block, the grandmother of four, simply savors the moments with her grandchildren when they come to visit her at Stein Assisted Living, which is part of The Oscar & Ella Wilf Campus for Senior Living in Somerset, during the summertime.
One of her grandchildren lives nearby, while the others reside in Queens, New York.
“One of my grandchildren, Natalie and I, went away on a weekend getaway which we both enjoyed,” shared Anne. “And, on this trip, she said, ‘Grandma, you have such a great sense of humor.’ So, Natalie learned something about me.”
She added that her favorite part of being a grandparent is having a connection with her grandchildren and being a part of their lives.
Rhoda August cherishes the respect and love she receives from each of her seven grandchildren, three of which live nearby.
“They come here and visit and then we go out to a fine restaurant,” shared Rhoda, who recently gave her diamond engagement ring to one of her granddaughters.
Rhoda added that some of her favorite memories with her grandchildren include celebrating their birthdays and when they would come to Florida to visit with her.
According to a website entitled “The Grandparents Circle,” there are several summer activities that help preserve religious traditions and create special memories. They suggest:
- Host a Shabbat meal for your grandchildren and their family. Try grilling and eating outside to give Shabbat a summer feel;
- If your grandchildren are at sleep-away camp, consider surprising them on Visitors’ Day or Weekend;
- Teach your grandchildren a Hebrew camp song;
- Help your grandchildren learn the concepts of baal taschit, “do not destroy,” and tikkun olam “repair the world” by volunteering in the great outdoors, whether it be by picking up trash, helping in a community garden, or planting trees;
- Consider taking your grandchildren on a trip. There often is a Jewish connection in any town or city.
If you enjoy nature, you might also consider taking a nature walk with your grandchildren, where you can point out different types of bugs, trees, birds, and butterflies. Continue the nature theme by turning an old milk carton into a birdfeeder.
Bond over building a picturesque garden filled with colorful flowers you both admire or vegetables and herbs you can later use as ingredients for a meal you can share together.
Pack up a picnic lunch and visit your favorite park. Bring a portable music player so you can exchange some of your favorite music from days gone by and, in turn, you can learn some modern tunes from your grandchildren that reflect their interests and personalities.
Here’s an exciting summer project for grandparents to consider doing with their grandchildren: completing a keepsake journal filled with memories. “A Grandparents’ Memory Book: Did You Really Walk Five Miles to School” by Teri Harrison and “The Grandparents’ Treasure Chest: A Journal of Memories to Share with Your Grandchildren” by Edward Fays both ask insightful questions in a fill-in-the-blank format that will stir up sentiments and conversations.
Whichever project, trip or activity you choose, make this summer one you will never forget with your grandchildren. They’ll never forget the new memories you’ve made!
The Oscar and Ella Wilf Campus for Senior Living is comprised of Stein Assisted Living, Jaffa Gate Memory Care Neighborhood at Stein Assisted Living, Stein Hospice, Wilentz Senior Residence, Wilf Transport, Wilf At Home, and The Foundation at the Wilf Campus. For more information, contact us at (732) 568-1155, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at www.wilfcampus.org.