Birthday Dinners at Grandpa and Grandma’s

We love hearing a grandchild tell us that he knows his birthday dinner at our house is coming up and that he is excited about it. The first year we moved to giving our grandchildren dinner with us for their birthday present, they didn’t know what to expect. Now they have experienced a couple of them and look forward to them.

The first half of the year has the majority of the birthdays of our grandchildren and then Covid pushed a couple back a bit, so we have had almost weekly birthday dinners for the past couple of months.

Our time is relatively simple. We start at 5:30 and end about 8:00. During that time we eat, talk, play games, and have Bible time. Most of what we do with our grandchildren is not individual time so this plan gives us the opportunity to focus on just that one grandchild.

We are trying to think of some more creative things to do at home with our grandchildren on their birthday dinner nights. Do you have any suggestions?

Trusting in Jesus,
Teri

Joshua’s Evening
Abby’s Evening: here we’re playing a game of Bananagrams
Danny’s Evening
Christina’s Evening
Drew’s Evening

“I have no greater joy than to hear that
my children walk in truth” (3 John 1:4).

25 thoughts on “Birthday Dinners at Grandpa and Grandma’s”

  1. A few ideas: 1.If you have the supplies, let them make greeting cards.My mother had a huge supply of Creative Memories, which moved to my house when she moved into a nursing home. My niece loves using these to make special occasion cards, amd puts so much heart into each card she makes. 2.Make a video of the child giving a demonstration on something (s)he is good at doing. 3.Make a video of yhe child interviewing you. 4.Walk the family pet together.

  2. I think what you are doing now is already pretty special. My fondest memories with my grandparents are simple things like playing games and shucking corn. I also loved it when they would let me look over old collections and photo albums, especially my grandfather’s WWII box from his service in Europe and Africa. I was into history as a kid and appreciated that he saved all of those things.

  3. Make a scrapbook for each child that gets updated every year at their special dinner – a photo of the child with Grandma and Grandpa, a description of what they did that day, what their hopes are for turning 8 (or 9 or 10…), what they’d like to do for work when they grow up, favourite hobby (Bible verse, activity, book, dessert…) – something for them to have and to keep as an ongoing memory book of these special events and their own growth.

  4. Let the special child pick their favorite meal or dessert (within reason), but most small children won’t choose steak and lobster! If it is time intensive, they could help with the preparation.

  5. COVID 19 has really made us get creative….

    Here are some good remebrance ideas….

    Tie dying shirts, socks, bandanas, face covers has been very popular in our home. Everyone sign each other’s shirt with permanent marker. Date it. Age number. Be creative.

    Online painting classes (we use the very gentle Bob Ross) 1/2 hour long and the paintings are quite good the more you practice. They take yours, you take
    theirs for remembrance.

    Friendship bracelets (everyone makes the same colors for birthday remembrance)

    Decorate photo frame and take picture every year with all three of you for remembrance. Or use online photo companies to build a memory book together starting from when they were little. Grandparents can type in remberances and stories of their baby/toddler/young life.

    Oriental trading company online, I use for kids crafts and ideas all the time for church and VBS. So many fun large motor games and fine motor skill activities.

    Spa day for the girls. Do each other’s hair and facials and fingers and toes. Then grandpa can take “her out” on the deck for lemonade and cookie/cupcake.

    Hardware store for boys. First year they pick a small toolbox and every year grandpa and him add one or two tools to it. He brings home “flowers” for grandma and they have a little “date” on the deck with lemonade and cookie/cupcake.

    Just some ideas off the cuff. God bless those precious children.

  6. Maybe ask them to choose an activity they would like to do. This would allow the child to share with you one of their interests. Someone may want to do a craft while another may choose to play an outdoor game.

  7. My grandparents did something similar to this – we lived an hour away so we would get a birthday weekend where the birthday child got to go stay with them for the whole weekend. Many times they would take us shopping to choose our gift or maybe a book or craft, they might do one activity such as bowling or going to a play, and then one meal eating out at a restaurant. We made many special memories this way!

  8. Thinking back to my beloved grandparents, we would play games. My grandma and I would sew something (raggedy Ann, or doll clothes), or have simple tea parties with her beautiful china. But what I most remember and treasure are hearing stories of their childhoods (in the early 1900’s). We didn’t go anywhere, or spend much money at all, but it was a wonderful time!

  9. Thank you Teri and Steve for your Godly Grandparenting! For those of us who are not yet grandparents; still in the heart of parenting it’s so wonderful to see your devotion to them… I love that you get on their level and play games on the floor! Our children do not have Godly grandparents, however this is still helpful to suggest to the dear older people in our lives in how they can invest for the kingdom of God!

  10. Building on a scrapbook idea, you could include a letter of blessing or even the recipe for the meal and/or dessert. Perhaps you could record answers for a birthday interview.

  11. I’m sure that whatever you do, the children will look back as adults and remember not necessarily the specifics of the night, but the time they had with their grandparents.
    Having said that, some ideas would be to have the child help cook the meal / decorate the birthday cake.
    If they are old enough (& grandparents have enough energy!) perhaps they could have a sleepover.
    As others have said, asking the child what they would enjoy is a really great way to get to know them individually. Maybe there’s a game/ project/ activity that they would really love to do with you both! Not everyone is good at thinking on the spot though so you could suggest a few days in advance for them to think about some things they would like to do.
    And of course, a big hug from Grandma and Grandpa and an “I love you, (name)” will be cherished by the child for a very long time.
    Birthdays are a wonderful opportunity to take time to focus on a person and remind them that they are a wonderful creation in the image of God – His goodness and love in forming each child and grandchild is to be celebrated!
    Blessings as you continue to grow in your grandparenting roles.

  12. You could buy a journal for each granchild. Write a letter to them for their birthday (ways you have seen their character blossom, perhaps a prayer for the year ahead or Scripture you are praying into their life). Read the entry out loud to them on their birthday. You could keep the journals at your house, adding to each year and gifting to them when complete.

  13. I appreciate all of these responses. My oldest will probably be marrying in the next few months. With the years of schooling he still has, I will probably begin my grandparenting from a distance. These are some wonderful ideas on having a meaningful relationship.

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