Fun Facts You’ll Want To Share About Grandparents Day

kid with blackboard heart

Today is National Grandparents Day and grandparents all over the world are being honored and celebrated. Grandchildren all over the country take this day as an opportunity to let their grandparents know how much they love them. School children have been preparing for this day by making gifts for their grandparents and learning the official song. Many are excited for a whole day to spend having fun with Grandma and Grandpa.

The official statute says the purpose of Grandparents Day is, “to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children's children, and to help children become aware of strength, information, and guidance older people can offer." This day is a wonderful reminder of the significance grandparents have in our lives. 

Why is there a Grandparents Day?

worldwide unity

Grandparents day was the idea of Marian McQuade. A West Virginian and mother of fifteen children, Marian had a lifelong mission of supporting senior citizens. She began her campaign for a day to honor grandparents in 1970. In 1971, she was elected Vice-Chair of her home state’s West Virginia Committee on Aging. This same year she was also appointed as a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging.

Marian’s mission didn’t stop there. She continuously involved herself in campaigns advocating for elderly adults. She served as President of the Vocational Rehabilitation Foundation, Vice-President of the West Virginia Health Systems Agency, and she was appointed to the Nursing Home Licensing Board.

To launch Grandparents Day, Marian worked to get the support of political leaders throughout West Virginia. All of her efforts paid off, and the first Grandparents Day was held in 1973 in West Virginia. After much persistence, five years later it was nationally recognized. President Jimmy Carter signed the proclamation in 1978 and grandparents have been honored ever since.

Other countries all around the world have established their own Grandparents Day. Poland led the way, holding their first Grandparents Day in 1965. Since then, twelve other countries have followed its lead. From Australia, to Italy, to Hong Kong and Singapore, grandparents are nationally honored and recognized every year on Grandparents Day. 

What is the official flower of National Grandparents Day?

blue forget me nots

The United States official flower of Grandparents Day is the forget-me-not. These plants bear stunning tiny blue flowers and have been used as a symbol of remembrance for centuries. In 15th century Germany, the forget-me-not was worn by ladies as a sign of enduring love. 

What is the official song of Grandparents Day?

children's choir singing

“A Song for Grandpa and Grandma” by Johnny Prill is the official song of Grandparents Day. This loving song is from a grandchild’s point of view as he sings about how much he loves his grandma and grandpa. He sings of all the different ways he loves to spend time with his grandparents. Including, of course, “eating Grandma's cookies, boy they sure taste great.”

This anthem has become a popular song for kids in school and church programs all across the country. Many children’s programs make a special trip to nursing homes and retirement communities on this special day to sing to the elderly who cannot be with their families. 

How many grandparents are there?

grandma reading to grandchild

The majority of grandparents say they think being a grandparent “is the single most important and satisfying thing in their life.” And they sure do know how to show their love! Here are some facts about grandparents that you might not know:

  • There are over 70 million grandparents in the United States today!
  • Grandparents are taking care of their grandchildren more than ever, with 2.7 million grandparents being main caregivers and 7.2 million children under 18 living with their grandparents,
  • Grandparents love to spend money on their grandchildren. *According to an AARP report, 40% of grandparents spend over $500 on their grandkids in twelve months. While most of this is on holidays and birthdays, grandparents are also helping with education costs, medical or dental bills, and everyday living costs.
  • Grandparents stay close to their grandchildren. 69% of grandparents live within 50 miles of their grandchildren. When grandparents do live a considerable distance away, they make sure they see their grandkids. 43% have traveled over 200 miles to see their grandchildren.
  • 58% of grandparents say they talk to their grandchild at least once a week. Grandchildren are coming to their grandparents for advice now more than ever.

Fun Facts about Grandparents

grandma teaching piano

Want to impress your family? Check out these fun facts about today’s grandparents.

  • More half the grandparents in the United States are baby boomers.
  • Samuel S. Mast of Pennsylvania holds the record for having the most living descendants. He passed away in 1992, but he fathered 11 children, 97 grandchildren, 634 great-grandchildren and 82 great-great-grandchildren. That’s a big family!
  • Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey were raised by their grandparents. Talk about good influences!
  • Many celebrities have become grandparents at a young age. Loretta Lynn became a grandparent at age 29 and CeeLo Green at age 35.
  • Of the twenty women in the state senate, half of them are grandmothers.
  • Grandparents are becoming more tech savvy; more than half are on social media sites and share photos online.
  • More than half of grandparents play video games with their grandchildren. Now the kids are the teachers!
  • Slightly more than 10% grandparents have tattoos. Can you imagine what this number will be when the twenty-somethings of today are grandparents? 

Celebrate Grandparents

happy grandma and grandchild

Here at Alert1, we are dedicated to supporting grandparents and keeping them safe. They have worked their whole lives to make a better place for their families and carry on their legacy. They are an inspiration for us all. Cherish every moment spent with grandparents and take advantage of the wisdom they have to offer you. Do something grand for a grandparent today to show your appreciation. Grandparents should not only be honored and celebrated today, but every day.