National Grandparents Day with Strega Nona

If you know Momee Friends, you know we love to CELEBRATE, and this weekend there is a great cause to celebrate.  Sunday, September 13, 2015 marks the 37th anniversary of National Grandparents Day.


A little background history on Grandparents Day:

Marian McQuade  is known as the founder of National Grandparents Day.  She was a community activist from West Virginia who championed the cause for lonely elderly in nursing homes, and was responsible for spearheading a movement for young people to honor their grandparents and to recognize the important contributions of the elderly within our communities.  She served as a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging and in 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a proclamation designating the Sunday after Labor Day each year as National Grandparents Day.  The statute cites, “the day’s purpose is to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children, and to help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer.”

One of our favorite stories to read is Strega Nona, an old tale retold and illustrated by Tomie dePaola

Strega Nona  or “Grandma Witch” is from a little town in Italy called Calabria.  She lived alone in a cottage where many of the town’s people would seek her help because of her “magic” touch.  But the day came when she became too old and she needed help.


As the story continues, Strega Nona takes in a young helper by the name of Big Anthony.  In exchange for some pasta from Strega Nona’s magic pasta pot, Big Anthony assists Strega Nona with the household chores, but his lack of attention to instructions gets him into some trouble.


There are so many important messages that children can take away from this old tale – from helping and caring for the elderly, to following instructions and listening to the wisdom of elders.

Marian Mc Quade saw the importance of children developing meaningful connections with the older generation.  This is especially true today, when the typical family unit is constantly changing and children don’t have many opportunities to form special bonds with grandparents.

Invite a grandparent  to share in reading stories like Strega Nona, or create your own traditions with a “grandfriend” by cooking together or helping one another with a creative art project.  These great memory makers will help to develop and strengthen family-like bonds, and always remember to add your own magic touch!

Here is a cute craft idea from Pinterest:

 Found on


Make a Spaghetti Dinner together and have a very

Happy Grandparents Day from Momee Friends!


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My name is Anne and I am a local mommy blogger ... Momee Friends is all about Long Island and all things local with the focus on family

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