Grandparents: Give Your Grandchildren the Gift of Lost Crafts!

Date :
May 21, 2022

Grandparents with the grandkids learning to read a map

In today’s modern world where technology is king, the important skills and crafts of the past are slowly being forgotten. How many kids grow up learning how to sew on a button, or how to make jam, or how to whittle, or even handwrite a letter? It’s quite sad to witness these wonderful talents fading away.  

The good news is that grandparents often have many special things to teach grandchildren. Not only are there useful skills worth sharing, but they’re lots of fun, too. Passing on your knowledge to a beloved grandchild will not only be a fantastic bonding experience, it’ll be something they can pass on to their own children someday.  

Why are old skills so important?

There are so many reasons why the skills of yesteryear are still important for modern kids to learn. For starters, most of these skills are hands-on activities. They require the use of fine motor skills and lots of practise. This means developing patience, which as we all know is so important in all areas of your life. Conveniently, most of these skills can be done anywhere. You don’t have to be connected to the internet or a power source, and you can even do a lot of these activities outside.  

Also, learning these skills will mean that your grandchild develops independence. They won’t have to rely on anyone else to repair their clothing, or to cook a meal. It may even mean that instead of buying a gift for someone, they can create it themselves. Each time they create something, they’ll feel connected to you, their teacher, and they’ll pass on your knowledge to their families in the future. They’ll develop practical knowledge and useful skills that will serve them in all areas of their lives. And for kids who are always looking for entertainment, these skills may just help cure boredom! 

Grandkid learning to whittle

What skills and crafts should my grandkids learn?

There are so many fabulous skills and crafts that were once commonplace that you and your grandkids can discover together – what you teach them is up to you. Here are a few of our favourite ideas. 

Reading a map and using a compass

Yes, Google Maps can effortlessly tell you where you want to go no matter where you are in the world, but what if you don’t have an internet connection or your phone battery dies? In that case, knowing how to read a map will be invaluable. Knowing how to use a compass could even save a life.  


Teaching both boys and girls how to sew on a button or how to fix any holes or rips in clothing is a lesson in conservation. Fast fashion is one of the most polluting industries on the planet. This means learning how to repair your clothing rather than to simply throw it away will help save not only your money, but the planet.  

Making jam and pickling or canning vegetables

Knowing how to make your own food from scratch can be a valuable life skill. Making your own jam or pickling your own vegetables tastes so much better than the store-bought alternatives, especially if you use produce from your own garden! 

Grandparent teaching grandchild to knit

Knitting and crocheting

Knitting and crocheting can be as simple or as intricate as you like – you can teach your grandchildren how to make scarves and socks, blankets, bags, and even toys. It just requires patience!  

Woodworking and whittling

If you’ve got special woodworking skills, teaching your grandchildren how to create objects out of wood helps them to develop creative and critical thinking skills, as well as providing them with a useful craft human beings have been utilising throughout history. Whether they create simple items like a box or a spoon, or graduate to building furniture, this skill will be immensely useful in the future.  

Handwriting letters

Why send a handwritten letter when you can email someone in a second? It’s so much more personal, that’s why! Think about how nice it was to receive actual mail from a family member or friend during the lockdown, when people were sending care packages to loved ones around the world. Teaching your grandkids to do this keeps that personal touch alive.  

At May Gibbs, we believe craft is such an important part of learning in childhood.
Check out
these fabulous ideas!  


Librarian BecLibrarian Bec
Right now, Librarian Bec’s hard at work at your local library, sharing a passion for reading with little people and big. Bec writes about inspiring little readers and embracing lovely literature.