8 Things Grandkids Can Do at a Funeral

When it comes to family gatherings, funerals are undoubtedly one of the most somber occasions. They are moments of grief and reflection, where we say our final goodbyes to loved ones. 

However, it’s important to remember that life goes on, and for the younger members of the family, including grandkids, understanding and participating in the funeral process can be a healthy and educational experience. 

In this blog post, I will share things that grandkids can do at a funeral to help them cope with the solemnity of the occasion while still being a part of the family’s support system.

First and foremost, it’s crucial to speak to grandkids in plain and honest language about what’s happening. Using simple words like, “Grandpa died, and we are here to say our goodbyes,” can help them understand the situation. By doing so, you create an environment of trust and openness, making them feel more included in the process.

For example, you can say, “Grandpa has passed away, and now we are going to have a special ceremony to remember him.”

Here Are the Things Grandkids Can Do at a Funeral

1. Explore Children’s Literature

One effective way to help grandkids understand and process a funeral is to explore children’s literature related to the topic. You can ask the funeral director if they have any children’s books or coloring books about the funeral process. Many funeral homes carry such materials designed to explain the event in a gentle and age-appropriate manner.

For instance, you might find a storybook that talks about a character attending a funeral and how they felt during the ceremony. This can be a great conversation starter for you and your grandkids.

2. Reconnect with Extended Family

Funerals often serve as the only occasion where extended family members come together. Your grandkids may have the opportunity to meet distant relatives they have never met before. This is a valuable chance for them to connect with their family roots and build stronger bonds with their kin.

For instance, your grandkids might meet their second cousins, great-aunts, or other relatives they’ve only heard about in family stories.

3. Quiet Activities During Visitation

beautiful park-like ground

Visitation, where family and friends gather to view the deceased and offer their condolences, can be an emotional time. To keep grandkids engaged and occupied, bring along quiet activities like coloring books or puzzles. These activities can serve as a welcome distraction and help them remain calm during this part of the funeral.

Consider bringing some coloring books, colored pencils, or even a small puzzle for your grandkids to work on while you chat with other visitors.

4. Engage in Games and Toys

While grandkids need to be respectful during a funeral, there may be moments when they need a break from the solemn atmosphere. Bringing along some discreet games or toys can provide them with a temporary escape.

For example, a small toy car or a quiet board game can be an excellent way for them to pass the time while still being a part of the event.

5. Socialize with Other Kids

Funerals often bring together people of various ages, including other kids. Encourage your grandkids to socialize with their peers. This can help them find comfort in shared experiences and provide a sense of normalcy during this emotionally challenging time.

For instance, they can chat, play, or share stories with other children present at the funeral.

6. Nourish Their Bodies

Grief and emotional strain can take a toll on everyone, including children. Make sure to have some snacks or light refreshments available for your grandkids. They need to stay nourished and hydrated during the event.

Consider packing a small bag with their favorite snacks and a bottle of water to keep their energy up.

7. Learn About Life from Elders

old man sitting on a Wooden Bench at the Park

Funerals offer a unique opportunity for grandkids to learn about life, death, and family history from their elders. Encourage them to engage with older family members, like grandparents, aunts, uncles, and family friends, who can share valuable life experiences and stories.

Your grandkids might be fascinated to learn about their family’s history, values, and traditions.

8. Play with Other Kids

Just as socializing is crucial, playing with other kids can help your grandkids process their emotions and feel more at ease. Encourage them to join games or activities organized for children during the funeral, such as storytelling or crafting sessions.

For example, they can participate in a group game like tag or join in creating a memory craft for the departed loved one.


Lastly, to ensure that you can focus on the funeral proceedings, it’s a good idea to assign someone to look after your grandkids. This could be a trusted family member, a close friend, or even a hired caregiver. Having someone dedicated to their needs allows you to participate fully in the funeral without worrying about their well-being.

Funerals can be difficult and emotional events for everyone, including grandkids. However, it’s important to remember that involving them in the process can be healthy and educational. By speaking honestly, engaging in age-appropriate activities, and connecting with family, grandkids can learn about life, death, and the importance of family bonds.

To conclude, let’s not forget that children, even in their innocence, have an incredible ability to bring comfort and hope to those in mourning. How have you involved your grandkids in a funeral, and what positive experiences have you witnessed? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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