Grandkids Say the Darndest Things!

Grandparents Should Grab a Pen and Write Them Down

Caucasian boy laughing with grandfather
Grandkids make grandparents laugh, and that's a good thing. Blend Images - KidStock / Getty Images

Many grandparents remember Art Linkletter's interviews with children, which led to a program and book called "Kids Say the Darndest Things." Now that we're grandparents, we find that "Grandkids Say the Darndest Things." Sure, the things they say are funny, but they also give us glimpses into the way their minds are working, and those glimpses can be both amusing and impressive.

Want to be an extra cool grandparent?

Buy an inexpensive journal or notebook, and write down the funny things that the grandchildren say. You may never get a book contract, but you'll be glad you recorded these priceless lines. Need I say that your grandchildren will enjoy reading their bon mots when they are teenagers or young adults?

A family blog is another place to record funnies. In fact, many of these came from grandparent blogs. Anecdotes are used with permission of the authors, of course. Links are provided to those blogs that are still active.

Now, enjoy the unique perspectives of children on a range of subjects.

About Aging

Children have definite ideas about the aging process. And who better to share them with than a grandparent?

  • Sue was playing tic-tac-toe with her granddaughter, who kept missing obvious chances to get three in a row. After several draws, Sue's granddaughter confessed, "I was trying to let you win, Grammi." As Sue opened her mouth to praise her thoughtfulness, she added, "Because you're old."
  • One classic story that's been making the rounds involves a little girl who asked her grandmother how old she was. When the grandmother replied, "62," the little girl thought for a long time. Then she asked, "Did you start at one?"
  • Another of Sue's granddaughters had just learned about George Washington's false teeth. She told her grandmother what she had learned, then asked, "GrammiSue, do you have fossil teeth?"
  • Anita asked grandson Josiah if she could live with him when she was old. He thought seriously about it before he replied, "Only if you don't smell like old people!" (from Grandma's Briefs)

About Death

Small children who are just learning about death create some interesting moments.

  • When Erik was figuring out family relationships, he told his grandmother, "It's all a big circle. First you're a kid, then a parent, then a grandparent." His grandmother was nodding agreement when Erik added, "And then you die."
  • Art liked to get his hair cut in a shop once owned by a big game hunter and still filled with his trophies. He took his two small granddaughters with him to the barbershop, thinking they would enjoy looking at the animals. When they had finished looking at the animals, his smallest granddaughter asked, "Why are they so still?"
  • The topic of death came up while Brayden was talking with his great-grandmother. Brayden said he had known some people who had died. "Mr. Jim and Grandma Becky," he said, "and Michael Jackson!"

About Marriage and Family

Children love their family members, although they can be a little shaky on the details. In a classic from Art Linkletter's show, Linkletter asked a little girl what her parents did for fun.

"I don't know," she replied. "They always lock the door."

  • Shelley and her grandson were discussing love and marriage. When Shelley questioned him about his views on marriage, he gave an unexpected answer: "I'm going to marry a grandma!" (from Grandma's Briefs)
  • Another child wrote a note to her father, "Out of all my four fathers, you're my favorite." Her mother, who only knew about one father, discovered that in school the students had been studying their "forefathers."
  • When Emeline's mother was pregnant, Emeline was told that some people say that a baby is a gift from God. After thinking this over, Emeline asked, "And what do the other people say?” (from Nanahood)

Girl Issues

Girls may be all sugar and spice, but they also have some interesting takes on being a girl.

  • A 4-year-old granddaughter put on her swimsuit and immediately said, "My legs are so skinny!" Concerned about body image issues, the mom asked, "Skinny?" Whereupon the little girl said, "Yeah, look at all this skin!"
  • Shortly after the Chinese New Year, Susan and her grandchildren were talking about the Chinese zodiac. The older grandchildren knew what year they were born in -- the year of the dragon, the year of the tiger. The youngest granddaughter was momentarily at a loss, then asserted: "I was born in the year of the princess."

Vocabulary Follies

Children are noted for mangling the English language, although some of their variations turn out to be amazingly apt.

  • Noah's mom was having a bad day. When Noah asked why she was crying, she said that she was sad. Noah retorted, "Well, I'm sad, but I'm not dripping!"
  • A grandchild had a question for a grandfather who was less than hirsute: "Grandpa, why are you going barefoot on your head?"
  • When a grandmother told her granddaughter that it was time for her to go home, the granddaughter said that she wanted to keep her. "You want to kidnap me?" the grandmother asked. The granddaughter replied, "Wouldn't that be grandnapping?"
  • When Grampa accepted a second serving of vanilla ice cream at a family gathering, his grandson asked him, "Grampa, why do you like nothing-flavored ice cream so much?"
  • When Grammy complimented Makenzie on her pink sequined flip flops, Makenzie gravely corrected her: "Grammy, dere name is called Slip Slops and dey have sprinkles on dem!"

Good Questions

Children also wonder about the natural world and sometimes come to some interesting conclusions.

  • After looking at pictures of the moon landing, a little boy asked, "Do people go to the moon when it's not full?"
  • Another little boy wondered whether every time you taste a new food, you "grow a new taste bud."
  • A little girl was curious about why, when it gets cold, her teeth "start to chew by themselves."