Enjoy this article on fun ways to connect with your grands over technology!
Technology Makes Things Easier
My parents live 2000 miles away. My kids only see their grandparents in person once, or sometimes twice a year. Grandma and Grandpa don’t travel, and when you have two little ones, going anywhere is difficult. Sound familiar?
Enter technology! It really is a blessing, and it has afforded our kids the opportunity to ‘see’ their grandparents at least once a week.
However, sometimes technology can foil the best of us, so if you’re new to communicating with your grandkids using these types of tools, here are 10 fun ways you can enjoy seeing those beautiful faces even when you can’t be together. Especially now during COVID-19 and beyond.
1. Learn how to use it
First things first, learn how to use your technology. Your video calls with your grandkids won’t be near as fun if you can’t work the tools. Whether you decide to go with Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, or another tool, get acquainted with it before you try calling the kids.
Trust me, your grandkids will want to jump right into chatting as soon as you jump on the call! They’ll be lightyears ahead of you and you’ll be left in the dust wondering what just happened.
Pro tip: With the recent release of Facebook Messenger for Kids, this may be the best, most exciting way for your grandkids to communicate with you!
2. Draw pictures
All you need are crayons! Kids love coloring, but even more, they love showing it off. And while Mom and Dad provide great affirmation, Grandma and Grandpa’s approval is even sweeter.
Challenge them by asking them to draw things and make them do it on the spot. It’s interactive, it’s creative, and it’s a great way to bond.
3. Play fun games
There’s nothing quite like sitting together around the table playing board games. That’s tough to do on a video chat, but it’s still possible! Pictionary is a great one! Gather around the video monitor and get yourself a copy of the game.
If you and your grandkids each have an easel, you can make sure you’re drawing pictures big enough for everyone to see! As an added bonus, the easel will be a fun toy for them to play with even when they’re not on a call with you.
4. Make fun faces
Facebook’s Messenger Kids is one of the most versatile tools your grandchildren can use to chat with you, video call, or send pictures. They can use filters to make funny faces or turn themselves into a unicorn.
Connecting through Facebook allows your grandkids to experiment with crazy add ons in an environment that’s 100% controlled by parents for a safe online experience.
5. Transport yourself.
Apps like Zoom have virtual backgrounds. Choosing one will quickly transform your living room into a different galaxy or an appetizing donut shop. Have fun with different backgrounds and fool your grandkids into thinking you’re somewhere that you’re not.
6. Have dinner
I’ve seen my friends cooking and having dinner with family from afar. It becomes even more meaningful when you share old family recipes back and forth. Chat with each other while you cook in the kitchen, and then enjoy the same meal together, miles apart.
7. Read a bedtime story
Mom and Dad would probably love a break from their bedtime routine. Connect at bedtime and read your grandchildren their favorite books. Bedtime is always a special time, so this is the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with them in a more meaningful way.
8. Teach a fun lesson
If Grandpa knows how to play the guitar or Grandma can sew, connect with your grandkids for a special tutoring session once a week. Just because you’re not together doesn’t mean you can’t impart wisdom. Your grandkids will always have a cherished memory and something interesting to tell their friends.
9. Give a fun tour
If it’s been a while since you’ve been together in person, give each other tours of your homes. Has something changed that you want to show off? Did you hang a new picture of your grandchildren on the wall?
Show them what you’ve been up to and they’ll be happy to do the same, especially if they just got new toys, a new bunk bed, or something else that changed their whole world.
10. Sing together
Use an app like Smule to get your karaoke on. You don’t have to be good at singing to enjoy singing a duet with your favorite little people. Smule allows you to connect, choose your favorite songs and sing together. You can even record and save the session so you’ll both have a special memory.
No matter how you’re choosing to connect with your loved ones, be creative and tailor your experience to your interests. You’ll have a much more exciting and special time if you do the things you love together.
What are some of your fun ideas on how to stay connected to your grands during COVID-19? Please answer in the comments at the bottom of this page!
Author Bio: Cristin Howard runs Smart Parent Advice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Cristin writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase for babies and toddlers.