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How to Keep Grandparents Connected to Grandchildren Virtually

How to Keep Grandparents Connected to Grandchildren Virtually

SEPTEMBER 11TH, 2020

As the pandemic drags on, grandparents are looking for ways to connect with grandchildren, without doing so physically. Occasional phone calls can be tough for kids who might feel awkward and unsure of what to say. To maintain a close relationship between grandparents and grandchildren from a distance, we recommend they do an activity together—just as they would together in person.

An activity breaks the tension so no-one has to worry about what to say. Plus it can be a lot of fun. Below are five engaging activities for grandparents and grandchildren to do together from a distance. For folks less comfortable with technology, we recommend asking a tech-savvy relative or friend to set things up the first time.

1) Play a Game

Playing a game can be a great stress reliever (perfect for these times!), and is good for holding a child’s attention for more than five minutes. There are dozens of games that can be played online, but these are a few of our favorites.

  • Chess
    To play chess with someone from a distance, visit lichess.org and click “Play With A Friend” to start a new game. Click the center crown and send the link to your loved one. Once they click the link, you’ll be able to play together. For maximum bonding, we recommend playing the game on a computer while connecting with your loved one by phone.

  • Crazy 8s
    We love Crazy 8s because it’s relatively quick, fun and is manageable for kids as young as four or five. To set this up, visit CardzMania and create a profile. Then, from the homepage, search for Crazy 8s and click on the game when you find it. Click Multiplayer Mode, then Host A Table (under Friends & Family). Scroll down and send the Share link to your loved one. Once they join, you should be able to start playing. CardzMania has a bunch of other fun games to play with older kids or adults too, like cribbage, gin rummy and pinochle. As with chess, we recommend playing the game on a computer while connecting with your family member by phone.

  • Words With Friends 2
    If you like scrabble, you’ll love Words With Friends 2. For this one, just download the app from the app store on your phone, then follow the directions to connect with a loved one. You can chat by phone while playing, or just play casually when you have time, to let your family know you’re thinking of them.

2) Watch a Game

You don’t have to be in the same room to watch a game with a loved one. Just tune your TV in to your favorite sporting event, have your family member do the same, then connect with them via FaceTime or Zoom. If you hear an annoying echo, try turning your TV down.

3) Work on a Project

Another fun thing to do is work on an arts or crafts project together via FaceTime or Zoom. Any type of project can work for this, but ideally both the grandparent and grandchild will be doing the same activity (ex: both coloring, painting, or sewing) and have all of the supplies they need on hand. We recommend keeping it simple—it can be tough to learn something totally new from a distance.

Some of our favorite easy projects are coloring books, paint-by-numbers, watercolors, and collages. Our book I Am Confident, Brave & Beautiful: A Coloring Book for Girls is not only fun to color, but includes affirmative sayings on each page like “I Am Curious”, “I Am Loving” and “I Am Independent”. The book helps young girls build confidence and gives grandparents the opportunity to share experiences from their own lives.

4) Read Aloud

Children love stories, and listening to someone read is very beneficial to their development. There are a few sites/apps available that grandparents can use to read to children, but we recommend going with a paper book and FaceTime or Zoom. Most kids won’t mind not being able to see the pictures perfectly as long as they’re interested in the story.

For maximum interaction time, after they’re done reading, grandparents can ask their grandchildren about what they heard. Ex: Do they identify with the main character in the story? Would they have done things differently if it were up to them? Why or why not? Also, if the grandchild knows how to read, they can always read to the grandparent! It’s great practice for the child and it’s fun for grandparents to see how their grandchild’s skills grow over time.

5) Share Memories

Though it’s tough to make new memories with family right now, it’s a great time to share old ones. Kids love photos—especially photos of family members that look different than they do now. To connect, grandparents can grab some old photos and dial up their grandchildren via FaceTime or Zoom. If the photos aren’t organized, it can be helpful to go through them ahead of time and select 10 photos that stand out—ideally ones with a special memory or story to share.
Even when we’re physically apart—especially when we’re physically apart—it’s important to keep in touch with family and friends. We hope these activity ideas make things a little easier for your family.
How to Keep Grandparents Connected to Grandchildren Virtually

SEPTEMBER 11TH, 2020

As the pandemic drags on, grandparents are looking for ways to connect with grandchildren, without doing so physically. Occasional phone calls can be tough for kids who might feel awkward and unsure of what to say. To maintain a close relationship between grandparents and grandchildren from a distance, we recommend they do an activity together—just as they would together in person.

An activity breaks the tension so no-one has to worry about what to say. Plus it can be a lot of fun. Below are five engaging activities for grandparents and grandchildren to do together from a distance. For folks less comfortable with technology, we recommend asking a tech-savvy relative or friend to set things up the first time.

1) Play a Game

Playing a game can be a great stress reliever (perfect for these times!), and is good for holding a child’s attention for more than five minutes. There are dozens of games that can be played online, but these are a few of our favorites. 

  • Chess
    To play chess with someone from a distance, visit lichess.org and click “Play With A Friend” to start a new game. Click the center crown and send the link to your loved one. Once they click the link, you’ll be able to play together. For maximum bonding, we recommend playing the game on a computer while connecting with your loved one by phone.

  • Crazy 8s
    We love Crazy 8s because it’s relatively quick, fun and is manageable for kids as young as four or five. To set this up, visit CardzMania and create a profile. Then, from the homepage, search for Crazy 8s and click on the game when you find it. Click Multiplayer Mode, then Host A Table (under Friends & Family). Scroll down and send the Share link to your loved one. Once they join, you should be able to start playing. CardzMania has a bunch of other fun games to play with older kids or adults too, like cribbage, gin rummy and pinochle. As with chess, we recommend playing the game on a computer while connecting with your family member by phone.

  • Words With Friends 2
    If you like scrabble, you’ll love Words With Friends 2. For this one, just download the app from the app store on your phone, then follow the directions to connect with a loved one. You can chat by phone while playing, or just play casually when you have time, to let your family know you’re thinking of them.

2) Watch a Game

You don’t have to be in the same room to watch a game with a loved one. Just tune your TV in to your favorite sporting event, have your family member do the same, then connect with them via FaceTime or Zoom. If you hear an annoying echo, try turning your TV down.

3) Work on a Project

Another fun thing to do is work on an arts or crafts project together via FaceTime or Zoom. Any type of project can work for this, but ideally both the grandparent and grandchild will be doing the same activity (ex: both coloring, painting, or sewing) and have all of the supplies they need on hand. We recommend keeping it simple—it can be tough to learn something totally new from a distance.

Some of our favorite easy projects are coloring books, paint-by-numbers, watercolors, and collages. Our book I Am Confident, Brave & Beautiful: A Coloring Book for Girls is not only fun to color, but includes affirmative sayings on each page like “I Am Curious”, “I Am Loving” and “I Am Independent”. The book helps young girls build confidence and gives grandparents the opportunity to share experiences from their own lives.

4) Read Aloud

Children love stories, and listening to someone read is very beneficial to their development. There are a few sites/apps available that grandparents can use to read to children, but we recommend going with a paper book and FaceTime or Zoom. Most kids won’t mind not being able to see the pictures perfectly as long as they’re interested in the story.

For maximum interaction time, after they’re done reading, grandparents can ask their grandchildren about what they heard. Ex: Do they identify with the main character in the story? Would they have done things differently if it were up to them? Why or why not? Also, if the grandchild knows how to read, they can always read to the grandparent! It’s great practice for the child and it’s fun for grandparents to see how their grandchild’s skills grow over time.

5) Share Memories

Though it’s tough to make new memories with family right now, it’s a great time to share old ones. Kids love photos—especially photos of family members that look different than they do now. To connect, grandparents can grab some old photos and dial up their grandchildren via FaceTime or Zoom. If the photos aren’t organized, it can be helpful to go through them ahead of time and select 10 photos that stand out—ideally ones with a special memory or story to share.
Even when we’re physically apart—especially when we’re physically apart—it’s important to keep in touch with family and friends. We hope these activity ideas make things a little easier for your family.

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