For many families, the challenges of social distancing have made it hard to maintain a close connection with loved ones — especially considering that older generations are not often tech-savvy. But even for those who are, regular video chats don’t always provide the level of closeness we’re craving. However, with a little forethought and creativity, here are a few ways you help your kids stay connected with their grandparents.
- Turn video calls into an activity.
- Enlist a relative or friend to help grandparents set up a call. Then, plan an activity to do together — perhaps a video chat story time, cooking class or a game of Bingo.
- Interview the grandparents.
- Have your kids write down anything they’ve ever been curious about the family and ask away — what was life like growing up? What was your craziest family vacation? What was mom (or dad) like as a kid?
- Mail a care package.
- Surprise Grandma and Grandpa with drawings, copies of old photos, homemade word search puzzles or old family recipes. Some of the best gifts are the ones your kids make themselves.
- Get creative with letters.
- You can’t go wrong with an old-fashioned hand-written letter. You could even pick up a postcard from your favorite museum or a paper placemat from your neighborhood restaurant and have your kids write a short note. Or start a story and pass it back and forth until you have a finished masterpiece created together.
- Send a video montage.
- Ask relatives to send video clips and put together a memorable video that everyone can enjoy for years to come. If you don’t have editing software, there are online resources that can help you with this.
- Start a movie club.
- Once a week, pick out a movie to watch at the same time and then talk about it on your next phone call or video chat.
- Play online games.
- Find online kid- and grandparent-friendly games like cards or Scrabble that you can play in real time. If there’s a place to chat while you’re playing, even better!
- Invite grandparents to be guest teachers.
- If you’re homeschooling, what better way to illustrate a historical event than to have a grandparent recount the story from personal experience? Whether it’s science or Spanish class, a video call or phone conference, teaching is a fun way to learn together.
To ensure you communicate regularly, it’s a good idea to schedule a block of time for video chats or calls. If there are days you can’t stick to your regular schedule, even short texts throughout the day are enough to let grandparents know your kids are thinking about them.