Visits to granny and grandpa’s house may be off the cards for a while, but there are clever and creative ways to help keep families feeling close during social distancing. Organise a virtual visit with grandparents and have some long-distance fun! Here are some ideas to get you started. If you have any others why not leave a comment at the end of this post, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, to share your ways of engaging with grandparents while stuck at home.
The one upside to these crazy times is that people of all ages are adopting video calling. FaceTime, Skype or Zoom call your grandparents at a designated time each day and have them read your child a story. It could be a wake-up story, an after-nap story or a bedtime tale. It’s a great way to stay in touch and feel connected.
Change it up:
- Take turns reading: If each of you has a copy of the book, your child and grandparent can take turns.
- Identify elements: Grandparents can help kids sound out letters or identify animals, shapes or colours in the storybook.
- Discuss: Once the story is finished, take turns asking each other about the story with questions such as what was your favourite part, did you think it would end that way?
Image: Maria Symchych-Navrotska/Getty Images
Here’s a fun idea for your kids to get to know their grandparents. Set up an interview where children can ask them about their lives. Have your children come up with a list of questions like “In which city were you born,” and “What year were you born”. Questions like these can encourage an interesting dialogue.
Change it up:
- Have grandparents interview the kids: What is your favourite colour? Who is your best friend? What is your favourite stuffed animal? What do you want to be when you grow up?
- Have kids ask their grandparents what their parent was like as a child. Here are some question prompts: What was Mum’s nickname? What colour was Dad’s bedroom? How old was Dad when he learned how to ride a bike? Did Mum get in trouble a lot?
- Once the interview is over, have your children draw a picture about what they learned and then and take a picture and email or send it by a message app it to their grandparents.
Grandparents have lots of great memories. Ask them to round up old family photos including school photos of the parent, old pets, the house the parent grew up in, aunts and uncles, and more. Hop on a video call and let the grandparents hold the pictures up and explain each one. If there are big group photos, ask your children if they can identify Aunty Sarah or Uncle James and so on. It’s guaranteed to make everyone laugh and feel good, which is something we all need during these crazy times.
Change it up:
- Have your kids draw a picture and their grandparents must guess what it is.
- Have Mum or Dad pull select photos and ask the grandparents if they remember who and when.
- Pull out a picture from the day your child was born and have the grandparent tell you about what they were doing when they heard the news and the first time they met your child.
About the Author
Amanda Sundt is a marketing consultant. She lives with her husband, two children and their dog.