Amazing ways you can still connect, share and build memories with your grandkids despite the problem of long distance
(Yep... affiliate links are included which means, if you buy through me, I get some coffee money ... though not enough for the raisin toast as well. Full disclosure listed below.)
"Don't go, Nannie! Stay wif us!" 'Please!"
Yes, it's wonderful visiting with grandkids especially when they live miles away and the visits can't be frequent. But leaving to return home does break your heart.. sigh...... But there are amazing ways that you can continue to connect with your grandkids even across the distance that separates you.
Today with all the wonderful technology that exists, there is no reason why long-distance grandparents need to be out of the loop. Children can still bond with grandparents long-distance if you make them part of your daily life using the technology available.
Don't think that you can't learn new technology. Hey, you learnt how to use a slide projector, didn't you? You can use a referdex to navigate across town. You can total eight 3-digit numbers with just a slip of paper and a pencil. Come on..it's not that difficult and the reward for learning is more time with your grandkids. Let's face it, most grandparents today are actually pretty tech savvy. After all, the internet has now been here as we know it for more than 20 years.
So here are some great bonding tips for keeping the relationship close in spite of the distance.
1. Read Stories
Send your kids an iPad, then use the technology such as Facetime, Skype, Facebook or Zoom.us to connect with sound and picture to your grandchild live at story time. Try to do it at least weekly.
They can watch you read to them and talk to you and ask questions, almost as if you're there. As they get older, they won't even need their parents' help.
Not sure how to set up Facetime to use with your grandkids? Check out the simple instructions in the video below.
I've also taken out a subscription to Epic, the leading digital reading library for children 12years and under and... they can access the 35,00+ books on any device at any time. It's very affordable and, since you will receive updates on the books they read, you can talk about the books and discuss them on Facetime together. Check it out...
2. Do a Project Together
Using the same technology or even email or a special private Facebook group, work on projects together. You can teach your grandchild all sorts of things using this technology, from sewing to cooking. With a little help from mom and dad when they're little, and then on their own as they get older, it's a great way to stay connected and build that bond.
A subscription toKiwiCo delivers amazing age-appropriate kids' projects each month. Science- Technology- Engineering- Art- Maths.... KiwiCo makes STEAM accessible, engaging, and fun. Their goal is to inspire kids to see themselves as scientists, artists, and makers.
As grandparents, you can be a part of that, while building amazing memories for your grandkids.
3. Help with Homework
Are you good at a subject that you can tutor your grandchild with, such as math or science? Using technology such as private Facebook groups, Zoom.us conference technology and more, will enable you to work alongside your grandchild on almost any type of school work.
And, of course, you can sign them up for fun learning sites like Reading Eggs, Maths Seeds and Literacy Planet. They're not that expensive but check with parents first so that you don't step on toes. But usually everyone is happy to use programs that are fun and help with learning, too. And if you can afford it for your grandkids, it's something that doesn't have to come out of their family budget.
If you can't manage the expense, send through interesting clips from sites like ABC Education. They have a heap of clips and games that are great for kids of all ages.
4. Play Video Games
Today, many types of video games are interactive. This means you can play games alongside your grandchildren that you never thought possible. You can talk to each other and see each other during the games, making them even more fun and exciting to both of you.
Here are some apps to try:
* Words with Friends . Free word game that will test your vocabulary, spelling and brain power. :)
* Tic Tac Toe . Yes, it's that classic game and now you can play it on your iPhone/iPad
* Draw Something Classic . The idea is simple- draw something and the other person guesses it.
* Super Stickman Golf 3 Play golf with your grandkids-- have fun!
5. Share Recipes
Are you a good cook and the keeper of the family recipes? If so, the internet is a wonderful way to share these with your grandchild. You can set up a YouTube Live or even simply record yourself cooking a recipe and share it with your grandchild via email or your private Facebook group. It doesn't even have to be live; it can also be asynchronous, allowing your grandchild to learn from you when they have free time.
Check out these 12 recipes that kids can make. You'll find Sherbet recipe, 90-second oozy Nutella mug cake, easy apple roses and many more. And.. there are plenty of other sites with great ideas for kids and cooking.
Just send the link through to your grandkid and create it together with Facetime.
6. Write Letters
Don't forget the good old-fashioned letter sent via email or snail mail. Both are much appreciated and great ways to stay in communication with your grandchildren as they age. Check out the other fun ways you can create snail mail mania fun with your grandkids.
Another thing to consider is texting technology. Currently, younger people prefer texting over other types of communication. If you want to really know what's going on, you need to enter this arena.
Remember, these are just new tools for communication; they're not better or worse than what was before.
7. Create a Family Photo Album
Today with technology, everyone takes a lot of pictures, but often they get lost. Create a family photo album using software like Dropbox.com. With Dropbox, you can pay a small monthly fee to get more storage and create one account for everyone to upload their images to, so that you can organise them. Or. create a beautiful photo book including artistic touches and features from Mixbook. Use the same sign-in details to add photos, captions and work on the layouts together. When everyone is happy with they way it looks, you're ready to finish and have it posted to you.
8. Schedule Get-Togethers
Even with technology it's important to find a way to spend time together in person. Consider hosting or scheduling a trip to visit the kids. If you go visit them, consider staying in a hotel to make it less work for your kids. Several shorter visits throughout the year can make up for a lot of time.
Staying close when far apart is easier than ever before in history. If you need to get more confident with technology, check your local Apple store for classes on using the great technology available. Tell them that you want to learn how to use technology to communicate with your long-distance family. They'll be happy to show you what you can do.
Are you a long-distance grandparent? How do you ensure your connection to your grandkids, long distance? Share by commenting below.
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Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.