We all know the value of quality grandparent/grandchild time, not only for our little ones, but also for our parents. Yet how do we get our kids and their grandparents together for quality time during this time of isolation, or ‘social distancing’, where direct contact is not allowed, and the kids likely won’t sit still for a video chat?
We have come up with 10 activities grandparents can do online together with the grandkids – which, depending on the age of your kids, might just let you get some jobs done too!
1. Create some art – this one is great. All you need are art supplies in each house (paper and colours will do) and a shared object to paint or draw such as a piece of fruit or a toy. Once everyone is set up, the grandparents can chat with the kids throughout the process, before showing pictures at the end. The kids may have drawn squiggly messes or be covered in paint, but they will no doubt be completely proud of their creation, which grandparents can then gush over. Whether it lasts a few minutes or half an hour, it’s a win.
2. Share morning or afternoon tea together – set a time to get online and get some drinks and snacks at the ready. The parents and grandparents can have tea whilst the kids have warm milk and offer biscuits which ‘miraculously’ appear in the hand of the grandparent – the kids will love it and you might even get to sit down for five minutes!
3. Read stories to each other – planning a time when the kids need a rest, just before bed, or when you need time to get the dinner ready are great times to read a story together. Apps like Caribu are worth checking out as they can enable the kids and the grandparents to look at the pages of the story together whilst they read and the kids can even turn the pages with a swipe. Simple yet effective.
4. Set each other challenges – video yourselves setting a challenge for the grandparents to complete. Maybe Grandma and Grandpa could see how many catches they can make and then send their video to the kids to see if they can beat it? So begins a set of challenges that can last for weeks!
5. Take part in an online class – Grandparents and grandkids can connect by attending one of the huge array of online classes listed here together such as music, dance, science, signing or even coding! Just set up a video call where the grandparents can watch the grandkids taking part – this will give them something to chat about later too!
6. Show and tell – Kids will love this and is something that they will be very happy to do. Let them find their favourite object of the day, or maybe complete a lego challenge and share it with the grandparents over a video call.
7. Cook together – Why not have a bake off? Set up a Zoom call where parents and grandparents agree to bake the same dish at the same time, with the kids helping in the kitchen. Lots of opportunity to chat together and you’ll have snacks/dinner ready at the end – winner!
8. Play ‘Simon Says’ – simple and easy to play over a video call. Simply set up the call and get playing! A fun activity which can be as long or as short as you wish it to be.
9. Random Act of Kindness – This is a goodie, pick a day where you both will perform a random act of kindness. For example: tidy up the toys after each play session or sing some songs to granddad; and at the end of the day ring each other to share how it went.
10. Hide and Seek with a twist – this requires a little planning but if you can hide treats around the house in predetermined spots, the grandparent can give clues over the phone or via a video call, as to where the treats are hidden. The ‘treats’ can be anything you want them to be, or even toys like little dinosaurs or small world people - this is always good fun.
And there you have it, some great activities to keep the grandparents connected with the grandkids!
If there is anything, we are learning from what it means to be in lock down it is that self-isolation does not mean we need to be lonely. Our world is changing but our relationships don’t need to.