If your kids live away from their grandparents or they can’t easily visit them at the moment, then it’s important for both kids and their Nanas and Papas to keep connected – and these creative ways to keep kids in touch with grandparents are just the ticket!
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Because of our jobs, my husband and I live away from our families, so our kids have had to have a different kind of relationship with their grandparents. But the good news is they are very close to their grandparents because we do have regular contact and make efforts in different ways since we can’t visit them.
If you’re looking for ways to keep kids in touch with grandparents because you can’t visit, here are some great suggestions.
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Easy Ways to Keep Kids In Touch With Grandparents
Ok, I know this sounds a bit obvious, but with all the communication tools and technology we have, it’s sometimes easy to forget about actually making a voice call!
Grandparents love to hear the sound of their grandchildren’s voices and they are the generation that grew up with the good old telephone after all.
Now that we are used to using more technological approaches to contact, video calls are easy to make. We use either Skype, Zoom, Facetime or Whatsapp. My mum and I even tried out Facebook Messenger’s video call option recently and it worked reasonably well too.
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Write a Letter
Go really old school and get your child to write a letter to post to Grandma and Grandpa. I guarantee this will be treasured!
If your child isn’t writing yet, they could draw a picture or handprint art which can be posted. Posting a letter in the letterbox is also a novelty for children, we just don’t send or receive letters the way we used to.
Send a Postcard
Shorter and quicker to write than a letter, a postcard can also be fun for grandparents to receive.
This is a lovely idea – An Post has launched a “Come Together. Write Now” campaign encouraging communities to stay in touch during this unprecedented period of social distancing and isolation. It’s a great opportunity to stay in touch and keep spirits up while those we love are cooped up at home. They are delivering 2 postcards to every house in Ireland which you can write and post for free.
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Send a Greeting Card
There are several online companies, such as Moonpig and Funky Pigeon, which offer a paid greeting card service. You choose the card you want, personalise it with a message, pay online and they will send it out to your chosen recipient.
Send an eCard
If your parents are on email, there are eCard services that your child can use to send an eCard to their grandparents. 123greetings.com and BlueMountain.com offer free ecards, and there are other paid services like Hallmarkecards.com as well.
Write an Email
If your child is old enough to type, why not set them up with an email address (or use yours) to email their grandparents? Most kids are not really used to using email so this is a novelty for them as well. And looking in the inbox to see if Grandpa replied is fun!
Record a Video
Why not have your child record a little video for their grandparents? It could be them just chatting, telling a story, singing a song, or sharing an activity they are doing or showing off a drawing or LEGO creation they made.
You can host videos privately on YouTube or Vimeo so that only the person who receives the video link can view it.
Record a Voice Message
For something a bit different, why not record an audio or voice message from your child? Most smartphones offer a recording option or you can record on your laptop/computer and send by email then.
I’m sure this seems a bit obvious again, but your child might enjoy texting your mum and/or your dad on your phone if they are too young. Why not suggest they use only emojis for their next SMS and see if Grandma and Grandpa can reply in emoji too!
Chat on iMessage or Whatsapp
Free chat options abound nowadays what with iMessage (if both sender and recipient have Apple products) or Whatsapp which are very popular for keeping in touch with family members.
Send a Mini Care Package
Does your child’s grandparent have a favourite sweetie? Make up a mini care package to post to them. Include some drawings from your child, maybe even a printed recent photo of them, little things to make them smile when they open their package.
Make a Movie
Maybe your child would be up for making a movie to send to their grandparents. iMovie is fun if you have an iPhone or iPad, and they could even dress up and write a script story for it.
Or if you have an unused digital video camera, why not set them loose with it?
Make a Photo Sequence
Get your child to pick out some recent photos that you have saved and make a little photo story out of them to send to their Nana and Papa – these could be printed or sent electronically. Have your child write little descriptions about what’s going on in each photo.
Make a Shared Photo Album
Create a Story
Your child might like to create a story for their grandparents, and maybe even illustrate it. It could be a story about something they have been doing or a completely creative made-up one with them as the hero.
Or maybe you could play Consequences by chat or email!
Make a Shared Playlist
You can create a collaborative playlist on services like Spotify where the playlist owner can give access to other users have access to add other tracks. This could be a fun way to share favourite songs.
Create a Family Tree Together
Have your child interview one or both of their grandparents, and write or draw the stories that they tell about their childhood and other relatives.
Older kids could put together a family tree with the help of their grandparents.
Play a Game Together Online
This could be where you plan an actual board game like Boggle using Facetime or Skype, where each person can see the game and then writes down their list of words.
Or it could be using a game app like Words With Friends where you take it in turns to play each other.
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What other suggestions do you have for ways to keep kids in touch with grandparents when you can’t visit them? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!