Forging Family Ties
Fun ways that grandparents and grandkids can bondBy Brandpoint
There’s no arguing that grandparents have special relationships with their grandchildren. However, with today’s hectic family schedules and the fact that grandparents can live long distances away, it can be a challenge for everyone to stay in touch.
Here are five fun ideas for staying connected while developing closer bonds, too.
- Play games online
Technology can be a wonderful way for different generations to connect long distance. Beyond phone and video calls, schedule time for grandkids and grandparents to play virtually. There are numerous programs that let players in different locations challenge each other for cards, checkers, chess and more. Interactive sketching apps make drawing or playing tic-tac-toe a breeze from two locations. A little play can make everyone’s day.
- Video performances
If you cannot connect in-person but the kids and grandkids want to show off their talents, try a video performance! Whether it’s demonstrating the year’s dance recital choreography, practicing a new tune on the piano, or acting out a fun play, kids will enjoy showing off and grandparents will feel extra loved. Hit record and send grandparents the file afterward so they can revisit any time they’re missing the grandkids.
- Weekly phone chats
Making a weekly phone date helps ensure everyone stays in touch. Make it a convenient time for everyone involved. If your schedule changes a lot, change the time from week to week after agreeing when to call next. For those with phone plans that don’t cover the cost of long distance phone calls, consider using a cell phone provider to make those calls budget-friendly. For example, TracFone (tracfoneswitch.com) offers smartphone plans that allow you to keep your old phone number. Since they are contract-free, you can change your plan as your data needs suit.
- Enjoy books together
The written word has a way of bringing people together. Pull up video calling for the whole family to read a goodnight story together. Older kids can select a series of interest with their grandparents and read at the same time, meeting each week via a video or phone for a discussion. Perhaps Grandpa or Grandma can start by suggesting their childhood favorite, and family members can take turns selecting books from there.
- Pen pal exchanges
Yes, they still exist, and letters are special in a digital world. And kids still love to get mail. Small kids can color pictures while big kids can practice penmanship and writing skills. Grandparents and grandkids alike will love receiving fun surprises in the mail from each other. Strive to send items once a week so everyone has something to look forward to.