As Grandparents, we want to keep in touch with our Grandchildren, so that when we see each other, we aren’t strangers. Staying connected is not always easy, so here are some ideas for keeping close by staying in touch with your Grandchildren.
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Unique Ways for Staying in Touch with Grandchildren
Whether you’re a long-distance Grandparent or you live close by, you would love to keep a close relationship with your Grandkids. It takes a little effort, but staying in touch is so worth it!
The problem is that with really little ones it’s impossible to have a conversation.
And with older kids and teenagers, it’s difficult to hold their interest.
So, what are you supposed to do? How do you make a connection with Grandkids and stay in touch with them?
Focus on the Family has some answers. Check it out then come back here. Because we have some answers for you, too. Take a look and see if you can use any of these ideas for staying in touch with your Grandkids. I’ll bet there is something here that you and your Grandchildren would enjoy doing together.
To start off, I have to mention FaceTime, even though I know you’re aware that this is an option. What you might not think of though, are ways to use FaceTime that will keep your Grandchild engaged. At least the younger ones.
Don’t just talk to them, DO something with them.
For younger kids: Read them a book, play a game with them, sing a song you used to sing to their parent. Play peek-a-boo (no matter how ridiculous you feel). Share a toy. Cuddle and feed your teddy bears or baby dolls together. You get the idea. Engage them to keep their interest. Smile. Make it fun.
For older kids: Play a game. Help them work a puzzle. Read chapter books, one chapter each session and take turns reading aloud. Take them somewhere virtually. If you visit the zoo, FaceTime them while you’re there and show them the giraffes. When you’re at the fair, share a ride on the Ferris Wheel.
FaceTime can be used so many fun ways. Find something you enjoy or something new to share. Use your imagination. Ask them what they’d like to do with you. And listen…
This Grandma knows how to use FaceTime!
Sending small gifts
If you have more than a few Grandchildren, sending gifts may not be practical. But, if you only have a few (or just two like me), find an occasion like “Hot Chocolate Day” (January 31) and send them a packet of hot chocolate or “National Pet Day” (April 11) and send them a treat for their pet.
These small tokens say simply “I’m thinking about you”. It’s one more little way to stay in touch.
Send them a picture of you together
Having a photo for them to look at will remind them of you. Especially one where you are together doing something. You’re probably seen my photo with my Grands from a Halloween party a few years ago.
They still remember and talk about this because they’ve looked at the photo so many times.
When my Grandkids were younger, I had pictures of each of them as babies with their Great-grandparents on a shelf at my house. Each time they came over, they had to look at the photos would say “Is that me?” and then name their Great-Grandparents. Now that they are older, they remember their Great-Grandparents when they see them. (Aren’t they lucky to still have 4 Great-Grandparents?)
You could even go so far as to create a simple photo book for their birthday, Christmas, or just because. These photo books or any of these photo gifts are not so expensive and would be great for kids.
This is a fun way to connect with your Grandkids, whether they live close by or far away. Send them a scavenger hunt, they set a convenient time to do it (with their parents, if necessary) and then involve you, no matter where you are in the world. See more about the Nature Scavenger Hunt.
The scavenger hunt idea can work well for other types of games, too.
Play chess or checkers. Set up a board, then use FaceTime to play or just text pictures of your moves to each other.
I had to include these awesome Friendship Lamps in this list. Have you seen these? They work through your WiFi. When you touch your lamp, the other lamp will light the same color to let them know you are thinking of them. The lamps can be in different locations anywhere in the world and it works. So cool, right? Don’t ask me how. It must be magic!
Kids love to get letters in the mail. Or anything else, for that matter. If you’re close or far away, it doesn’t matter. They still like to get mail. Something with their name on it. Just for them. A full blown letter, a note, or a simple postcard from your vacation would all work to make them feel special and remind them you’re thinking about them.
Send a message of encouragement
For older Grandkids — When you know it’s a big day at school, there’s an important ballgame or gymnastics competition, or you’ve heard about an accomplishment, send a message of encouragement to your Grandchild. If you know they have been struggling with something, feeling down or experienced a disappointment, that, too, would be a good time to send a quick message.
Using text or Messenger is better than posting on their Facebook page. They will appreciate your support, but also appreciate that you’ve kept it private. If you HAVE to post on their page, a simple heart, thumbs up, or “way to go” might be more appropriate than a more lengthy comment. And it might save them from possible kidding from friends.
Another way to be there for your Grandkids is through Open When Letters. These are letters that you compose all at one time and send in a bundle or box to your Grand. Each one is for a different situation. Open when you feel down, open when you feel happy, open when you pass a hard test, open when you really mess up. When they find themselves in a particular situation, they can open one of your letters of praise, encouragement or words of wisdom. Find out more about Open When letters.
For young Grandkids — A recordable storybook is a great way to stay connected when you’re not personally able to visit with your Grandkids often. When they want someone to read a story to them, there you are. Hearing your voice will help them become familiar with you and how you sound. They will feel like they already know you a little next time you meet in person.
Ok, I have to admit, I don’t know much about online gaming. But I know that my brother-in-law plays games online with his adult boys who live many miles away. They stay connected and have fun together playing whatever it is they play. If you have Grandchildren who live far away, and you’re at all interested, ask them to show you how to play. Then, when they find themselves needing a partner, they just might call you up and ask you to play. Crazy, right?
Keep in touch with your Grandkids
So, no matter where you are in the world, with a little effort you can stay in touch with your Grandkids. Find something they like to do, find a schedule that works for you and their parents, and take a little time to connect with your Grandchildren.
Keep in touch.
And Keep Passing Down the Love,