Grandmas typically love to be with their grandkids, but sometimes we can’t for a variety of reasons. Long-distance, sickness, or a world-wide stay-at-home ruling can be the reason, but each means hugs and kisses are temporarily set aside until things change. What activities can a grandma do when she can’t be right there? What are some super fun online things to do with your grandkids when you can’t be with them? We’ll investigate a few fun ideas here and consider ways you can generate your own list of alternative fun.
Start with What You Would Do for Fun Together
What are those things you do with the kids when you’re with them? Do you read to them, play games, do puzzles, color, paint, make cookies, watch movies? Stop now and make a list of all the things on the left side of a piece of paper or on the left side of a document. You’ll need that in a minute.
The trick is to consider how to do those things in a new way. Fortunately, we have phones with FaceTime and Zoom to allow us to feel like we’re in the very same room with our grandkids. We’ll go through a few of your activities and modify them. Then, you can complete the list and maybe add a few of our suggestions.
Get Comfortable with the Technology
In order to carry out those super fun online activities with your grandkids while you’re apart, you’ll need to get familiar (if you aren’t already) with FaceTime (I’m an iPhone girl, not sure what the Android equivalent is). Do practice calls if you’re not. The kids will help you! And, you all will have a great laugh in the process. I got to see how my oldest granddaughter re-did her bedroom a couple of days ago. It was so fun, we laughed at the clothes on the floor, so it was almost like being there.
Try Skype. And, use Skype if that’s the one you or your family are most comfortable with. I haven’t used it in quite a while, but I remember the learning curve isn’t steep and as with anything else, you can always ask Google for help!
My favorite is Zoom for meeting up with a group. Getting all the cousins together to show off their puzzles or coloring sheets or to explain their newest game app would be so cool for you and them!
Another fun app is Marco Polo. We’re new to this but have heard there is lots of fun to be had here. The filters, short videos, and group conversations will be great with grandkids! I can’t wait to try. (I’ll update the post with a review.)
Consider recording some of these get-togethers. What wonderful memories they will bring back in the years to come!
Once you’ve found your go-to online get-together tool, start thinking about how you can modify your activities in this new way. Here are a few of my suggestions! ❤️
#1 Super Fun Thing: Reading to Your Grandkids
This one’s pretty easy and can also be super fun online. It might take a little prep to find a book they like. Maybe an Amazon order or a search through the bookshelf, but just find something fun to read and hearing your voice will mean a lot to him or her.
Another activity you could do is find a recording of a story or a book. Many authors record their writing. Audible would have books to listen to, but so would your library. You might know of other sources as well. Find a favorite title, play the recording and you both can enjoy.
If you can find a title you both have, your grandchild can read along while you read aloud. Awesome reading practice for them!
#2 Super Fun Thing: Your Grandkids Reading to You
This is easier because they’ve got the book they can read and you get to listen and maybe ask some clarifying questions along the way. If they’re elementary level and still getting familiar with words and get stuck, have them start with the first sound and stretch it out through the end of the word. Using context clues will help too. Does that make sense here? Have them show you the pictures every once in a while. 🙂
Another super fun thing to do would be having them write online. You could be involved in the process or they could do that on their own time. Maybe the two of you decide on the topic. Then, after your grandchild has written and illustrated if that fits, they could read the story to you.
#3 Super Fun Thing: Cooking or Baking Together Online
You could start by sharing a recipe, so you’re both working on the same one together. If one or both of you need to substitute ingredients, that won’t be a problem. It’ll just be another part of the process to talk through and share. And, of course, you’ll get to enjoy the final results together! You could invite more family members to join you with their treats and make it a party. 🙂
Before you start your culinary project, search for recipes together. Look online or in cookbooks at home and decide on a way to share. Look at this post here on Quiet Hollow if you want to see some highly recommended cookbooks. It’s called, “My Five Favorite Cookbooks.”
While you’re checking out recipes together with your grandkids, you can talk about their format and that most recipes follow the same template every single time. You could even go a step further and create a recipe together. How fun would that be?!
#4 Super Fun Thing: Going for a Virtual Walk Together
For an older child, it could be super fun and if their parent thinks it’s safe, to go for an online walk together apart. Take your phones along to talk while you walk. You could share photos or just turn the phone around so you can each ‘see’ what the other is seeing.
Or, you could walk and talk around the house, catching each other up on things. Re-arranged furniture, new pictures on the wall, a new outfit; so many possibilities!
#5 Super Fun Thing: Working an Online Puzzle Together
During the 2020 ‘stay inside’ time, many families revived the relaxing and rewarding joy of working a puzzle together. You could simply share where you’re at with your latest puzzle over FaceTime, or you could work a puzzle together online. Check out these attractive ones at The Jigsaw Puzzles. I went to the section for kids’ jigsaws. You can work on these separately together (we’re doing a lot of that right now). There are other sites that you can invite friends to and work together.
#6 Super Fun Thing: Playing an Online Game Together
I recently heard about a mom who had her son teach her how to play Roblox! A lot of the games kids play now can be played with friends online. Why couldn’t we be one of those friends? I stumbled on this article which has a lot of Free Games to Play with your Grandkids on FaceTime.
My grandson just got me going on GamePigeon which is an app that’s associated with your texting. It will be more fun when I’m more familiar with the games and he doesn’t beat me all the time! We’re going to be sharing MadLib stories we create. Those things always make me giggle!
Take Out Your Own List of Super Fun Things
Now, it’s your turn! I’ve given you some ideas to prime your creativity pump of super fun online things to do with your grandkids and I believe you can take it from there. Think outside the box. And, let you love for your grandchildren guide you.
You have a list of fun things you would do in person with your grandkids on the left side of the paper. Now, you can jot down ideas of how you would do these activities together in a new way. Your interest and creativity will be enjoyable for you and fun for the grandkids as well! Their parents will appreciate the break from their kids’ need for attention. 🙂
Let’s Wrap it Up
Being apart from your grandkids can be hard. If the reason for your separation is short term, long term, or unknown, there are ways to ease the hurt from missing them (and them missing you). Think of ways to communicate your love to them. Grandmas can be huge cheerleaders in a grandchild’s life, so keeping up with the encouragement, good talks, and moral support are really important. Especially when you’re apart. You can even find ways to send virtual hugs and kisses!
Special occasions might take a little more ingenuity. Birthday parties and holidays can still be memory-making. And, thank goodness for Amazon! 🙂 Remember to record and save.
Offer yourself as a tutor, or at least an online school supporter. Your kids (the parents) will really appreciate that offer!
Give some of the super fun ideas here a try! Change up the things you’re doing. Do a little Google search for even more. Then, after whatever is going on for you and your grandchild is over, things will be even better than before. And, those hugs and kisses will be sweeter than ever! ❤️
Finding a new purpose in living and joy in the day-to-day was the goal when author Kathy Rowland and her entire family (adult kids and grandkids) moved from the PNW to Texas several years ago. The focus of Quiet Hollow is to encourage ‘next chapter women’ – those who are retired, empty-nesters, or have found themselves without a spouse to jump back into life. And, she shares multiple tips, ideas, and possibilities toward that end. Kathy completed her almost 30 years as an elementary teacher and hopped into over a decade of volunteer work, side hustle-type businesses, and grandchild care before discovering her unique and fulfilling purpose for the next chapter of life. What you read on Quiet Hollow is a large part of that calling. Another part is the happy life she’s leading in Central Texas in the same neighborhood as the 3 big kids and her 5 grandkids. She and her college sweetheart husband made sure to add a pool to their new Texas home, so there are lots of noisy, splashy days in their little oasis of a backyard. Come join her on Quiet Hollow in a conversation about finding and living the life you were created to live in this later stage. The chats will be full of laughter, support, faith, and inspiration to create.