Staying Close While Far Apart: Fun Ways Grandparents and Grandkids Bridge the Gap

Life as we know it has changed drastically due to social distancing and stay-at-home orders. Friends and family are missed, and grandparents are feeling that pain even more as they miss out on quality time and important milestones with their grandchildren. While nothing can replace a hug and a kiss, here are some methods for grandparents to maintain strong connections with their grandchildren and make the most of this time apart.

Send letters the old-fashioned way

A simple handwritten letter or card can be exciting for young children, making them feel special and maintaining your presence in their lives. Here are some fun ideas to make snail mail more engaging:

  • Write a collaborative story. Come up with an exciting story starter and mail it to your grandchild. They can then add their own ideas and send it back to you. Remember to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope as encouragement!
  • Create add-on drawings for the more artistically inclined. Start drawing something simple and fun, then send it to your grandchild to complete.
  • Send a care package. With kids cooped up inside, find and send engaging activities such as coloring books, crayons, or card games to keep them entertained. You can also order items online and have them sent directly to their home.

Make the most of technology

The modern world offers various technologies to stay connected, so take advantage of them:

  • Send texts, including photos if you can. Regular contact will help you feel closer to your grandkids.
  • Use platforms like Zoom or Facetime to engage with your grandchildren in real-time. You can read stories, see their creations, or even have virtual dinners together.
  • Offer to help with schoolwork. Parents may be struggling with juggling work and homeschooling, so your assistance could be greatly appreciated.

Have fun and play games

Online platforms can also be a great way to arrange interactive activities:

  • Host a movie night, start a book club, or play charades all using Zoom or Facetime.
  • Read Flat Stanley together. This book involves a character who ends up being only ½ an inch thick, meaning he can travel through the mail. Get a copy for your grandchild and mail your own Flat Stanley versions between your homes, narrating his adventures along the way.

In these difficult times, both grandparents and grandchildren will appreciate making an extra effort to stay connected. While it may be challenging to adapt to these new circumstances, the important thing is ensuring our relationships stay strong and full of love. By implementing some of these methods and making the most of technology, grandparents can still be an active presence in their grandchildren’s lives until they can be physically reunited. So, get creative, be patient, and keep love flowing through these new channels!