Ways to Bring Kids and Grandparents Together Across the Miles
With the current economy, many family budgets will not allow travel to see dear grandparents a few times each year. Perhaps these ideas bring everyone a bit closer.
For the times when one can’t visit with family, there are several ways to keep close to them. Try a variety of ideas ranging from the use of modern technology via the internet to old-fashioned letter writing.
Many grandparents are fast becoming internet and computer savvy. According to an article published by Susannah Fox of Pew Internet, more seniors aged 65 and above have internet access and browse the web regularly.
Use the Internet to Keep in Touch
Sending grandparents email messages with pictures attached of children is very popular. It is a quick and easy way to keep grandparents up to date on what the kids are doing and how their appearance has changed. Kids can also have fun making funny cards online with clip art and pictures. This instant hug is a surefire way to brighten someone’s day. Webcams and messaging apps can take the interaction to another level. Why not talk and see each other just like you are right there?
Phone Services Now More Affordable
Shop around a bit and you will probably find that most long distance phone plans have come down in price over the years. In many markets, the cell phone’s unlimited evening and weekend minutes offer the best option for calling grandparents long distance. In some cases, you may even include them in the “family share plan” with minutes and/or cell phones to decrease the cost for all.
Hearing a loved one’s voice on the phone beats email any day. As for kids, it is sometimes hard to get them to come to the phone and talk. Grandparents just want to hear the sound of their voices too. Consider playing games on the phone! Kids may love to play Twenty Questions, tell jokes, work a crossword puzzle together or any age-appropriate game you would play on a road trip because it is a verbal game.
You can also have the grandparents tell family stories to the kids, even if they have heard them before. Have the grandparents get the kids talking. They can ask them about their interests, school, friends, or anything that is important to the child.
Letter Writing Not a Thing of the Past
The handwritten word is so personal and provides the family with a keepsake to look back on later. The same topics you discuss on the phone can be discussed in a letter too. If writing is difficult for the grandparent, consider asking them to make audio letters on cassette for the grandchildren. Children may also have fun making a video tape or DVD film for the grandparents. Grandparents can read books or sing on their recordings. Kids can record a weekly discussion about their activities or sing songs too.
Gift-Giving Helps to Keep Traditions Alive
Gift and goodie boxes are a great way to share a bit of love with grandparents and their grandkids. As the holidays and family occasions approach, of course sending presents to each other is an option. But what about also trying to keep holiday traditions alive too? Grandkids can keep a Christmas Advent calendar and discuss the countdown with grandparents on the phone or email. Open gifts over the phone so the giver can hear the joy in the recipient’s voice as it is opened.
Whether you are lucky enough to live near grandparents or have to keep in touch across the miles, grandparents can be a gift to children and allow them to build their heritage. Take into account all the ways that all can share old memories and make more for the future.