How To Stay Connected To Your Grandchildren When They Aren’t Around

When you become a grandma, something inside you changes. Yes, the same thing happened when we had our children, but there is something extra special about grandchildren and getting to enjoy them without the stress of having to be the parent!

While we needed breaks when our children were young, we cannot get enough of this next generation, so much so that we want to see and interact with them as much as humanly possible (without annoying our sons and daughters-in-law too much). Thankfully, there are so many ways to stay connected with our grandchildren who live far away.

Talk With Them Via Video Chat

Woman with her children Facetiming
Alexander Dummer

This may seem like a no-brainer but it is still worth noting, as video chatting is just as easy as talking on the phone, but you get to see their faces, toys, and anything else they want to show you. I have also found that video chatting regularly helps with “stranger anxiety” so that whenever we get together in person, it’s like picking up where we left off! The main one most people like to use is FaceTime, but there are also video apps such as Facebook Messenger, Zoom, Skype, Google Hangout, etc.

How about a device dedicated to this? Like the Echo Show! What did we do before Amazon? (I can tell you what I did but would prefer not to date myself…) Not only has Jeff Bezos made buying everyday essentials a breeze, but he has also made it easier to stay in touch with family (specifically the grands)! Do you have an Alexa? The Echo Show is that, but with a screen and video calling capabilities.

Keep In Touch With Them Via Snail Mail

Snail Mail

The art of writing and sending letters is, sadly, no more, yet there is nothing that makes my grandkids more excited than going to the mailbox and seeing something with their name! Whether it’s a postcard, a letter with a crisp $2 bill, or a package of fun things you found at Dollar Tree, you are guaranteed to make their day and deepen your connection! On that note…

Send a letter every week! A friend told me about this and it melted my heart! Every week, she sends her new grandbaby a letter, which her parents are storing away for her to read when she’s older. This is such a sweet and easy thing to do and one that will be cherished for years to come.

Write Journal Entries Together

A notebook with a pencil
Jan Kahánek

Have you seen those journals where the grand/parent fills out one part and the grand/child fills out the other? You can find them at most bookstores (or, of course, Amazon) and it gives you both a place to fill in memories, answer questions, and draw pictures. On that note, you can even buy a blank journal and write back and forth!

Play Together With Fun Game Apps

iPhone apps
Rami Al-zayat

Checkers and Candyland are fun, but if you aren’t in the same room, it’s nearly impossible to play. Enter gaming apps like Words with Friends, Yahtzee with Buddies, and Uno, where you can play together in real-time no matter where you are. The best part? Most of these interactive apps are free.

Find Shared Hobbies You Can Partake In Together

Julian Hochgesang

Do you and your grandchild(ren) have a shared interest in collecting certain things, cooking, being outside, etc.? This is a fun idea, as you may not be able to do all of the collecting, baking, and hiking together, but you can do these things apart and then send pictures, talk on the phone, or videochat to share stories! Don’t have a shared hobby? Consider jewelry making, coin or rock collecting, following the same sports team, genealogy, reading certain books, and/or drawing.

Make Plans Ahead Of Time

Making Popcorn
Meg Boulden

Whether your visit is coming soon or is still far off, it is never too early to begin talking about what you want to do when you’re reunited! The next time you talk, ask your grandchild what they would like to do and add your own fun suggestions (think going to a movie, park outing with ice cream, or baking cookies). This will give you a chance to bond and give you even more to look forward to the next time you’re together.

Have Virtual Storytime With Them

Reading your child a book
Ben Griffiths

Who says you have to be together to enjoy a picture book? Make a standing date where you read the grands a story via phone or video chat. To make this tradition even more special, ask their parents to set out a treat (or mail some!) for them to enjoy while they bond with grandma. (Psst… Hallmark makes recordable storybooks that let YOU be the narrator.)

When we were kids, it seemed as though we (and all of our friends) lived within miles of our grandparents and were used to weekly dinners, sitting together at church, and walking to their house whenever we pleased. Sadly, this is now more the exception than the rule, which is why I am especially grateful for all of these more modern ways to stay connected with the grandkids! 🙂

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