2020 has been challenging on every front and the knock on effects will probably continue through the first part of 2021. One of the toughest challenges has been not being able to see loved ones and I know my friends, who are grandparents, have felt they are missing out on so much with their grandchildren. So I asked some of the ‘Grannies’ that I know if they can recommend some online activities to do with your grandchildren.
Just because you live far away or are currently precluded from being with your grandchildren doesn’t mean that you can’t do things with them. We live in a fabulous world of technology where interacting with those Littles that live can be a breeze! If you want to spend the afternoon with them…..do it!
THE PAGE TURNER
Jane has five grandchildren and was thrilled to be asked to get involved with the Gingerbread House Project as her three older grandchildren love to bake.
The Gingerbread House Project
This is a creative, unique way for families and friends to enjoy some wholesome festive fun and celebrate together this yuletide in a bid to beat the blues and spread some much needed Christmas cheer. What makes this campaign even more special is that you can get involved too – and you could even win a prize if you really impress Chums with your baking skills!
The rules are easy. Simply bake and decorate your very own gingerbread house, send Chums a photo of it and you’ll be entered into the Chums amazing Gingerbread House Project competition. You’ll be in with the chance of winning a fantastic Christmas hamper worth £100, or one of our two brilliant runner up prizes.
So what are you waiting for? Get your apron and mixing bowl at the ready! To take it up a notch, you could even challenge your loved ones to your own contest via video chat and vote who has made the best gingerbread house!
Here is the link to get involved with this project ~ click HERE
Jane and her grandchildren threw themselves into this project and had a lot of fun watching each other via video link. I think there was a lot of sweet eating whilst they made the gingerbread house and decorated it. However the end result was very special and Jane told me it was lovely chatting with her grandchildren whilst they were doing something else as it was a relaxed way of interacting.
My younger grandchildren live in Australia and I miss them desperately. Of course the time clock in Australia is inconvenient and makes doing things with the little ones a tad difficult. I do joke telling with my 7 year old grandson!
However I have older grandchildren living in the UK and I am preparing a family quiz with my 18 year old granddaughter. Sadly teenagers prefer to sleep rather than do things with Granny! They are all better cooks than I so cooking online together is not an option as I cannot pass on any great culinary skills.
Click HERE for an online quiz maker.
During the first lockdown I was often called on to ‘babysit’ online via Zoom so that Edie’s mother could do some work (she is a journalist). However it is challenging to keep the attention of a 7yr old whilst trying to read to them. Before lockdown I saw, at a friend’s house, a Facebook Portal, which means no more “Wait… I can’t see you.” Portal’s Smart Camera automatically adjusts to stay with the action, whether you’re moving around the kitchen or chasing the kids through the living room, or as in Edie’s case, doing a dance for me. With Story Time you can become some of your favourite story book characters with music, animation and AR effects.
The other game that Edie and I have enjoyed doing together, online, is Houseparty. They have some great games including Uno and Karaoke. These have provided hours of fun. However I am looking forward to seeing Edie in the flesh over Christmas and spending some real time with her as nothing can replace her hugs.
DEIRDRE – Grace’s sister:
Like Jane, I am a big fan of the Facebook Portal. I ask my grandchildren to show me simple drawings or paintings that they have done. They like it even better if my husband and I join in and show them our (stick men) drawings! We can also play musical instruments together, despite being in two separate locations.
Another game on the Portal is to take turns choosing a letter of the alphabet and then everyone dashes around their own house to find something beginning with that letter. The first person who gets back in front of the screen gets a point. Sounds a bit odd, but the kids absolutely love it. Or, ask everyone to find something eg. something furry. I came back with a hat and my grandchild came back with the dog!
Another one of my online activities with my grandchildren is to ask them to get ingredients in advance and then I’ll give them a cookery cookery lesson (obviously with a grown-up at their end keeping an eye on things).
Apart from the very useful Portal, you can communicate with your grandchildren on the phone/Zoom/Whatsapp video. Say you are chatting with an 8 year old grandchild, tell them a funny story about when you were the same age. If you have kept your old school reports, ask the grandchildren to get theirs and compare grades etc (can be really funny, especially if grandparents got worse grades than their grandchildren did).
SOME OTHER SUGGESTIONS ONLINE ACTIVITIES:
Grow your own flowers…together
Send your grandchildren a small planting set – pot, seeds, soil, maybe some small tools, watering can, gloves, etc. You keep some of the same seeds. When they get the package, plan a time to video chat and plant the seeds while they do the same. Every week compare your plant’s growth and see how they are doing.
Long Distance Grandparent Activity – Use the Marco Polo App:
Send quick video messages when time zones are just too far apart. You can do this through the Marco Polo app – It’s FREE! If you aren’t familiar with the app, it bills itself as the “video walkie talkie.” You can save the videos so that you can have an ongoing video conversation. Life is busy. Marco Polo works when you have a moment to talk, even if your schedules don’t match. Unlike other video apps, you don’t need to be live.
Try it out! It’s awesome for long distance grandparents! Have fun with doodles and voice filters, too!
It’s available in the App store but for more info click HERE
Online Jigsaw puzzles
I got quite carried away when I found these online jigsaw puzzles. You and your grandchildren can each be doing a puzzle and there is a timer so you can see who does it the fastest. You can also each do the same puzzle but your grandchild can do it with less pieces e.g. 40 whilst you can do it with 200+ and then see who gets it completed quicker. And the best bit is you don’t lose any of the pieces!
Click HERE to go to the online jigsaw website.
I hope this has given you some new ideas. Please share with us any online activities you have enjoyed with your grandchildren online.