Nurturing and long-distance relationships with the grandkids can be a challenge, but now with Covid-19 and social distancing online gatherings are the new norm. Whether you’ve been in regular contact with your grandchildren or not, it’s a great time now to make memories with them online!
Tip: Schedule a short meeting, so a fun time doesn’t become a drag because it went on for too long.
1. Help Your Grandkids Do Their Homework
Their parents are probably pretty maxed out trying to work at home and be their kids’ teachers. You can offer to be their social distancing homework, buddy. This can simply mean you sit online with them while they do their school work.
If they have a question, they can ask you. If they don’t, you are at least there on the other end of the screen, maybe reading to yourself, etc. but your grandkid won’t feel as alone.
A lot of times kids don’t actually need help with the subject, but they often need someone to sit with them – it helps them stay focused and accountable to their work.
2. Find Out What Your Grandkids Are Reading
Read the same book and discuss it with them. Ask questions and listen – you might be surprised at the wisdom and insight they have into their reading.
When boomers were growing up comic books of a short length were the rage. Introduce your grandkids to your type of comic book. In the 1980’s longer length comics became popular – – coined graphic novels. Let them introduce you to their favorite graphic novel. Which characters are their favorites?
3. Play Social Distancing Charades
You’ll have fun acting silly, and they will enjoy seeing you try to communicate without your words. Choose movie titles, songs or books that you all know. Then have fun acting them out and get the grandkids to guess the answer. Then give them a turn to choose one to act out for you to guess. Remember the more dramatic the acting the more fun it will be.
4. Have Fun With Music!
Ask your middle or high school grandkids to introduce you to a song or music video they like and listen with them. Then share one you like – maybe one that was popular when you were their age. Bonus points if you can show each other a dance that goes with the music!
If you are up for a challenge – choose a music video and then learn the dance together! The goal is participation and fun not perfection!
5. Read to The Younger Ones
Kids love it when you read to them! Even elementary-age kids who can read themselves love to be read to. Choose a classic like The Chronicles of Narnia. They can draw pictures of the story as you read to them.
6. Ask Your Grandkids to Put on a Show For You
Even kids who seem to be too old for such a request might be up for it and really enjoy it. Maybe they sing, dance or play an instrument and can do a mini concert for you.
Tell the older ones stories about beatniks and how people would snap their fingers to poetry readings and music. Share poems that are meaningful to each of you.
7. Blackjack is Great For Developing Addition Skills
Blackjack can be fun and help kids with their addition skills. Each of you has a regular deck of cards. Whoever wins the hand puts those cards in a separate stack. Whoever has the larger pile at the end of the deck is the winner.! Other card games can also be modified to play over Skype. Social distancing Poker anyone?!
8. Color With Them
Get coloring books or paper and just sit and chat and color. Take pictures of their masterpieces. Choose a theme or just do an abstract. Studies have shown that coloring calms the body down just like meditation does. So enjoy relaxing and chatting while you both color.
9. Do a Crossword Puzzle
Ask them for help with a crossword puzzle. Let them look up answers while you fill in the blanks or vice versa. Even if you are a hardcore crossword puzzler and never ask for help – have fun with letting your grandkids assist you.
10. Create Vision Boards
You’ll each just need a couple of magazines, some poster-board or cardboard, glue, and scissors. Each of you cut pictures and words that inspire you and glue them on your board to help you stay motivated and focused on your dreams.
Summary: The stereotype of boomers is that they are averse to using technology. Show your grandkids how cool you are by using Skype or Zoom and having some fun one on one time with them. Don’t worry that meeting online seems artificial and awkward. Because of social distancing, it may be the new normal. You will quickly get used to it and will love nurturing those adorable grandkids even when you can’t see them in person!