Children missing grandparents and grandparents longing for time with grandchildren. Distance can make for long stretches without personal “hellos” and hugs. Fortunately, technology has made virtual face to face time possible and Zoom Games and Activities are one way to stay connected in a meaningful way.
With grandchildren of all ages, it is best to begin with low expectations and short exchanges. It can also be helpful to do a little planning ahead of time. With young children, keep in mind that their adults will need to assist with setting a time, logging in and perhaps participating or hovering to get the activity going.
Zoom Games & Activities
- I Spy…
Enjoy the classic game ‘I Spy with my little eye…’ and whoever guesses correctly gets to take a bite of a cookie or to add a penny to their pile.
- Sharing A Book Together
For young children, send a picture book and get the same copy for yourself. Begin by asking your grandchild to do a “picture walk” through the book. What do they see? What do they think the book might be about? Read the book to your grandchild while you turn pages together.
For older grandchildren, create a Zoom Book Club. Schedule an initial Zoom to discuss interests and reading level. Pick a book together. Send it to your grandchild and get the same copy for yourself. Name your book club and agree on a meeting schedule. Begin by reading the first chapter together, alternating pages, to generate enthusiasm.
- Cooking With A Grandchild
Making cookies can be a fun and delicious Zoom Activity experience. Send the recipe and ingredients or a list of ingredients to the child and their parents and gather materials for yourself. Read the recipe together while each creating the yummy treat. While the cookies are baking, plan another cooking activity to enjoy together in the future. Extend the experience and excitement by sending a special cookie cutter through the mail with the recipe.
- Pizza Night
This is an easy, stress free way to eat and chat together. Zoom just as pizza is scheduled to come out of both ovens or arrive at your homes. Looking for conversation topics? Send a joke book to your grandchild ahead of Pizza Night and take turns reading jokes.
- Movie Night
Send your grandchild a packet of microwave popcorn and an invitation to a Movie Night. You can watch each other, watching a favorite movie. Take breaks and chat about favorite parts, songs, characters. Enjoy the shared laughter and shrieks!
- Card Games
A deck of cards can be a fun, simple way to connect with a grandchild. Both of you will need a deck. With the deck face down, you each pull the top card and show it to each other. The highest card wins. For a competitive grandchild, you can each create win/lose piles and count the cards when you are finished. For a young child just learning about numbers and quantity, you might play with only cards numbered 1-5.
- Drawing Together
Send your grandchild a pad of plain drawing paper, crayons and an invitation to a Zoom Drawing Party. Begin by “free” drawing together. Try drawing each other’s faces. Create together asking your grandchild to use specific directions to instruct you in your drawing. Have an art show of your creations, celebrating the colors and shapes.
- A Nature Walk
Using a pad or a phone, venture out into nature together for a Zoom Adventure. Play “I SPY” taking turns suggesting items and sharing the visual finds. Suggest hunting for specific colors and shapes. Listen for and share the sounds, both natural and man made.
Zoom Activities can be great fun but success often requires a willingness to pivot and go with the flow. A little planning can make for memorable connections. And, wonderful plans can also be put on hold and offered again at different times.
Want to capture these experiences and preserve them for remembering together? Take screenshots or pictures with your camera of the Zoom Games. Compile them at the end of the year in a picture book of your own making or by using a company like Shutterfly. Another Zoom Game opportunity to enjoy a book full of shared memories.
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