Creative Ideas for Playing with Grandchildren When You Can’t Be Together

If you and your grandchildren are stuck at home this week – but not in the SAME home – here are some great ideas to pass the time together across the miles. A perfect opportunity to practice your heritage language or learn a new language together!

Low tech ideas:

  1. Write letters to each other. Everyone loves to get mail! Print a simple message that the younger children can read and answer. For older children: ask them interesting questions or challenge them to solve a problem or create something for you. At any age, it can be fun to write back to grandparents who will certainly appreciate a picture, a joke, or an interesting response.
  2. Create or find interesting pictures, glue them on some cardboard (cereal box? ) and cut into puzzle pieces to mail to each other.
  3. Write a little story about a special memory of your childhood or a funny time you got into trouble, or a sweet memory you have of spending time with your grandchild. Then, call each other to talk about it and plan for more stories.

High tech ideas:

  • First – figure out how to connect with your grandchild with some kind of video chat like Skype, Facetime, or Zoom. Then, think ahead to have things on both sides of the connection that you and your grandchild can play with together to pass the time.
    • Play card or board games together
    • Choose a simple recipe you both can make – and make a pretend cooking show. (for a hilarious model – search YouTube for Roman’s Cooking Show!)
    • Learn a new skill together. You can practice off camera, then show each other your progress – or teach each other on camera. Try juggling, music, origami, yoga positions, or sign language.
    • Take the camera on the move. Do a remote scavenger hunt, or watch the birds in the back yard together or take a walk down the street to the park. 
    • Practice singing or chatting in a new or familiar language.
  • Get creative with email or text messages:
    • Send riddles back and forth
    • Create a progressive story – you write the first line, grandchild writes the second line and sends back to you for more.
    • Build a family tree together – take turns interviewing family members and adding photos
    • Create a story by taking photos around your house of items that mean something to you and tell the story of how you got them and why you enjoy them. 
  • If you run out of ideas….. DANCE PARTY!!! Just turn on some music and go a little crazy together. What a great way to win the social isolation game!

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