My mother hasn’t seen her grandbabies since Christmas. Oh my is she itching to hold and love on them, but with COVID-19, it isn’t possible right now. Add that she is a nurse for a geriatric facility in New Jersey and it’s safe to say it will be a while before she actually gets the privilege.
It’s definitely a different world for grandparents right now, but thankfully we live in a time where we can spend time with our loved ones without actually spending time with them.
Here are 4 things to make the connection a little easier.
1. Have the kids write and mail a letter. I wish I could take credit for this one. I have a dear friend who had her three children write letters to their grandparents. For the babies too young to write letters, she had them draw pictures. She then put the letters in the mailbox and mailed them to an unsuspecting grandmother who opened them as was deleted. No one uses snail mail anymore, so how wonderful it was to receive mail and from such special people.
2. Set up a FaceTime or Zoom schedule. This is actually what my kids and I do. Every weekend (or a weekday depending on schedule), we call my mom on FaceTime. The kids usually run around in chaotic squeals, each stopping to take their time to talk to Umi about distance learning, outside walks, and new things they are learning at home. It’s a favorite part of my mom’s week and after she is done talking with the kids, she and I spend some time just having adult mommy daughter conversation. She and the children love it.
3. Watch TV together…virtually. When I was in college, my mom and I had a bonding activity where we would watch Sci-Fi movies together on the Syfy channel. These movies were usually the silliest, most non-sensical things out there, but we would watch them. She in New Jersey and I in North Carolina, every Friday at 7PM or Saturday at 11. It would be our time together and one of my fondest memories. Now, she and the kids have the opportunity to watch similar. They like Disney Jr., specifically Mickey and the Roadsters. She’ll watch it with them, make the obligatory oohs and ahs, and when it is done will send her love and farewells.
4. Do a digital/virtual scavenger hunt. The kids love this one. I create a list of things that the players must find and take a photograph of. They have to be in the photograph with the item. After their “proof” of the item is there, they send it the opposite player on the cell phone or via email. They often have “themes” like cooking, colors, back to school. It’s always fun to see the pictures that come back and the kids have a great time playing with their grandmother, even if she isn’t here.
Do you have any great ideas to keep your loved ones connected during this time of quarantine?