Being quarantined due to the coronavirus – and being separated from friends and family – isn’t easy, especially when it comes to grandparents and their grandchildren. Because COVID-19 disproportionally affects older adults, it’s more important than ever to maintain proper social distance.
The good news: There are lots of ways you can still stay in touch and keep that special generational bond going. Luckily, there are numerous video chat options (i.e. Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Google Duo Video) along with the good ‘ole telephone. Challenging times call for creative solutions; what follows are easy solutions for maintaining closeness, despite being far apart.
Play a game. Set a date for Words with Friends or UNO, allowing grandparents to play with grandkids from afar.
Start a book club. One day have your child pick a book; the other day the grandparent. And then have one read to the other and vice versa (age depending). For more variety, expand the club to include other family members.
Cook together. This is another virtual activity where you either make dinner as a family together (and perhaps try a new recipe with everyone cooking at the same time) – or set up the computer so you can all eat “together.” Baking is another activity worth trying.
Organize a remote play date. Schedule time to virtually connect at the same time each day so kids (and grandparents) have something to look forward to. Plan an art activity, a virtual dance party, a game or a song, or just leave time for chatting.
Send cards or letters. Who doesn’t love getting mail? Sending letters back and forth – with stamps! (remember those?) — is one way for kids and grandparents to stay connected. Encourage kids to draw a picture or write something about their day.
Call. While video conferencing is great, nothing beats an old-fashioned phone call.
Say hi from the driveway. If you live close, drive over, put the car windows down and say hello from the driveway or curb.
Remind them this is temporary. Let kids know you’ll be able to spend time with each other again once the spread of the virus has slowed down or ceased.