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Updated by Rosalie Galvez on Apr 18, 2021
Headline for 8 Ways to Be An Awesome Long Distance Grandma
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8 Ways to Be An Awesome Long Distance Grandma

Even grandparents who live just down the block from their grandchildren may be playing it safe and reducing or eliminating in-person visits right now. And parents are struggling to find new and inventive ways to maintain a close relationship between the generations.

1

THE SOCIAL DISTANCING DINNER

Many families are getting together outside when weather permits, spacing chairs out more than 6-feet apart and enjoying time together. If grandparents are close by, this makes an easy way to keep in close contact. Many families have a standing weekly date. Others take a more casual approach.

2

READ A BOOK TOGETHER

My mother calls my 8-year-old daughter at 10:30 each morning for another chapter of The Borrowers. This connection not only serves to keep her connected with her grandmother, but has all the benefits of reading aloud, such as building her vocabulary and giving her a positive attitude toward reading.

3

ONLINE GAMES

Just because you can’t get together in person doesn’t mean that game night is out of the question! There are many opportunities to play online games such as Scrabble Go or Spyfall. Additionally, apps such as Together or Houseparty are great options for grandparents and children to play together. Just as traditional board games offer educational benefits during play, online games can help develop skills such as vocabulary and math.

4

TEXTING AND EMAIL

This one may seem obvious, but it’s still a great way to practice writing while putting a smile on Grandma or Grandpa’s face!

5

THE POST OFFICE

Personal correspondence is always uplifting, and is a great improvement over the usual stack of bills and junk mail. The Touchnote app allows children to mail postcards from a phone complete with a picture. As an added bonus, kids get to practice their writing skills and conventions of letter writing.

6

VIDEO CHAT

Many families are using Zoom and FaceTime to keep grandparents and grandkids connected. My own family has established a weekly Zoom call with my parents, brother, nephews and children all participating on the same call.

Jen Morrison, a grandmother of three, is keeping up via FaceTime since she can’t have her usual visits in person. “We have lots of FaceTime calls with our 1-year-old granddaughter in Arkansas,” Morrison says. “Usually it’s when she’s eating dinner, because that’s the only time she’s pretty stationary, and she likes the entertainment while eating. It’s a great way for us to keep up with her.”

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