Home Activities 6 Ideas for things to do long distance with grandchildren

6 Ideas for things to do long distance with grandchildren

by Adrienne

This is a guest post written by my parents. Since Covid-19 and confinement, we have been trying to find ways that grandparents can still be active with their grandkids especially in the minority language from a distance. Below are their ideas for kids ages 5 and up!

We are Dotty and Charlie and are the proud Grandparents of three rambunctious, beautiful, brilliant grandchildren. We love them to the stars and back. Sounds ordinary, but the rest of the story is, they live in Paris, France and we live in Kentucky in the USA. We speak English; they speak a combination of French, Turkish and English. There is never a dull moment or lack of things to talk about when we video chat, but we all love games and music.

Here are some of our favorites:

Family Sing Along – all ages

  • Sing songs your children liked – Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Row Row Row your boat, The Ants go Marching, ABC song, Mary Had a little Lamb
  • Pick a family song just for you all. Ours is You are My Sunshine. Sing it often.
  • Have Grandchildren teach you a new song, one they are learning at school or church, mosque, synagogue.
  • Watch a music video together (G rated) and sing along. For example, music from a movie the grandchildren like.
  • For Multicultural/Multilingual Families, sing an ethnic traditional song in the ethnic language.

Play a musical instrument.

  • Grandparents play for the Grandchildren.
  • Grandchildren play for you.
  • Or if you all have recorders, share sheet music and play together.
  • Or play the same music with different instruments making a family band.
  • For Multicultural/Multilingual Families, play an ethnic traditional song in the ethnic language.

Have a Dance Party – have everyone get the appropriate music together ahead of time.

  • Grandparents show Grandchildren a dance they did when they were young.
  • Grandchildren show Grandparents a dance move they like. Teach the old folks some new steps!
  • Parents do a dance they liked when they were dating.
  • For Multicultural families, teach a traditional dance from your country of origin or from your adopted country.
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Story Time

  • Tell a story from your children’s youth. Don’t make it embarrassing for anyone!  Ask the Grandchildren about a time they did something similar.
  • Ask the Grandchildren to talk about a favorite memory of the last time they were with you. And you recount one for them.
  • Make up a far-fetched tale – someone starts and then go back and forth embellishing on the story. You can do this orally or in writing via email. 
  • For Multilingual families, teach each other new words in each other’s languages. 
  • Or tell a traditional fairy tale in your native language.

Count your Blessings

  • Each person on the call names something or someone they are grateful for and why.
  • Create a list of your blessings and draw a picture about one or more of them and share it.

Scavenger Hunt

  • If you or your grandchildren have a yard, hide objects in the yard. Give each grandchild a list of the objects and see who finds the most. Watch them from a safe social distance.
  • If you live in an apartment, or are playing long distance, make a list of colors. Have the grandchildren find one object for each color. 
  • Make a list of objects that all start with same letter. Have the grandchildren find objects starting with that letter. For example, for B it could be a broom, banana, basket, boat, beet, belt, etc.

Do you have a suggestion of an activity to do long distance with your grandchildren or grandparents?

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