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9 Ways to Keep Grandparents and Grandkids Connected — Even When They're Far Apart

It’s every grandparents’ solemn duty to spoil their grandkids with fun. (We think so, anyway.) Don’t let a little distance stand in the way!

Margo Gothelf · 15 days ago

Storytime-4

Just because you're not in the same place doesn't mean Grandma can't teach you how to make her world-famous chocolate chip cookies, or that you can’t enjoy movie night with Grandpa! Keep the bond with the beloved elders in your family, and switch up your typical video chats with some of these excellent games and activities. Take a virtual trip together with Kinoo, start a recipe club, or interview them for your late-night (or early-afternoon) talk show debut! 

Kinoo: Video Chat, But Lots More Fun

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Kinoo

Does your kiddo want to bake cookies with Grandpa? Play a game with Grandma? Perhaps go on a family fishing trip with both of them? You can easily make it happen with Kinoo — no matter where they are! Kinoo effortlessly connects your family online to take part in family activities, whether you’re near or far. The video communication app uses augmented reality and virtual activities while seamlessly splitting the screen, so you can see each other while playing games, exploring interactive environments, and solving puzzles together. Adding the nifty handheld Kinoo wireless wand takes the fun to the next level, making on-screen activities more immersive, and creating interactive moments that let grandparents and grandkids feel closer, even when they’re apart. 

Here are some more fun ideas to try:

Recipe Club

Every grandparent everywhere asks: "Are you hungry?" Give them the answer they are looking for and start a recipe club online. Each month, pick a theme for the club and decide on a recipe to cook screen-by-screen. Go with a specific culture, sweets, or choose a traditional family recipe to explore. If the recipe is cookies or something similar that holds up well in the mail, you could even mail them to each other for a recipe swap and taste-test each other's creations. (Hot tip: Kinoo’s lineup of interactive games includes a virtual baking activity that kids and grandparents can do together remotely!).

Video Chat Jeopardy

Swap out your scheduled viewing of Jeopardy and replace it with Factile Jeopardy. The clever game lets you personalize a game of Jeopardy, complete with a buzz-in feature, of course. Create personal categories like family history or questions about your favorite pop culture moments to tailor the game to the competition. Don't feel like making up your own questions? No problem! Choose from Factile's premade boards and see who can come out on top. 

GroupWatch Movie Night

Dim the lights, secure your spot on the couch and get ready to hit play for family movie night. Now I know what you're thinking: How is this supposed to work when half the family is in another location? That's where GroupWatch comes into play. The nifty feature on Disney+ lets you sync up whatever you are watching on the screen with up to six different people. Plus, you can react with emojis on screen in real-time — so everyone can cheer together when the good guys save the day. You can even use the feature to create a movie club to catch up on old favorites or rewatch the entire MCU franchise starting with Phase 1. Now to figure out how to make virtual popcorn to share...

‎Tuku Tuku 5-Second Challenge

Let's be real, getting kids to sit still on Zoom can be a little bit of a challenge, which is why the Tuku Tuku 5-Second Challenge is the perfect game to play with little ones who don't have the longest attention span. The quick-witted game will make you think on your feet. Literally — you'll only have 5 seconds to come up with an answer to a question before the time runs out. You can even choose to personalize the questions and see who knows the most about the family — or who inherited the quick-thinking genes. Get everyone involved in the challenge by sharing your screen and see who can think best under pressure. 

Late Night Talk Show Interview

Everyone, please give a warm welcome to Grandma and Grandpa! They are sure to be a hit on your virtual talk show. Use the time over video chat to create your very own talk show and have your grandparents be both the audience and the guests. Give them front row seats to your monologue and the first interview featuring your parents and siblings. Then switch gears and welcome them into the hot seat for an interview. Find out what they've been up to lately, what they are looking forward to, and ask about any funny stories they want to share. Jimmy Fallon better watch out! 

Show and Tell

You're never too old for show and tell. Show and tell is an easy and exciting way to spice up video chats with the grandparents. Pick a special object and explain why you love it, let kids tell the life story of their favorite stuffie, or give a tour of their desk or room. If you want to regularly include the simple game in your chats, spice it up and add a theme for the object each week. Go with family heirlooms, favorite toys, or unusual objects.

Name Place Animal Thing

Up on your ABCs? Then you're all set for a few rounds of Name Place Animal Thing. The word association game takes a letter at random and challenges you to find a word starting with that letter. Sounds easy? Think again! Categories range from animal to plants and professions, making it more challenging than you would assume. Invite the grandparents to join a virtual game room and set up a video chat to play together in real time. The simple game is perfect for a virtual family game night.

Send a Surprise

Getting a surprise in the mail is always exciting, no matter how old you are. Start a new tradition over video chat with a monthly surprise club. Once a month, swap cards, gifts, or anything else fun to send in the mail. The catch? Everyone has to wait to open it on screen. Both grandkids and grandparents will get as much joy from sending the surprises as they do from receiving and sharing them.