It may be a new year, but for many of us, keeping physical distance from extended family members is still a thing. As parents, we may have been challenged with how to come up with creative ways for our kids and grandparents to stay connected.
Here are a few easy ways to encourage regular interactions between our kids and our own parents during 2021.
Arrange a fun culinary experience by having your kids and a grandparent cook the same meal over a video chat. This could be a grandparent’s favorite meal from their own childhood, something new that your kid wants to try for the first time, or even an attempt to recreate a favorite restaurant meal. Another option is to have someone record a video of a grandparent cooking a meal that a child can later follow along to and try themselves.
2. Grandparent Interview
Have your kids come up with a list of at least ten questions for their grandparent to answer over a video chat. These can be questions about their childhood, jobs they’ve had, places they’ve visited, or life challenges that they’ve overcome. This interaction can provide some great discussions and special bonding time between generations.
3. Grandparent Show and Tell
Have your parents get out some of their old photo albums and go through them with your kids. Most children are intrigued to see pictures from long-ago weddings with “strange” fashions and hairstyles, and they usually love seeing photos of their own parents when they were little. Those “awkward” tween and teen shots are particularly amusing and memorable.
4. Learning Something New That’s Old
Maybe Grandma knits or needlepoints, or Grandpa has an interesting hobby like building ships in bottles or painting miniature trainsets. Order a kit so that your child can try out a craft of some kind while their grandparent teaches them how to begin and learn to do it on their own. Another inexpensive option is for your parent to teach your kids a few cards games that they may never have heard of.
5. Become Pen Pals
No matter what age your child is, you can help nurture a pen pal connection between them and their grandparents. Younger kids can scribble, paint, and draw if too young to write, while a grandparent can begin writing letters to them as their older selves – perhaps writing milestone birthday messages for future openings. Older kids can write a weekly or monthly “journal entry” type of letter, or even try out a different literary form like a poem or a short play. There are countless ways to make this fun and creative using different types of paper and stickers.
Here’s to a new year creating fresh memories between kids and grandparents, no matter how far away they are!