About a year ago, I wrote a post on how we kept our toddler connected with his cross-country grandparents. Fast forward a year, and we have come up with new ways to use Skype and FaceTime with our Ohio Nana and Pappy. Although our son is a year older, it is still a challenge to get him to sit and focus on the computer screen for long conversations. He needs a way to interact with the person on the other side. Here are some new ideas we found helpful in keeping our preschooler connected with family.
Playtime is a great time to Skype or FaceTime your loved one. We set up the computer in the playroom and pick an activity. For example, our son LOVES play doh. We get out ours and Nana gets out hers, and the rest is history. Another activity is showing off new toys. Nana and Pappy love to see all the new things our son is playing with, and he loves nothing more than to show them off.
Mealtimes were on the first list and are still a great time to use technology. In addition to mealtime, we also Skype at bath time. Lots of games and stories to tell when a preschooler is taking a bath!
In the past year, we discovered our son LOVES to listen to stories. We will set up the computer, and our little man will listen for days to his favorite storytellers. Another sweet time we do this is at night. Nana or Pappy will tell stories, read books, and sing songs before bedtime.
Sometimes, Pappy will FaceTime to show us something really cool outside. One day, it was a bird’s nest with baby eggs. Another day it was a ground full of worms. Nothing speaks to a little boy’s heart more than bugs, worms, and lizards! Nana gets in on the action too. One time she recorded herself telling a story and sent it via text. We watched that over and over again (and it saved this momma from having to tell one)!
Playing hide-n-seek is still a favorite from the first list. Our son LOVES to go hide and have Nana or Pappy find him. Now that he’s older, he is able to do some of the seeking when the grandparents hide. This activity does take some maneuvering from the person holding the computer, but over the years, I have perfected my technique.
A fun, non-techy activity for our son right now is to send and receive mail. We will color pictures and take them to the post office. Nana and Pappy send us picture postcards that are super fun to look at via TouchNote. And every once in a while, a special package will arrive with stickers and a sucker!
It’s not ideal to live so far away, but putting forth even the smallest effort will keep your family feeling connected.
What are some ways that you interact with your far-away family?