Thanks to the magic of modern technology and a little creativity, it’s easier than ever to bond with relatives who live far away. Building bonds with grandparents is part of the Jewish value of l’dor vador, which emphasizes passing on learning and traditions from “generation to generation.”
To help stay in touch and build relationships with grandparents, try these fun and easy tips:
Video chat together
Thanks to technology, your family doesn’t need to wait long stretches of time between seeing each other. Applications like Skype, Google Hangouts, and Facetime, make it easy for families to share special virtual moments together. Take a tip from Tea with Zayde and organize a virtual tea time, or, livestream a special event like a soccer game, a first day of school, or a birthday party. You can even "invite" grandparents to join bedtime stories.
Talk on the phone
Set aside special phone time just for grandparents and grandchildren. Encourage children and grandparents to play phone games, like “20 Questions” together. Supply grandparents with a list of your child’s best buddies so they’ll be able to ask about particular people important to your child.
Send special “snail-mail”
Photo via Evolving Motherhood
Share games together, write letters, or send a “hug” in the mail. Older children can do crosswords in steps with grandparents, mailing answers back and forth together. Postcards and home-made cards are easy to send in the mail. Not only will kids have fun making special cards and care packages for grandparents, they’ll also enjoy receiving mail in return.
Make and share photo albums
Who doesn’t love a good photo album? If your grandparents are tech savvy, set up shared albums together on Facebook or Flickr or even Apple devices. For special occasions, or those who prefer print, consider putting together a special album or photo book. Kids can decorate albums with supplies from craft stores, or you can use a service like Shutterfly or Snapfish to create a one of a kind book just for your family. You can also send a disposable camera back and forth through the mail to fill with photos for a special long-distance collaborative album.
Read stories together
Whether by phone or video chat, reading stories together forms an instant bond. Use your “talk time” either via video or phone to read from favorite books. Grandparents can share their favorite classics with grandchildren. Consider having grandma or grandpa make a recording of them reading one of your child’s favorite stories. You can play this recording and let the child follow along to read with their grandparent anytime.
Create individual experiences
Children feel extra special when they get one on one time with an adult they love and admire. If you have more than one child in your family, create special one on one time between each sibling and their grandparents. Set aside time for each sibling to have their own one on one “talk-time” with grandma or grandpa. You can also alternate phone call days.
How do you stay in touch with loved ones who live far away? Tell us on Facebook.
August 8, 2016