By Remy Agee | Want to be the coolest plugged-in GRAND ever! Combine the latest technology with old-fashioned creativity Here are four fun ways to connect with grandkids of all ages. |
It’s a given: You want to be part of your grandchildren’s lives — whether they’re nearby or far away. Today’s technology makes that possible. And it’s easier than you might think.
Here are a few clever, high-tech ways to connect with your grandkids:
1. Take Skype and Facetime up a notch.
Add some fun to your video chats by donning a crazy hat or funky glasses (Dollar Store), and wait for their giggles. One of my five-year-old grandsons said to his father, “Dad, look at what your mother is wearing!” Now, my grands put on their own silly hats, super hero masks, and dress-up clothes and wait for my reaction.
2. Create a story chain.
Write a story together using e-mail, Google Documents, or even snail mail. Start by sending one or two sentences, leaving a blank for your grand to fill in. When you get the story back, add another sentence and return it to your grand. Go back and forth developing the story until The End. This fun way to interact with school-age grands encourages creativity and may generate some laughs.
Try these story-starters:
One day, when we were walking through the woods, we heard the strangest noise. It got louder as we got closer, until suddenly, right in front of us was ____________________.
Beep! Beep! Beep! sounded the metal detector, as we walked down the beach. “There’s something here!” you yelled. I ran over, and we both started digging until our fingers felt ____________________.
Knock, knock. I opened the front door to see who was there. “Congratulations!” said the man. “You just won ____________________.
3. Enjoy a perpetual slideshow without lifting a finger.
Stop downloading and saving your grandkids’ photos on your computer. Here’s a better way: Family members send photos to your personal email address at www.mypixxstar.com, and within minutes the pictures automatically show up on your digital photo-frame slideshow. Then, pick up the phone, text, or Skype your grands to chat about the newest photos!
4. Set up a private family website.
Create a secure social media network accessible only to your family using a website-hosting site designed specifically for that purpose, like My Great Big Family and Family Crossings. Share photos, videos, recipes, gift lists, grandkids artwork and awards. Create a family tree. Record family history. Chat and post announcement on message boards. Coordinate calendars. Get birthday, anniversary, and special event reminders. And more. Relatively easy to set up, and tech-savvy grand teens can help. Cost (free, monthly fee, annual fee) depends on company and on package selected.
Two Cool Deals for GRAND Readers!
My Great Big Family: Save $20.00 using coupon code MGBF20 on the checkout page.
Family Crossings: Get an extra 1 GB of storage per month when you sign up for the Premium Plan, using promo code “GRAND.”
Remy Agee, a retired communications director of a large family and children government agency, writes articles on school readiness and early childhood partnerships.