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Being apart from your grandchildren is HARD! Brad and I are so very lucky to have ours close to us, but they do love to travel. When they leave, I get major FOMO (fear of missing out!). When these occasions strike, I dig deeper to understand how grandparents that live apart from their littles keep their bonds strong. Technology definitely makes staying in touch much easier. However, I think you still need to make it fun!!!
MAKE THEM LAUGH~SHARE JOKES AND RIDDLES
One thing I added to my “Mimi Bag of Fun” just recently is telling jokes. They have been vacationing, and I wanted to keep in touch with them daily without being overbearing. I started texting a joke to them each day that our daughter could read to them whenever they had down time. This allowed them time to discuss answers together. It got to the point that if I didn’t send it in time, they were wanting to know where their daily joke was.
I have always enjoyed making children laugh. Their laughter just fills your soul. I used to send a joke a day in my kid’s lunchboxes. I kept a joke book handy (but out of sight from the kids) in the kitchen. I would mark off jokes as I used them to ensure not sending the joke more than once. I did not include the answer on their lunch note. This made for fun discussion when they got home from school. The kids started discovering that their friends were waiting to hear the answer the next day at lunch.
Now I keep jokes and riddles organized on my Pinterest page. You can look at my Pinterest board that includes jokes here: Shelly’s Pinterest Board with Jokes
In fact, my sister is caring for her kids this week. While talking on the phone, I shared one of my recent jokes with them. They quickly retaliated with riddles that they love. That interaction is what makes you the “fun” grandma! They tend to remember those silly simple times.
Isn’t this a great way to see your grandkids more often? It is definitely a tech-savvy way to have great conversations with the children while seeing their faces. While catching up on their latest favorites, you should also use this time to spice up the interaction. Have you tried reading a book to them over the phone yet? It’s a little harder to navigate while holding both the phone and the book, so I suggest you either set up a station where your phone/ipad is docked for hands free talking before facetiming or have someone help you.
I also plan to incorporate MadLibs in the future. My kids always loved MadLibs. If you do this while using facetime, you can get their answers from them, and then read the story back to them. It will definitely make for lots of laughter.
I recently found a very fun website which includes a ton of fun kid activities. They have a lot of free printables, including some mad libs. I certainly plan on utilizing their sources more often. You should check it out too: Fun Free Printables
If you are a grandparent that lives farther away from your grandchildren, I certainly hope you use this method quite often. In fact, I believe that even those grandparents that live close should use snail mail as well. I am not very good at this but plan to get better. Do you remember when you would go to the mailbox and something was addressed to YOU? I still remember that happy feeling. Even though we have technology, kids are still the same. They still love opening that mailbox and getting something addressed to them!
KEEP A CALENDAR~
I’m not just talking about recording birthdays. Do you record special occasions they have coming up? Are they invited to a birthday party? Do they have a school event? Do they play soccer/football/basketball/etc. every weekend? Put those dates and times on your calendars. If you can go to their events, GREAT! If you can’t, GREAT! You can still give them a call and ask them all about it! This is fun for you, the grandchild, and your child (because your child will get a bit of a break!).
Keeping in touch can be difficult….but it is well worth the effort!