These times are strange. We all feel it. One of the saddest parts of the stay-at-home suggestion is missing my sweet new grand baby. Although he lives less than ten minutes from my house, I can’t hold and snuggle him without fear I’m spreading germs to his delicate system. So here I sit, daydreaming about the day it’s safe once again to squeeze him in my arms and plant kisses all over his handsome little face. I also have younger kids at home still who desperately miss their grandparents and want nothing more than to jump on their papa’s lap.
In my never ending quest to be the best grandma I can be I have formed a list of things that make us still feel connected even though we’re apart. I have picked the brains of other grandparents who are also navigating these strange new roles from afar and taken advice from things my own parents have done for my children.
- Use technology to read books to your grandchildren. Whether it be daily or weekly or randomly, just read to them. We use the FaceTime option on our phones or we use the video option on FaceBook messenger but you can also use Zoom or Google meeting with very little effort. For younger kids read a fun kids book or for older children get out a classic and read them a chapter a night. It’s a great way for them to wind down before bed. Think of the memories they will have for years to come!
- If your grandkids live in the same town a fun surprise is to secretly go by their house and leave a special message in sidewalk chalk on their driveway/sidewalk. My parents did this for my kids then called to tell them to go outside. The kids were squealing with excitement. Little gestures go a long way and just knowing your loved ones are thinking about you can really leave a lasting message.
- Care packages. Every kid in the universe loves a care package. You don’t have to spend a lot of money because the thought that goes into it and the enjoyment of getting mail is what matters. A small box with just a few things will excite kids beyond belief. This is especially fun for out of town grandparents.
- Something we recently discovered is online games that older children can play together with grandparents. The new Animal Crossing is a game grandparents and kids alike enjoy. My son who is nine, LOVES visiting his grandma’s island in Animal Crossing and it gives them something in common to talk about when they’re on the phone also.
- Drive-by wavings. That’s probably not even a word but that’s what we call it. About once a week I call my daughter and tell her we’ll be by in 5 minutes. We drive by and she will hold my grandson up in her front window and wave. We all yell and holler and wave back from the car and it’s a dang good time. We do this same thing with cousins and grandparents. I love pulling around the corner and seeing my mom and dad standing in the driveway waving to us. Its good for my soul as well as my kids (I miss my momma too).
- Lastly, I bake. My grandson is only a few weeks old so he can’t really eat my food yet but his momma sure can! Dropping off homemade cookies and meals is a really fun way to stay in touch through my love language, food. On Easter I made over a hundred deviled eggs so I could deliver them to my adult children (its their favorite Easter treat). Often times I’ll include the recipe I’ve made if I’m dropping off treats for a friend or an elderly neighbor.
All of these ideas can be modified to be used for friends, cousins, or anyone you care about and miss. As we all gravitate towards maintaining distances we are learning new ways to remain connected. These ideas are just another way to keep things fun and spontaneous and help break up the boredom while keeping closely involved with our loved ones. Have fun trying these out!