Grandparents now find they have a new, much appreciated role.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

September 1st, 2020



Grandparents are suddenly in demand.  They are going to have the grandchildren closer to them that they have for some time.

Many parents have turned to their parents for support.

However, there are some grandparents, for a whole host of reasons, don’t get to see the grandchildren for that precious “face time”.  The Canadian Association of Retired People has put together a list that can help grandparents establish a stronger relationship with children they aren’t able to see as much as they would like to.

grandfather boy tablet

Is that boy teaching his grandfather to use that big tablet?

Learn to use Facetime or Skype on your phone or computer so you can watch a show or movie on one while video chatting on the other simultaneously.

Set up specific times to visit online so your grandchildren have those to look forward to—kids like and need structure in these “covid-irregular” times.

Do simple fitness activities like chair yoga, stretches, walking on the spot etc. together, electronically.

Schedule shows, movies and other programs you will watch together and chat about, e.g. start watching a TV show or movie at the same time and chat on another device while watching, or after, so it’s a shared experience. If you only have phone access, watch the movie or TV ahead of time and then discuss.

Help your grandchildren write fun letters and take photos to send to other relatives.

Read a book to them over the phone or online.

grandparent - boy ballons

Who is wearing the biggest smile – and who made the bslloon set up?

Ask them to make collections (such as similar toys, or old photos or other household handy items) as a sort of a Treasure Hunt.

Download books for a virtual age-appropriate book club discussion.

Listen to music with them and have them explain their music preferences to you.

If they are older, ask them to do errands like shopping for you (if they are nearby). Make them feel wanted and useful.

Show an interest and help with their school work.

Ask about and discuss their world of sports, e.g. what they are missing and how they think their favourite sports will rebound when the pandemic is under control.

Send your grandchildren a parcel every other week. You could include a craft to be done together with a parent, some ‘homework ‘ fun pages, homemade cookies, etc. Never send them the same day; keep them wondering when it will arrive and don’t tell when or what is in it.

Share recipes by texting pictures back and forth of what you have created. Make it a fun contest on baking/cooking a variety of different things.

Write down a favourite made-up story and share it as you would a book. Works for both kids and grandparents who have been in the habit of making up stories.

Watch the online kitchen parties that are full of singing and dancing together and showing support for front-line workers and support staff.

Watch them together by telephone or online.

grandparents - child running

A scene that was repeated several million times when the lock in came to an end.

A close colleague with strong views on social distancing has decided that he and his wife will home school their two grandchildren.  They live in a rural setting where there are all kinds of things that can be done outside.

Both have experience teaching – something they acquired when they travelled the world and were able to spend some time with children in different countries.  He taught younger people how to play a guitar and then left the one he brought with them as a gift.

She is an artist and worked with the younger people helping them write a short book and then illustrate it.  It was a chance to teach English and Art at the same time.

We will look in on these two once classes actually start.


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