My grandparents have played a significant role in my life and thankfully they still do. I hope our kids can have special relationships with their grandparents too. However, living far away can make it a bit more difficult to help kids stay close to their grandparents. We have only lived in the same city as a grandparent for a short amount of time, and the rest of our children’s lives we’ve lived as much as a day or two drive from any of them. We’ve learned to get creative in helping our kids stay connected.
Get Tech Savvy
Text or email pictures or videos, and if Gram and Gramps are technology savvy, kids love getting selfies or pictures from them too. Video chat has by far been our favorite use of technology to stay connected. Our kids often open birthday gifts and Christmas gifts from grandparents over video chat. We have a regular Skype reading time with Grandma. It started mostly with Grandma reading to the kids, and now that they are older, they love reading to her too. We’ve even discovered a few games we can play over the miles like a Pictionary style game or Spot It! are great to play even while miles apart. Seeing and hearing Grandpa and Grandma on the screen is great for toddlers to help connect a name to a face, especially if there are long periods of time between in- person visits.
The Lost Art of the Letter
Our kids love writing letters or cards to their grandparents, they also love rushing to the mailbox to see if a reply may await them. I love utilizing their letter writing to send artwork and school papers that might otherwise become piles of paper clutter around our home. Think beyond just a letter, too. Send a hug. Or, as one of our kids loves to do, learn trivia, then quiz Grandpa on trivia facts. Maybe a special family recipe could be shared and then enjoyed together.
Be a Tourist
One thing I love about living in Colorado Springs is that we live in an amazing place where people love to vacation. Help your kids understand what a great place we live and have your kids send their grandparents a postcard or a special souvenir from a local shop. Old Colorado City has several gift shops to choose from. A favorite spot of ours is the Garden of the Gods Trading Post, they seem to have something for everyone.
It may take a bit more effort to help our kids stay connected with grandparents long distance, but it will most certainly be worth it.