Spending quality time with your grandchildren is key to developing a strong, lasting bond. So what happens if you don’t live close enough to see them as often as you’d like? Long-distance grandparents need creative solutions to stay connected to loved ones. Living far from your grandchildren can be difficult, but the miles can feel much less distant with the development of new technologies. Apps like video chat, messenger/text, video-sharing, gaming, and art apps can facilitate bonds between generations. If you’re worried about there being a disconnect between you and the latest technology, have a neighbor or nearby family member come over and help coach you through new apps that you can use with your grandchildren. Practice makes perfect, afterall.
While nothing beats a real-life hug, there are five types of apps that will help you feel more connected when you are separated from your favorite kiddos. Here are five kids of apps for grandparents that are looking to bond with their grandchildren and extended families:
FaceTime, Zoom, Skype
The loving relationships grandchildren have with their grandparents grow and mature with time. This growth happens through intentional, engaging, meaningful — and regular — communication.Any app with a video chat feature will help transport you to your loved ones. Your children and grandchildren may not live close enough to visit you very often, but you can still enjoy face-to-face chats from time to time with video calls. Apps with a video chat feature are a perfect alternative to being together in the same room. These apps allow the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren to blossom by adding a visual component to your phone call. Video interactions also help grandparents overcome social isolation. Active video chats replicate the feeling of in-person interactions, filling the gaps between locations and generations.
For kids who are starting to read and write, texting apps may be an excellent option for them. Not only can you stay connected, but through reading and typing out texts, your grandkids practice their literacy skills. These apps usually come with a photo sharing feature that allow younger and older loved ones to design, create and share original art and heartfelt messages with the others in their lives that matter most. The more quality conversations children have, the more grammar and vocabulary they are exposed to, and the more complex their language development becomes. This advancement is especially true when they converse with adults who have an interest in helping develop their language skills — like grandparents, parents, and teachers.
Unlike video chat apps, video sharing apps allow you to take a video and send it to your grandchild. These apps are much like texting, but instead of words, they rely on videos to communicate. If your grandkids are not text-savvy and you can’t find the right moment to video chat with them directly, this is an excellent back-up option. With video sharing apps, you can send longer messages, share an experience, or even send a video of you reading them a story. Your grandkids can watch your videos and send some back to you. Watch with delight as you get a virtual, front-row seat to dance recitals and school plays!
Create art with your grandkids
Interactive apps are best when you’re looking to build virtual connections with your grandkids. Art apps are fun for kids, but apps that allow you to draw together not only allow you and your grandkids to create beautiful artwork but treasured memories as well. According to Penn State researchers, art is vital for children’s development. It helps develop cognitive skills, build creativity, practice fine motor skills, and provides an opportunity for self-expression.
Learn to play a new game
There are many gaming apps on the market, but not all of them are age-appropriate. It’s important to make sure games are kid-friendly and offer age-appropriate play. Consider apps of old fashioned board games like Scrabble, Monopoly, CandyLand, UNO!, etc. During these games, kids and their grandparents will bond over special conversations. Becoming a good conversationalist is a skill that will aid them in everything from navigating the playground to their first job or first date. Grandparents are the perfect playmates to help kids learn this important skill set.
Kinoo, a revolutionary new app, leads the way by combining the best of all five into one app that helps remote family members bridge the distance. Kinoo is fundamentally a new kind of video chat app. It includes activities — played together — that build important educational and life skills for kids and allows older loved ones to coach and support with in-app tips and facts, and thought-provoking questions to share. With Kinoo, you can connect and engage with your grandkids on a whole new level, creating lasting memories and building bonds that last a lifetime. On average Kinoo calls last 10X longer than a regular call. That’s 10X the bonding, learning, and fun for your child that would normally not happen.