Oct 18 , 2020
The world has changed in many ways recently, and many of us find ourselves further apart from our loved ones. Fortunately, technology offers us lots of ways to connect over the distance. If you’re separated from your child, you don’t have to miss out on everything. The same is true for grandparents. Why not get your child to set an alarm on their watch for a daily video chat. Then instead of just chatting, why not try playing one of these games.
Being away from toddlers and pre-school age kids is hard. It can be hard to get them to engage with video chats. They’re not really up to holding a conversation. However, peek a boo is an excellent, easy to play game that you can easily adapt into a virtual game.
You and your child can have fun hiding and popping out at each other. You can hide using anything around like blankets, pillows, or even bits of paper. Of course, with a video chat, you can take hiding to a whole new level and vanish from the screen entirely before jumping back in to screen with as much energy and drama as you can muster.
Charades is a great game to play virtually. You only need to be able to see each other to play, so it’s the perfect virtual game. In case you’re a little rusty on the rules, here’s a quick reminder.
You pick a book, movie, or song title. Then you have to help the other players guess the title by acting it out. It’s traditional to start with identifying which of three you’ve chosen. Then hold up fingers to indicate how many words are in the title. You can then either go straight for the full title, or you can instead show which word you’re going to pantomime.
Once someone guesses the answer, you swap roles.
If you have a couple of kids, you could try and get active by playing freeze dancing. When the music plays, you all have to dance.
When the music stops, you stop dancing. Anyone who doesn’t freeze is out. This is an excellent activity for playing with big families. The adult at the end of the call can be the DJ, and everyone else can get their boogie on.
Name that Tune
Musical families might enjoy giving each other musical challenges. You play a short part of a song and challenge each other to guess the song.
With older kids, they can take a turn at being the song master too. This can be a great way to build anticipation and excitement between calls. The time they spend planning can make the calls feel more special. You can play this even with little kids. Try using nursery rhymes or the theme tunes to their favorite TV shows.
There is nothing like singing together to make you feel close to someone. Studies show that parents who share music with their children have better relationships with them once they become adults.
You can sing songs together or take turns taking the mic, and even break out some fun musical toys. I’m sure that there are plenty of family favorite songs that you can sing together. There are two significant advantages to a virtual karaoke party. First, If you’re out of tune, you can blame it on a poor connection. Second, there’s a volume button - just don’t get caught using it!
Battleships is a great game to play over a video call if you have the time. After all, it’s a lot harder to sneak a peek at the other player’s board if you’re not in the same room. You can play using two separate boards if you have them.
If you don’t happen to have two copies of battleships, there’s no need to despair. It’s not all that difficult to recreate it on paper. You just draw two 10x10 grids. You label the numbers 1 - 10 from left to right. The letters A - J go from top to bottom. Use one grid to record your ships and one grid to record your shots. You need to color in boxes for the following vessels:
- 1 x 5 spaces
- 1 x 4 spaces
- 2 x 3 spaces
- 1 x 2 spaces
Hopefully, this list has given you some inspiration to add some fun to your next family call. Whatever the reason for your separation from your kids, you can find ways to feel close to them, having fun together is a great place to start.
I want to thank Cristin Howard for writing these ideas, and my family tried his ideas on a recent virtual daily call with family. Cristin Howard runs Smart Parent Advice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Cristin writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase.
I am a mother of 2 beautiful children, wife, and a full time web designer. I am a mom just trying to juggle a full-time job with a family life. I share countless tips and tricks of things I have experienced first hand with my kids as I continue to guide and teach them to become caring, sensible and responsible human beings, all while working a full time job, maintaining a home and some how still allowing for some personal time and growth.
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