Technology has made the world smaller and communication much easier. We can find and keep up with friends from kindergarten and sleep-away camp who might live around the world. It also helps families stay in touch. Parents and kids have instant communication through texting, and grandparents now have many apps through which they can stay in touch with their grandchildren.
There is so much more offered now than Skype video chat, which still remains one of the most used communication apps.
When grandparents and grandchildren live far apart:
Readeo’s Bookchat lets grandparents read books aloud to far away grandchildren while they turn pages together online. There is another feature to share reading a book when grandparents and grandchildren are together.
Read books and play games together on ustyme, a free app for iPads.
Hallmark Recordable Books was on the forefront of connecting grandparents and grandchildren. There are more than 20 titles to choose from, with more being added all the time. The grandparent records the book for their grandchildren who go online to hear their grandparent’s voice reading aloud to them. Prices range from $19.99 – $29.00 per book.
A Story Before Bed app lets grandparents record a book online using audio and video. Kids can play it back as often as they like using their iPhone or iPad, Mac or PC. The app is free. There are in-app charges for the recordings.
Facebook is a must for grandparents to keep up with their grandchildren. Surveys have shown that kids block their parents more than they block their grandparents from seeing all their information!
FaceTime can be used for chatting, reading aloud, or just hanging out together. It is an Apple product and is already loaded onto most Apple products. It’s very simple to use, just find your contact and tap the FaceTime button. Or, ask Siri to set it up. It’s not the most flattering camera image in the world, but love conquers all, right?
Games to play together when apart:
Life can be played with up to four people. 99 cents.
Wheel of Fortune can be played through social media or in person with multiple players. $2.99.
Scrabble is a free app on Google Play.
When grandparents and grandkids are together let the kids discover cool apps just for them on the grandparents’ mobile devices. They will think the oldsters are SO cool! Here are some we’ve found:
Ocarina is an iPhone app that lets the user create beautiful music by blowing into the microphone at the bottom of the phone and running fingers over the ‘holes’ on the screen. 99 cents.
Chalky is an app for Androids. It is a stick figure animated by simulated physics. You can drag, stretch or clone him, and the most fun is to paste the kid’s face on him. He can dance if he hears music. It is 99 cents.
Air Control is one of the all time most popular games for older kids. Players use fingers to draw landing strips for planes approaching the airport, trying to avoid collisions. 99 cents.
For young kids try Wheels on The Bus which lets kids open and shut the doors and swish the wipers as the wheels go round and round. $1.99.
and Animal Memory Match Kids which is free for iPhones.