Fun games can help you stay connected through times apart

The new ‘normal’ is seeing many families now having to spend time apart from loved ones and extended family. Those familiar faces that were once only a hug away are now staying home for safety. Keeping children connected with grandparents, friends and relatives during this time can be challenging but injecting some play into the proceedings can help encourage conversation and fun. Everyone can feel included even if they are many miles apart.

We’ve created some fun ideas with grandparents in mind, but of course these would work for any remote friends and family! Have fun!

Story time

It’s a simple one but don’t underestimate how a regular story time together can bring remote generations together.
Using a video calling app or just with speakerphone on, your child can practice reading with their grandparents. Whenever you can manage it, five minutes spent reading a favourite book is a great way to have a shared experience.
If they enjoyed the book together, perhaps your child can draw a picture of their favourite character that you can email to them too.

The Family Quiz

Create your own family quiz game to challenge other family members with.
Can your family guess each other’s favourite colours, holiday destinations and more? Get together on the phone or video app and host your own quiz time.

The weekly "make" challenge

Each week, ask grandparents to pick a simple household recycling object – such as toilet roll - and challenge the children to make something creative from it during the week. They can proudly show off their "makes" the following week on video call or a picture message via phone and describe how they made it.

Scavenger Hunt

Children love a scavenger hunt!
Can your grandparents come up with a list of items that children must hunt for around the house – maybe something with a particular colour, patterns or texture, perhaps something old or a certain shape. There is no need to be too specific as this will enable children to think ‘outside the box’ and get creative.
On the next video call, they can show off their finds and discuss which were easier or harder to find.

Easy-peasy memory game

Playing a game together can be great fun, whether in the same room or not.
Using video calling it is very simple to play a game of memory®. If you don’t have one to hand, you can find instructions to make your own in the link below. It’s great fun, and the extra challenge of the children working out which cards need to be turned for each player’s turn, adds another element of thinking without them even realising it.

To make remote play easier, it’s a good idea to devise a number system so that you can identify which cards to flip on each turn. For example, give each row a letter and each column a number, giving each card a unique reference. You could add a small piece of paper with the letter or number at the start of each row and column to help everyone remember which is which!

Puzzle it out!

Why not ask your children to design their own puzzle?
This can be emailed, or posted if it’s safe to do so, to friends or family so they can cut it up and enjoy puzzle fun too. For ideas on how to make your own puzzle, just click the link below

The Virtual Zoo Tour

Many zoos and museums are hosting virtual tours online so that ‘visitors’ can enjoy some time with them without ever leaving home.
Why not create your own virtual zoo tour at home that your child can share with others remotely? Your child could spend some time finding out their animal soft toys or drawing pictures of their favourite animals. Perhaps create signs with facts about the animals on.

There is plenty of learning and fun to be had at the same time! When they are done, invite your ‘visitors’ to a video tour of their virtual zoo as they proudly show off their animals and discuss facts about them.