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10 fun ways to play with grandparents on Zoom

3. Do some show and tell.

grandparents on Zoom

Zoom became popular during the pandemic, but the video chat platform is great for more than just quarantine times. For families with grandparents spread across the country, virtual dates are easy, satisfying ways to foster face-to-face connections between generations. While a casual chat is fun, sometimes we like to up the ante and incorporate activities into the video session.

Here are our 10 favorite virtual activities + games that kids can do with grandparents:


1. Complete a crossword puzzle.

Download a printable crossword puzzle and share it with grandma and grandpa in advance. Then, let your kids connect with them and work through the clues together, building vocabulary and connection at the same time.

2. Hone reading skills.

All of my kids have shared their early-reading days with grammy. Handing them an iPad and a book gave her something to look forward to and gave me some free time. As they were learning to read, she'd keep a pile of favorite picture books nearby, too, and they would take turns. The "chore" of getting in those 20 minutes of reading time was instantly more fun.

As they grow and their reading skills multiply, have kids and grandparents alternate reading chapters of a book aloud to one another or pick a novel to read offline, and follow it with a book-club inspired discussion via Zoom.

3. Do show + tell.

Have your kid pick out a special piece of artwork or current favorite toy and share it with the grandparents. Grandma and grandpa can return the favor, sharing a beloved family heirloom or unique artifact from a recent trip.

4. Play I-Spy.

Set your camera in front of a busy background (bookshelves make for a variety of possibilities) and ask grandma and grandpa to do the same, then take turns playing I-Spy and providing clues and guessing objects in the background. Another fun spin: Find a small action figure and hide it somewhere in the background, then try to pick it out while you chat.

5. Get goofy with Mad Libs.

Remember these old-school fill-in-the-blank stories? Pick one up, and let your kids take turns filling them in with grandma and grandpa. Hilarity always ensues, and children get a bonus parts-of-speech grammar lesson to boot.

6. Embark on a scavenger hunt.

Help your kids come up with a list of everyday household items and let them shout out those items to their grandparents. Set a (generous) timer and let grandparents try to beat the clock by finding each one and bringing it back to the screen to share via the camera. Turn the tables, and let grandma and grandpa shout out a list of items for the kids to collect. Need ideas? Pinterest abounds with lists of scavenger hunt items to cull.

7. Make a simple recipe together.

Set your camera in the kitchen and let grandma or grandpa teach the kids a simple recipe. Even little kids can whip up some no-bake bars, or use the microwave to make Rice Krispie Treats.

8. Play with virtual backgrounds.

Savvy kids have likely figured out you can swap your Zoom background for any photo in your camera roll. Let them school grandma and grandpa on this tech skill during one Zoom, then encourage them each to set up a new background for their next call.

Each person guesses the other's background and then talks through why they choose that image. Is it personally significant? Historically significant? Somewhere they've been or hope to visit? This is a fun way to learn a little something new about a loved one.

9. Conduct an interview.

Speaking of learning more about loved ones, Zoom is the perfect platform for kids to interview grandma, grandpa, or both. Let children ask questions about their grandparents' past. Where did they grow up? What were their favorite activities when they were your child's age? How did they meet?

Of course, my kids' favorite questions to ask revolve around stories about my siblings and me and our growing-up shenanigans. Make sure your kids take notes (of everything but the shenanigans!) or record the conversation for prosperity's sake.

10. Do a craft.

A simple craft can be lots of fun and another way to learn something new about grandparents. Maybe grandma knits and can give some pointers via a video chat, or grandpa can demonstrate some whittling techniques. Whatever handiwork grandparents are passionate about, encourage them to pass it on to your kids.

The original version of this article was published on MommyPoppins.com

This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

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There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

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Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

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If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

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Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

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When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

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Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

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Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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A few years ago, while my wife's baby bump got bigger and my daddy reading list grew longer, I felt cautiously optimistic that this parenthood thing would, somehow, suddenly click one day. The baby would come, instincts would kick in, and the transition from established couple to a new family would be tiring but not baffling.

Boy was I wrong.

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