Have you ever wanted to do something besides talk to your long distance grandchildren on Skype, Facetime or other video chat apps? Technology has allowed us to be more involved than ever with those long distance grandchildren! We have some suggestions for things you can do besides just talking. Here are 15 fun games to play over Skype or other video chat. . .well they’re not all exactly games, but activities that are fun! Doing activities with those little people who live so far away can help you build those bonds across the miles.
March 2020 Update: In light of all the Social Distancing requirements and Easter right around the corner, you will want to check out our latest post on Easter Games and Activities for Grandkids where there are many ideas for celebrating the holiday while maintaining boundaries.
Of course, you may need to adjust or adapt to the age and attention span of your grandchild, but you can do any of these activities with almost any age of grandchild. Here are our top favorites to do with our long distance grandchildren. Some of the things on this list were suggested by our grandchildren.
Fun Games to Play Over Skype (or any video chat)
1. Show N Tell
This is a great way to stay connected with your grandchild’s everyday life. Let them tell you about their latest adventure and show you something about it. This can be their latest report card, a new toy, a skill they have learned or a great heart-shaped rock they found at the park. My Littles love showing off dance moves or their latest Lego creation. You can take a turn if you want also!
2. Play an Actual Game
Almost any game will do! Let your grandchild choose their favorite board game. They can set up the board on their side and move the pieces. Try playing Pictionary – just have a set of cards on each side and then focus the camera on a paper or white board as you draw. There are several fun games to play over Skype together like Tenzi, charades, even some card games. Just adapt so that each of you can see and hear each other.
3. Play “I Spy”
Playing “I Spy” can be as simple or as elaborate as you want or as the age of your grandchild will dictate. Use a portable device so that you can take it around the house or yard. Let your grandchild tell you to “look up” or “look to the left” or “look under the table” or whatever. This can actually be pretty entertaining and try not to get queasy as your grandchild moves the camera all around the room!
4. Do a Crossword Puzzle
Doing a crossword puzzle together can be fun and of course educational. Go online and find a puzzle that fits the reading level of your grandchild. You read the clues and have your grandchild try to discover the word. If you have more than one grandchild, you can make a little competition out of it to see who can get the most words.
5. Have a Dance Party
Okay so this isn’t exactly one of the fun games to play over Skype, but it’s a fun activity nonetheless. Even though this one is super fun, it can wear you out quickly! Just put on any music and play it loud so both ends of the conversation can hear. Set the phone, tablet or computer in a place where you both can see each other and let it fly! And. . .when you get tired, just watch the kids. They always love an audience!
6. Tell Jokes or Riddles
Before the call, agree to gather up a page full of riddles or jokes to tell one another. My Littles absolutely LOVE to tell me jokes or ask me riddles that they are sure I won’t possibly guess. The only rule here is that you have to LAUGH!!! Even if it’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard. . . which will probably make you laugh anyway!
7. Read Together
Reading together can be a great bonding time for both of you. When you are a long-distance grandparent, this is one of the joys that you don’t have to miss out on. I suggest that you both curl up in a warm blanket or stretch out on the lawn together and listen to each other read. You can read for fun or help with reading homework. And speaking of homework . . .
8. Help with Homework (but make it a game!)
You can give Mom a break and help out the kids with some homework. You don’t have to be in the same room to drill them with math flash cards, help with research for a report, or dream up a science project together. Just whatever you do, make it fun and not rigorous.
9. Make a “No Bake” Snack
Choose a recipe, like these no bake cookies, that is a super easy, snack that you can each make and enjoy together. This is a great opportunity to teach your grandchild how to read a recipe, learn a new cooking skill, or to pass down a favorite family recipe along with the family history that goes with it.
10. Tell Stories
Take this any direction you want. You can tell a story from your childhood. Or you can have your grandchild make up a story about their favorite animated character. Just take turns telling the story one line or segment at a time. We have some suggestions in our 5 Fabulously Fun Road Trip Games Page – You can download it for FREE right now!
11. Play an Instrument Together
This activity may take a bit of skill or at least a little practice. But remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect or elaborate. We gave the Littles these great ukuleles for Christmas one year with the idea that we would learn how to play them together. So, even if you don’t already know how to play, you can learn together. This can be the piano, guitar, ukulele, harmonica or even some drums. Get your creative on!
12. Watch One of Their Events
To participate in this one, I would suggest an unlimited data plan on both ends. Support one of your grandchild’s events as though you were there. Ask a parent or sibling to live stream video from the event. Think choir concerts, sporting events, dance competitions, quiz bowl competition, or even preschool graduation. We live in a world of amazing technology! Don’t miss out!
13. Play Hangman
I think everyone knows how to play this one. This definitely qualifies as one of those fun games to play over Skype. It doesn’t need much prep, and It’s great if your grandchild is just learning to spell. You can help reinforce those new skills in a fun, game-y way. You can tailor this game to fit anything that your grandchild is learning. For instance, if they are states and capitals, you can have them guess the name of the state and then have them tell you what its capital is. Or if they need to practice spelling words, you can use those as the puzzle guess words. Be creative!
14. Build Lego Projects
You both need some Legos each on your side of the screen. You can structure this activity or not. This can be a race, a game, or just free-building. It’s kind of fun to have your grandchild give you directions and you try to build what they are describing. If you have a Classic set of Legos, this Build It Lego book (there are actually 3 volumes) is great for building so many little, easy projects. You could make it a minute-to-win-it race or take a one-minute look and then hide the instructions. See who can get it right in the least amount of time. Good luck, Grandma!! 😉
15. Online Drawing Games
We have played Draw Something for many years. It’s an app for your phone. It’s been so much fun to share drawings and play with/against my Littles. I use it with the ones who are close by as well as the long-distance Littles. It’s Simple. Easy. And. . .Best of all. . .Free! (Don’t we just love free resources!!) There are actually many online drawing games. Check them all out and see what works best for your situation.
Another fun app is Caribu. However, I’m sorry to say that it is only available for Apple users (iPad, iPhone, etc.), but it’s really fun if you have an iPhone or iPad. You can draw together, play games, and even read favorite grandkid books! I wish I could say that I have some personal experience, but I only have an Android, so I’m giving you information based on reviews and other people’s suggestions. (Just tryin’ to keep it real.)
Side note: When my granddaughter was just 2, her daddy was in the Middle East for about 18 months. He wanted to stay connected to her but couldn’t really hold her attention just talking to her. So, he pulled up the Microsoft program called Paint. Then he would draw things for her while he talked to her.
She watched the screen and could hear her daddy’s voice and he could keep her attention for a good 30 minutes or more. This bonding time turned out to be invaluable for their relationship. This app allows you to draw together. Drawing on the computer can keep even the littlest ones’ attention.
Hopefully that has given you some ideas for fun games to play over Skype (or other video chat) with your long distance grandkids. Whatever you decide to do, just make sure you do it often.
With that said, be careful of the boundaries!
I would talk or chat with my long distance Littles more than once a day if it were possible. I want to be part of their everyday lives. However, I know that that would put a strain on their schedule and drive their mother crazy!! So, we have a routine that works for both of us.
If you’re like me, you want more ideas about things to do with your long distance grandkids, So, check out the 15 ways to be an awesome long distance grandparent for a few more ideas!
Cookies & Milk for Everyone!