Showing posts with label activities with grandchildren. Show all posts
Showing posts with label activities with grandchildren. Show all posts

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Wonderful Way to Grandparent Across the Miles

Developing a relationship with a toddler across the miles can be a tricky thing.  As my son's child is approaching his second year of life, I realize that I am arriving late to the grandparenting-via-the-internet scene. Suddenly, here we are.  Reading to my grandbaby online has been a wonderful experience. But it requires the right book.  I have found that Dr. Seuss' Hop On Pop is the perfect book right now.

Video Calling versus Telephone Calls


My son and I talk on the phone. I treasure those phone calls. But when we try putting the baby on the phone it's no good. At least, not with my grandbaby.  He got to the stage that he would listen for a second, but wouldn't respond.  I think he only wanted to push the pretty buttons. So we have begun using video calling.

I consider myself technologically challenged. I can move around the internet adequately but I have to use fairly simple programs.  As I realized that my grandbaby was getting to the age that he could begin to understand that "Gramma" is a real person, I began to want more time with him.  Of all the video calling programs, I chose Skype to help create some time to visit.  I just muddled through on my own but if you would like more help, there are articles such as Using Skype to Connect with Grandchildren of All Ages to provide both instruction and ideas.

Choosing the Video Calling Program


My son reading to my grandbaby and I
Skype is easy to use, even for me. There are many video calling programs out there and you can choose the one that works for you. But I've chosen Skype.  On Skype, I like the ease of use.  I like the feeling of privacy, I have to answer the call and I don't have random video screens popping up of things I don't want to see  (and that some people should have the sense not to show). The split view shows the small view of me as well as the large window that shows my son and grandbaby.  This split window screen helps me see what I am showing to my grandbaby - especially while i'm reading a book.

The challenge with Skyping with a toddler has less to do with the program and more to do with being interesting.  Let's face it, looking at Gramma on a screen isn't as interesting as pounding on the keyboard or running around the house.  So, trying to keep a toddler's attention isn't easy but it can be done.

Being the Attention-Grabbing Gramma


There are many ways to get and keep the attention of a toddler while online; albeit sometimes not for very long. I mimic my grandbaby. If he is showing me his Snoopy slippers, I show him my socks.  If he shows me a toy, I try to show him something interesting.  In those small ways, he keeps interested.  I like to read to my grandbaby and have realized that some books just don't translate well across the miles. Too many words or too busy of artwork just doesn't keep his attention. Slick pages reflect the light and he can't see the pages as I read.

I have found that Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss is a very good attention-keeper.  The few words on each page keeps the pages turning quickly.  The pictures are very easy for my grandbaby to see when I hold the book up to the camera.  He is intrigued by the pictures and he always points at the mouse and the bee.

I can keep his attention with Hop on Pop.  After I read to him, he runs to get a book and has his dad read to him and Gramma.  Right now, his favorite books to read back to Gramma have to do with Lighting McQueen.  You may know Lightning McQueen from the Pixar Cars movies. That little boy loves the Cars characters and Lightning McQueen. I share a bit more about his treasured collection in a separate article.

Now that I know about Skype, I wish I would have started a bit earlier than at a year and a half with him.  Yes, it is frustrating at times but keep at it and you'll find a way to interact and entertain that grandbaby - becoming closer even if you are too many physical miles apart.




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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Celebrate Fall with a Visit to a Pumpkin Patch and Crafts

Remember when visiting a pumpkin patch meant picking out a pumpkin for Halloween carving?  Well you can still do that, but pumpkin patches have sprung up all over with a wide variety of fall activities for all ages.  I discovered all the fun of a pumpkin patch visit last weekend when we visited Carolyn's Pumpkin Patch in the Kansas City area.
In the photo above my granddaughters Kate and Emily stop so I can take their photo by a pile of pumpkins.  The pumpkin patch had many different photo op spots throughout the area.  There were those cute wood cutouts where kids can stick their heads through the holes and look like a farmer, cowboy or even a pumpkin.  There were also lots of fall decorations with places for the kids to sit while you took their photos. This photo shows the girls running out of a maze made of corn stalks.
The pumpkin patch that we went with our granddaughters also had lots of animals for the girls to feed or pet.  There was a pen of goats and also other enclosures with ducks, rabbits and chickens.  

There was lots to do for the girls including a ride on a train, tractor tricycles to race, and places to climb.
This big rocking chair was a hit with the girls.
After taking plenty of time to let the girls run around we stopped at the donut hut for some delicious pumpkin donuts.  There was also a fudge shop where we purchased some fudge to take home with us.  Of course we couldn't forget to get our pumpkin so before we left we hopped on the wagon for a ride down to the field where all the pumpkins were growing to pick out some special pumpkins to bring home and carve.

The trip to the pumpkin patch was a great success.  It was so much fun watching the girls enjoy the day.  If you are looking for a fun activity for a fall day I would suggest looking for a pumpkin patch to enjoy the treats of the season in the great outdoors.

Fall Crafts

When we got back home from the pumpkin patch it was time for some quiet time so the girls colored some wooden masks that I had gotten from a craft shop.  Here are several links to some fall crafts that would be great for all ages.
Easy Pumpkin Craft
Halloween Crafts
Here are the girls with their newly colored witch masks.




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