Ideas for Keeping Connected to Grandkids
The holidays can be challenging for grandparents who won’t be sitting by the tree when kids open their presents. If you can’t be there, you can still make sure the kids feel your presence. When selecting gifts, focus on the personal and meaningful; steer away from the latest toys that they will use and set aside before you see them again. The following suggestions can help you start new traditions and create lasting memories for your grandchildren.
Texts. IMs. Facebook. Twitter. Email. Our computers offer us a multitude of ways to communicate with our grandchildren. But while instant communication is convenient, and can be great fun, many kids — especially younger ones — still get a thrill when the mailman delivers something special for them. Unlike email or texts, “snail mail” gives kids a tangible reminder of you that they can hold in their hand, enjoy over and over again, and even take to school for show-and-tell. That beats a tweet every day of the week.
1. Start an annual tradition of sending each grandchild an Easter Basket, Halloween candy, Valentine Day heart, and a specially chosen ornament for the family Christmas tree. You might try to get ‘I thought of you’ gifts while you’re on vacation – the proverbial t-shirt and souvenir.
2. If you can’t see the kids in December, send them something special they can enjoy with you when you do get together. Add to their excitement about an upcoming spring or summer adventure by sending a package with everything they’ll need. A backyard camping kit might include a tent, sleeping bag, canteen, and flashlight; a beach package could combine sand toys, a beach towel, a child-size chair, and cool sunglasses.
3. Many older kids seem to have everything they need, and it’s tough to keep up with their tastes in music or fashion, so send them something money can’t (entirely) buy — the promise of an all-day, one-on-one experience with you. Surprise your grandchild with two tickets to a basketball game or Broadway-style show, as well as gift certificates to their favorite restaurant and arcade. To build their anticipation, include a small souvenir like a team cap or shirt, or the soundtrack to the musical you’ll see. Even the most jaded teens will appreciate the special time you’ll spend together.
4. Art supplies are a perennial favorite for kids of all ages, but grandparents don’t always get the opportunity to see the enchanting works their favorite young artists create. To solve this problem, include several oversize, self-decorated, self-addressed, stamped envelopes with your art-supply packages. Write your grandchildren a note, with your own artwork in the margins, encouraging them to create some new pieces for your home and to send those drawings or paintings to you.
~excerpt from Grandparents.com