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Staying connected with grandchildren during the pandemic

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A green homemade Easter basket has the initials TP on it, as well as decorative blue and pink flowers.
Sheila's granddaughters especially enjoy craft activities. One day, she had them make Easter baskets for other each with materials she left on their doorstep.

I was talking to my sister when I learned how my nieces’ Gran was keeping in touch with her girls. This prompted me to reach out to Gran, aka Sheila Pretto, who happens to be my friend and a long-term resident of Terrace, BC. Here’s the story Sheila shared:

How I stay connected with my grandchildren during a pandemic

Usually I consider myself very fortunate to have my two grandchildren living very close to me. They can pop in and visit at almost any time, but sadly, not at the moment. So, in an effort to stay connected with them and provide some support for their working parents, I suggested that I set up a daily challenge (Monday to Friday) for each of them. I hoped it would help ease the likelihood of increasing boredom and an understandable temptation to rely on too much screen time! My grandchildren, ages 8 and 13, were very receptive to the idea. We’re now in the third week of daily activities and they continue to participate eagerly!

My grandchildren’s weekly challenge

The aim is to make the activities fun, while incorporating some learning opportunities at the same time. Most important though is for them to have fun and that we have something different to chat about each day. They may phone, text, video, or drop off whatever they’ve done each day, and that gives us a chance to connect. When we all have limitations about where we can go and what we can do, it helps to have something specific to talk about!

My granddaughters especially enjoy the craft activities. Here are some examples:

  • Making an Easter basket for each other with materials that I left on their doorstep.
  • Painting rocks to place on the local walking trail for Nonno and me to find (we’re still searching!).
  • Designing egg carton furniture for the younger granddaughter’s dolls.
  • Doing a scavenger hunt around their house and yard for items that began with the first initial of their name and then writing a story to include all 10 items.
  • Making wind chimes is the next challenge! I’ve thought up most of the ideas so far, but I’m beginning to phone my friends for ideas now!
A young girl shows off her homemade Easter basket.
To stay connected with her grandchildren and provide some support for their working parents, Sheila has been setting up daily activity challenges for her granddaughters.

Maintaining close family ties while physically distancing and having fun!

Though we can’t physically spend time together as we usually do, the best part of this is that we’re maintaining our close family ties, being creative and having fun! It’s a win-win situation. It helps to keep the grandchildren busy and active while resulting in ‘grandparent therapy’ for me! 

Rocks are painted, one with a cat face, another with pizza one it, and one more with a horse head.
Another activity was painting rocks to place on the local walking trail for Sheila and the girls' Nonno to find. 

Staying connected while staying apart

How have you been connecting with your grandchildren or family members? Share your ideas in the comments below!