Spending quality time with your grandchildren is key to developing a strong, lasting bond. So what happens if you don't live close enough to see them as often as you'd like? Long-distance grandparents need creative solutions to stay connected to loved ones.
While nothing beats a real-life hug, there are five types of apps that will help you feel more connected when you are separated from your favorite kiddos.
But Kinoo, a revolutionary new app, leads the way by combining the best of all five into one app that helps remote family members bridge the distance. Kinoo is fundamentally a new kind of video chat app. It includes activities — played together — that build important educational and life skills for kids and allows older loved ones to coach and support with in-app tips and facts, and thought-provoking questions to share.
With Kinoo, you can connect and engage with your grandkids on a whole new level, creating lasting memories and building bonds that last a lifetime.
Helpful Apps for Connecting with Family
Video Chat Apps
Even the most loving family trees sometimes can’t grow in the same orchard.
Your grandchildren may not live close enough to visit often, but you can still enjoy face-to-face chats when video calling.
Video chat apps are a perfect alternative to being together in the same room. These apps allow the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren to blossom by adding a visual component to your phone call.
Video interactions also help grandparents overcome social isolation. Active video chats replicate the feeling of in-person interactions, filling the gaps between locations and generations.
It can often be difficult to keep children engaged in any type of call, including video calls, however. This is where Kinoo shines by offering learning games and activities — brought to life with the Kinoo wand, which adds physical activity and boosts learning with movement.
Through a Kinoo video chat, you can read bedtime stories together, sing songs, play charades, or just share how your day or week has been. You can ask your little one to show you their favorite toy or something they drew at home or school or use Kinoo’s cooperative drawing tools to make beautiful art together.
All these little things can help you bridge the distance between family members through video chat.
What Are the Best Texting Apps?
For kids who are starting to read and write, texting apps may be an excellent option for them. Not only can you stay connected, but through reading and typing out texts, your grandkids practice their literacy skills.
While Kinoo offers only limited texting between connected family members, kids and their older loved ones can work together to create Kinoo Gratitude Cards. Gratitude Cards allow younger and older loved ones to design, create and share original art and heartfelt messages with the others in their lives that matter most.
These apps usually come with a picture-sharing feature, and Kinoo is no different. With Kinoo, you can take pictures of you and your grandkids enjoying a trip to the moon or decorating a cake together and share the photo with other family members.
Texting with young kids can get pretty interesting. You may have to read between the emojis!
What Are the Best Video-Sharing Apps?
Unlike video chat apps, video sharing apps allow you to take a video and send it to your grandchild. These apps are much like texting, but instead of words, they rely on videos to communicate. If your grandkids are not text-savvy and you can’t find the right moment to video chat with them directly, this is an excellent back-up option.
With this app format, you can send longer messages, share an experience, or even send a video of you reading them a story. Your grandkids can watch your videos and send some back to you. Watch with delight as you get a virtual, front-row seat to dance recitals and school plays!
What Are the Best Gaming Apps?
There are many gaming apps on the market, but not all of them are age-appropriate. It’s important to make sure games are kid-friendly and offer age-appropriate play.
Kinoo offers all this and more — with developmentally appropriate activities for kids and their grandparents to enjoy together within video chat functionality. Kinoo’s games offer both competitive and cooperative play. In addition, all activities are created by child development and academic experts and designed to build educational and life skills that help ensure kids’ success in school and out in the world.
And with Kinoo, you'll find all of these options, plus endless gaming fun for the whole family.
What Are the Best Art Apps?
Interactive apps are best when you’re looking to build virtual connections with your grandkids. Art apps are fun for kids, but apps that allow you to draw together not only allow you and your grandkids to create beautiful artwork but treasured memories as well.
According to Penn State researchers, art is vital for children's development. It helps develop cognitive skills, build creativity, practice fine motor skills, and provides an opportunity for self-expression.
Kinoo’s painting function is a wonderful place to start. Practice your drawing skills on your next Kinoo video chat as you bond with your grandchild. You can take turns drawing pictures, or you can create a painting together.
Long-distance relatives might not be able to share an easel, so an iPad or tablet becomes the canvas. When you finish your masterpiece, you can take a photo to share with friends and other loved ones.
It’s no secret that younger age groups have difficulty focusing on video and Facetime chat while the backyard swingset beckons. The childhood development experts at Kinoo solved this issue with adorable animated characters who help support the activities and the Kinoo Wand for movement and embodied learning.
And, with Kinoo, the “Ah-ha! Lightbulb moment” breakthrough is tangible; watch as a lightbulb icon flashes, prompting older relatives to ask age-appropriate questions and share fun facts that lead to active, engaged conversations with their little loved ones.
What Apps Should You Be Cautious Of?
A red flag in gaming apps for kids is the presence of loot boxes. Loot boxes are boxes in a game that you can purchase with in-game currency or real money.
Once you purchase the box, you'll be rewarded with random virtual prizes. Researchers say virtual gambling may lead young, impressionable kids into gambling dependencies (while racking up extensive bills on parents’ credit cards).
Some video-sharing apps can also pose a threat to children. Most video-sharing apps have minimum age requirements for users. However, this is often not never verified, leaving children vulnerable to adults with ill intentions or content created to masquerade as kid-friendly when it is anything but.
Firewalls intended to protect children are also not perfect. Many videos slip past, leaving young minds vulnerable to intentionally disturbing content.
Connect, Share, Love
Living far from your grandchildren can be difficult, but the miles can feel much less distant with the development of new technologies. Apps like video chat, messenger/text, video-sharing, gaming, and art apps can facilitate bonds between generations. With Kinoo, you get the best of them all!
Kinoo is here to help you and your grandkids create strong and lasting bonds, no matter how far away you live.
Study by Professor Finds Video Chat Helps Grandparents Maintain Relationships with Grandchildren, Diminishes Feelings of Isolation | Georgetown College | Georgetown University
"A Global Analysis into Loot Boxes: Is It "Virtually" Gambling?" by Kevin Liu | University of Washington
Art – an opportunity to develop children’s skills | PennState
The Real Meaning Behind the Most Popular Emojis | Reader's Digest
The disturbing YouTube videos that are tricking children | BBC News
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