With soccer practice, piano lessons, and playdates, it can seem hard to fit into your grandkids' busy schedules. Even when school is out, there are camps, friends, and summer sports for busy kids. If your grandkids have calendars that rival those of a CEO, it can be difficult to spend quality time together and build a strong bond.
Kinoo knows how important it is for both grandparents and grandkids to foster a strong relationship. With Kinoo, you can connect with your grandkids and catch up on their interests and hobbies, while playing and learning together.
Read on to learn about the benefits of the grandparent and grandchild relationship, ways to help strengthen that bond, and methods for maximizing your time together.
What Are the Benefits of a Strong Inter-Generational Relationship?
If you were lucky enough to have a loving relationship with your own grandparents, you know how special those times spent together were. Now that you're a grandparent or a parent who lives further away from your own parents than you’d like — it’s your turn to foster this life-enhancing relationship.
A close bond with grandparents doesn’t just help the kids — grandparents can expect many benefits too. Whether you're spending time together in the same room or participating in an engaging Kinoo call, you can build an unbreakable bond that benefits the whole family. Below are some of the benefits of a strong grandparent/grandchild relationship.
The Entire Family Feels Happier
A strong, positive relationship between grandparents and grandkids creates a support system for both.
Research shows that grandparents see improvements in mental health after spending time with younger relatives. Even better, the mental health boost extends to young folks as well. Knowing they have a safe place to turn if they feel down or need someone to listen can help kids feel safe and secure.
Everyone Learns New Skills
Grandparents likely have lived decades longer than the youngest family members. That means grands are well-equipped to add life skills to the grandkids’ tool belt, thanks to their life experience. These lessons can be life lessons, like treating everyone with respect and kindness, sharing with others, or being true to yourself.
Kids can also learn how to do certain activities from their grandparents, even from far away. Does grandma make the best cookies? She can share the recipe and her tricks for making your award-winning cookies in person — or from a distance with Kinoo.
If you aren’t close enough to be in the kitchen together, just connect in a Kinoo call, and pull up the Cookie Maker in the Activity Explorer. You and your mini baker can pour, whisk, and bake cookies together on Kinoo — all the fun with none of the mess!
Grandkids may be small, but they have a lot to teach their grownups, too! They may show you how to play a new game, remind you to appreciate the little things, and help you remember to see the joy in everyday activities.
Kids Learn Family History and Culture
Grandparents are often the keepers of the extended family history. They have stories from childhood and what the world was like when they were growing up.
Plus, grandparents can tell stories of their own child — often to the delight of grandkids who can hardly imagine their own parents as children(time to whip out the family photo album!). Both parents and grandparents can pass down the wisdom of their parents. No matter how much time has passed, their tried-and-true advice can be more valuable than ever.
Along with family history, grandparents can also help instill the traditions of your family’s particular culture. Introduce your grandkids to the holidays, unique foods, and the cultural traditions you treasure.
Learning family history through storytelling is key to bolstering generational bonds. Kids will feel more connected to their roots and experience greater self-esteem.
Four Ways To Bond With Busy Grandkids
Now that you know all the benefits that an intergenerational relationship with grandkids can bring, it's time to talk about the how. Spending quality time with the kiddos in your life can be tricky if you don’t live near each other. Then, if the kids in your life are overachievers with intense extracurricular schedules, the difficulty raises a few more notches.
Here are four tips to stay close to your grandkids (even the ones with busy schedules):
Prioritize One-on-One Time
One of the best things you can do to get the most out of the time you have with your grandchild is prioritizing one-on-one time. If you can’t visit to spend time in person, Kinoo is here to help you spend time together, fully engaged in sharing fun, learning activities together.
Even if you only have 15 minutes every other week, you can fully devote that entire time to the smiling face on your tablet and know that they will be excited to spend that time with you on Kinoo, where calls typically last up to 10x longer than phone or Facetime calls.
If you have multiple grandkids in the same home, set aside different moments where you can interact with each one individually. You may want to do that in specific increments on one Kinoo call, or you can plan different calls with each grandchild.
Children, especially toddlers, thrive off schedules and individualized attention. Creating a routine, regular time to chat with each child on their own creates the consistency and focus that growing minds crave.
Schedule Regular Kinoo Calls
Families with full schedules need to prioritize quality time over quantity time. All parents (and all adults, really) know that it’s impossible to keep a toddler focused on a regular video call. When it’s bedtime, a toddler will ramble on for 30 minutes about an imaginary friend. But, when a video call pops up, they suddenly run out of words.
That’s why the childhood experts at Kinoo are here with a helping hand. Kinoo’s unique conversation starters help you formulate engaging questions that prompt thoughtful responses rather than a simple “yes” or “no” answer. Before you know it, you’ll be speaking fluent toddler, and they’ll be happily playing and sharing with you.
Schedule a Kinoo call regularly to keep up with the comings and goings in your grandchild's life. To make your call super engaging, you can plan ahead which of the different activities you will do together. You may have your favorite go-to Kinoo activity, or you may want to try a new one each week.
Send a Note
If your grandbabies have a hectic couple of weeks coming up, you can send a note in the mail. Opening the mailbox and getting a special surprise is like nothing else. You and your long-distance loved ones can become pen pals and write back and forth when a spare moment presents itself.
Maybe talk about your upcoming plans for your next video chat in your letter. For example, if you are planning a show and tell on the next call, let them know so they can pick their favorite item ready to share.
Or, open the Gratitude Card activity on Kinoo, and you and your young loved one can work together to create cards to send to anyone who is important in your life and let them know that they rate high with you!
Communicate With Their Parents
Grandparents, if you feel your time with your grandkids is not prioritized in their family, talk to their parents or caregivers. Parents are pulled in a thousand different directions these days, and they may not be aware of your feelings. Knowing that you want to be more involved in your grandchildren’s lives may be a welcomed revelation for busy parents!
Parents know how meaningful it can be if you develop a close relationship with their tiny tykes, especially since parents benefit from it too. You can watch the kiddos to give their primary caregivers some breathing room. If you can’t physically watch over the adorable sometime-trouble-makers, you can entertain them over a Kinoo call while tired parents have time to focus on to-do lists or sneak in some self-care.
How Can You Maximize the Time You Have With Your Busy Grandkids?
Planning quality time with your relatives is important, but how you use that time matters too. Kids may not know how to engage in big, meaningful conversations, and can be tired from long, busy days, so come prepared with tools to help everyone get the most out of this precious time.
Plan To Play
Kids love to play. In fact, a child needs to play — and it’s an inherent right, according to Article 31 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Kinoo has revolutionized video calls by infusing them with the essence of playtime. With our interactive, cooperative games and activities, families can play together and enjoy each other’s company.
Plus, you no longer need to worry about the stress of keeping a conversation going. With Kinoo’s “lightbulb” icon suggestions — shown only to the adult — for conversation openers, fun facts, and interesting questions, you can say goodbye to awkward silences and hello to meaningful chats and delightful giggles.
You can play games like Memory or Four in a Row, blast off to space together, help each other match socks, decorate a gorgeous cake, and so much more. The fun never stops… until bedtime, that is.
Ask Meaningful Questions
Questions are an awesome, kid-friendly way to break the ice and start a conversation. During your time on Kinoo, helpful conversation starters and questions may pop up on your screen. (The youngsters on the call can’t see the text and will be none the wiser.)
Each game and activity has its own set of engaging questions to help you interact with your grandbaby on the Kinoo call. You don’t have to use the questions to have a successful call, but they're absolutely there for you when you need a tiny boost of inspiration or when you feel the conversation flagging.
Show Interest in Their Hobbies
Another way to connect with younger loved ones is by showing an interest in their hobbies. Does your little kiddo love to go fishing? Find common ground, and you can become an invaluable mentor. You can pass on some of the tips you’ve learned about fishing or tell your silliest fishing story.
Or, you and your little fisherperson can hop on Kinoo and fish together on Fishing Fun whenever you're finished. The convenient part about Kinoo is you can chat and go fishing (or try any one of our fun activities) from anywhere.
If your darling is headed to dance class, give them a call of encouragement and practice dancing on the moon. If your slugger is headed to baseball, perhaps have them hit a ball while you’re on a call so you can watch a bit of the practice and see all their hard work.
Did your little one score their first goal or do well on a math test? No matter how busy the schedule is, you can show your special little loved ones how proud you are. Send a special card with fun stickers as a surprise (you can make one on Kinoo and send it virtually if needed), take them out for ice cream, or make a celebratory pizza or cake together in Kinoo call to recognize exciting accomplishments.
The Relationships That We Treasure
The relationship between a grandparent and a grandchild can have incredible benefits for everyone. Even if your grandchild has an impossibly busy schedule, find a moment to schedule one-on-one time. Make the most of every minute with interactive activities and positive conversation.
With the help of Kinoo, growing families can form solid relationships even during the most chaotic and busy times. Prioritizing this special relationship will provide lasting benefits throughout your lives.
To be or not to be: relationship between grandparent status and health and wellbeing | PMC
Family Storytelling and the Benefits for Children | Extension | University of Nevada, Reno
Nurturant Grandfathering: Mentoring Work | Ohioline
Convention on the Rights of the Child | OHCHR
5 Reasons to Establish a Toddler Routine | Parents