The coronavirus is worrisome for everyone, but it’s especially dangerous for older adults.

People aged 65 years and older with existing chronic medical conditions, and people aged 70 years and older, are considered to be at higher risk of serious illness if they’re infected.

As coronavirus has been shown to disproportionally impact older adults, families are facing difficult decisions about whether their children should continue to have physical contact with their grandparents.

Social distancing is one of the best defences against contracting COVID-19. But a lack of in-person contact can be difficult for children and older loved ones who have suddenly found themselves separated.

Luckily, there are plenty of fun activities to help grandparents and grandchildren stay close while they’re apart.

 

Write a Letter with a Twist

Even with the internet at our fingertips, there’s nothing like receiving something in the mail – and this is the perfect time to become pen pals with your grandchildren.

Traditional letters are fun and all, but we think kids will be running to check the mail with these unique ideas.

Use Invisible Ink

Your grandchild will feel like a secret agent uncovering your hidden message written in invisible ink. Follow these steps to make your own invisible ink at home using lemon juice.

Create a Find-a-Word

Another creative way to send a special message, a personalised find-a-word turns a simple note into a fun activity for your grandchild.

Don’t Use Paper

Write inside a book, on the back of a photo, or even on a frisbee. This is a fun way to mix things up and keep your grandchild on their toes!

Write ‘Open When’ Letters

An ‘open when’ letter comes with the instruction to open at a later date or in a specific situation. Grandkids of all ages will love the added element of suspense with these letters. This is a great way to remind them you’re there for them even when you can’t physically be there.

Some ‘open when’ letter ideas include:

  • Open when you miss me
  • Open when you’re feeling blue
  • Open when you want to laugh
  • Open when you have a nightmare
  • Open when you’re feeling unwell
  • Open when you need a pep talk
  • Open on your birthday.

 

Have Fun over Video Calls

You may not be able to play and cuddle in person, but video calls are the next best thing.

Video call apps like Skype, WhatsApp, and FaceTime allow you to see your grandchild’s facial expressions as you talk.

All you need is a smartphone, tablet or computer (with built-in camera or webcam) and an internet connection, and you’re ready for some quality time through your screens.

Read Together

Thanks to video calls, you don’t have to miss out on bonding over picture books. You can read books for fun or help them with their homework by having them read out loud to you.

Have a Dance Party

Put on some music, set up your devices where you can see each other, and bust a move! If you’d prefer to stay seated, try singing nursery rhymes and doing the hand movements to favourites like The Itsy Bitsy Spider and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

Perform a Puppet Show

Treat your grandchild with a front-row seat to their very own private puppet show! Get crafty and draw faces on a couple of wooden spoons, adding a tissue or handkerchief for a dress. Or simply draw eyes and a mouth on a couple of socks. Whatever you use, little ones are sure to be entertained and delighted.

Show and Tell

Show and tells are a great way to get kids talking. You might like to ask your grandchild to give you a tour of their bedroom, show off their favourite toys, or get their pet on video.

Is social distancing impacting your mental health? Discover our practical tips to protect your emotional wellbeing in the coronavirus outbreak, or call us on 1300 364 277. Our telephone counsellors are available Mon-Fri 8am-8pm and Sat 10am-4pm.