Video call games for grandparents and kids
Help grandparents connect with their grandchildren on video calls
A video call between a grandparent and a grandchild is a great way to maintain connection and special moments when separated by long distance or when in isolation or quarantine. But young children, especially preschoolers, can find it hard to engage with others via a screen. We've come up with some ideas to help make the zoom, skype or facetime video call time engaging, fun and memorable.
Games for grandparents and preschool children
Read a book
Reading a book to your granchild is a great video call activity. Kids can struggle to stay focussed (and calm!) when on a zoom or skype call, so sometimes it's best to keep things simple with a good old fashioned book.
Show and tell
Kids love "sharing their toys" with anyone and everyone who will listen. This game is simply that - kids can pick toys, crafts they've made, or pictures they've drawn, and share them on screen with their grandparent. Whether you're a nanna or nanny, pa or papa, grandpa or granddad, grandma or gma - this activity is a sure winner.
Why not create a virtual shop for your kids to buy things at. Get your grandparents involved by pre-planning for them to set up a "shop". The shop could have grocery items for sale, or toys, or anything they lying around really. When the video call starts, the kids can "visit" the shop where they will be able to choose what they'd like to buy.
If you want to get really clever... you (the parent or carer) can pre-prepare (hide them) the same items the kids might buy at the virtual shop. When the kids buy then, you can quickly bring out the purchased items and the kids' should get a nice surprise.
Would You Rather
The grandparent can come up with a selection of "either or" questions to ask their grandchild to find out "what they'd rather". The questions can be simple, silly and funny. Here are some examples:
- Would you rather eat apples or bananas?
- Would you rather be a elephant or a giraffe?
- Would you rather live in a tree or a cave?
- Would you rather drive a train or sail a boat?
- Would you rather have to wear socks on your ears or pants on your head?
Playing Simon Says over skype, facetime or zoom will usually require everyone to be on their own screen so they can effectively see what instructions the leader is giving, but it could also work with an adult on screen and a few people on another screen. The concept of the game is simple - one person gives instructions while the others follow. But if they follow the instructions when the leader doesn't say "Simon says..." then they're out! To keep things interesting, we've collected a few variations of Simon Says here too.
Spot the Difference
The grandparent can set up a tray with a large amount of random objects in it. Then they show this to their grandchild for a limited time. Then they cover the web cam and take one or two items off the tray. Once the tray is revealed again, the child must take a look and say what object(s) they think are missing.
Games for grandparents and school-aged kids
Read My Lips
Take it in turns putting your video call on mute and speak a phrase, with your mouth clearly in view, and see if the other person can guess what you're saying by reading your lips. Make the game extra funny by reading out silly or funny phrases that may not make complete sense.
Rock Paper Scissors
The game of Rock Paper Scissors is an all-time favourite. It's universally known and easy to explain - perfect for a video call between a grandparent and grandchild. First to ten wins!
This game is great for grandparents and grandchilden to play on a video call. The grandparent says a random colour and the child (or children) must race to find something in the room (or house) that is that colour. If there's multiple children, the first one to bring the coloured object back to the video call is the winner. You can introduce different rules to keep it interesting - like a combination of colours or like another feature to the object (small, long etc).
The game of battleships can work really well over a facetime video call. You can use a printable battleships grid online to print and play, or alternatively if you both have a similar copy of the physical board game you can use that. Players hide various battlehips on their grid and then take turns trying to guess the location of all the opposition battleships before theirs are sunk.
If your kids love lego then this is the game for them. Connect up the video call and give all the kids a lego building challenge. This could be "build the tallest tower", "build the best race car" or "build something green" - whatever you want really. Then give them each 5-10 minutes and compare the results. This is a great video call playdate activity!
The game of twenty questions is an all-time favourite and requires no preparation to play on facetime. One player chooses an object or person without the other player knowing. The other play then has twenty "yes or no" questions to try to guess what the object is. This game is great for a grandparent to play with their grandchild on a video call.