Asking kids how their day is going can often get answered with just a few words. Having something to engage your child in a conversation is a great way to start a video-call with them.
Kids enjoy activities. They often light up and giggle when you do something fun with them. The time spent is a wonderful investment in your relationship with them.
Frequent calls may allow for a greater impact on a child’s development. Research suggests that the more words a child has spoken to them in a day the better it is for their wellbeing. When you are reading to a child or having a conversation with them, they are constantly learning. Conversing with children helps with their social skills, supports learning how to read, and can have a great impact on their development. Let’s take a look at some fun FaceTime activities you can try!
Activities To Consider
1. Art Series
Consider creating a series of crafts, and make a different one for each video call. If you have different types of craft supplies you can change materials each time you call, creating several projects with the same subject. If you are unsure of your own ability, just relax and learn together, keeping things lighthearted This is an activity that is an opportunity for fun to be had and should not feel like work that needs to be accomplished!
Getting started is as simple as gathering supplies and looking at a picture of a banana. For older children, you can pick a subject or theme that they are interested in. Each of you draws a colorful picture of a banana using crayons. This gives you something to talk about and show each other while you FaceTime. It also naturally plans your next call, creating something to look forward to.
Some kids love repetition while others enjoy mastering a skill. Repeating the same subject allows for improvement all around. Your child will let you know when it is time to change to a different subject. They may be content with doing five different bananas or want to switch to something new after three.
Other mediums you can try are molding clay, using markers, or drawing with pastels. Switching the reference you are working on, such as changing from a picture of a train to a toy train in front of the child is another way to explore different ways of creating a project.
2. Tell Jokes And Use Humor
Humor can brighten you and your child’s day. Research suggests that families who laugh together have more fun and are happier than others who don’t. Children love to giggle and be silly which creates instant fun for both of you.
- You can try to have different jokes for every video call. Keep in mind that children love repetition and may request the same jokes over and over again.
- Grandparents may enjoy telling funny stories. They can bring a new perspective on life for your child to laugh at.
- Anyone can pull a funny face, however, it can really be funny from someone who tends to naturally be more serious.
- Another approach is silly arm movements accompanied by unusual noises. Kids find different types of things humorous at each stage of development.
- Rhymes, nonsense words, and silly poems can also be a hit.
- You can explore puns and wordplay; this might be a better fit for an older child.
- Your child may find great joy in making you laugh. Try to remember that they are developing their own sense of humor and praise any attempts they make.
- Some kids are also more introverted than others or they may just want to take time to process your joke. You can relax and try again with something different next time.
3. Read A Book Series
Research supports that reading aloud to your child has many benefits. The time spent together helps to bring you closer and builds your relationship with each other.
A new trend that grandparents are starting is reading a series of books, in small installments, to their grandchildren. Everyone looks forward to the next call to find out what happens next. This is a great way to slow everything down in our hectic and fast-paced schedules.
The Boxcar Children written by Gertrude Chandler Warner is a collection of mystery books. The series tells the story of four orphaned children who create a home for themselves until eventually, they meet their wealthy grandfather and their boxcar home becomes a beloved playhouse for them behind their new home with their grandfather. Generations have loved this because the children are self-reliant kids, who are inventive and use problem-solving during their adventures.
A.A. Milne wrote three more books after the much-beloved classic Winnie-the-Pooh. The House on Pooh Corner, When We Were Very Young, and Now We Are Six are books that have been creating lasting memories for generations of children.
If you are looking for short books, the illustrated series, Nate the Great was written by three people all with the last name Sharmat. This is a series of short mystery books that can each be read during one visit. This collection is an example of a series that does not need to be read in any particular order.
4. Play ‘Do You Remember If’
This idea takes no planning. You use open-ended questions as a great conversation tool. Asking a child something silly like, “Do you remember ever playing in the mud? If they respond no, then you can respond that you did and tell a story about making mud pies when you were a kid.
5. Play A Game
Starting a game can be as simple as using an easy-to-use, interactive app as a more engaging video-call. You can relax outside in your favorite chair with your phone or tablet. At Caribu, we supply a wealth of games, activities, as well as books with your child’s favorite characters, in our in-app library, that are fun and ready to go in your next video-call.
Playing a game is a good idea if you are talking with an older child. You may remember playing string games. If both of you have yarn, you can practice Jacob’s Ladder. Once you and your child have an understanding of this game it can be easily transitioned into Eiffel Tower or Witch’s Hat. You can also take Jacob’s Ladder and put it against your face to make a Batman or Catwoman mask.
A game that does not require any supplies and is a good fit for young children is the classic Animal Sound song. You start the game using a sing-song voice, “The cow on the farm goes?”. You then wait until the child responds with the sound they perceive as a cow or the words, “moo moo moo”.
6. Try A New Hobby
Exploring the art of origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, is just one hobby that you can start long-distance. This is an idea that you can go back to any time you make a video call. You can easily find projects for all ages of kids.
Any kind of paper will work. Projects normally start with what shape you need in the first step, often a square. Over time you can accumulate different types of paper in many colors and patterns that are available for origami. If you don’t want to gather the supplies needed for origami, you can try virtual origami activities on the Caribu app. We have tons of different origami activities you can try and get creative with!
This is a hobby you can learn together and laugh at projects that do not go as planned. It is a great way to improve problem-solving skills for everyone involved. A good approach is to think of each project as a puzzle. Children love helping to decipher the folds and basic techniques.
7. Imaginative Play
Imaginative play or make-believe is a fun way to engage with your child.
Studies suggest that when a child role-plays there may be several positive contributions to their development.
- Veterinarian: Both of you act out being a veterinarian, treating pretend animals or stuffed toys in this activity. You can express compassion towards animals during this time or focus on the science of tending and caring for pets.
- Ice Cream Counter: You both can manage your own ice cream parlor and pretend to share different flavors. Are we expecting a favorite character to stop by our shop? How much are we charging for our ice cream? Do not forget to describe colors and textures.
- Airplane Pilot: Children love to pretend to fly in the sky. You can talk about new places. How far you go is limitless as is the world in which you can go.
FaceTime Fun For Kids
Whether you live a long distance away or just a few miles down the road, an easy way to visit with your child is with a video-call through Caribu. Activities are a tried-and-true way to break the ice, make you both laugh, and strengthen your relationship with your loved one.
Research suggests that having fun can have a positive impact on the development of a child. We want to encourage you to relax and enjoy the time you spend together no matter how far apart you are.