Updated: May 4
How many parents have scheduled phone calls or video chats with their children but find that it isn't really bonding or engaging for your child? Here's some of my favorite ways to make phone calls fun calls;
Battleship: If your child is old enough to play battleship, buy the game and send one set to your child's other home. Battleship can be played over the phone or over video chat. You do NOT have to be at the same location to play it and it can become more and more fun as your child learns ways to try and trick you so they win.
Guess who: Similar to battleship, guess who can be played from two separate locations as long as each player has a full set of the materials. I'd buy two sets of this game so parent and child can have a full deck of the people to choose from at their locations. Even if you both pick the same person, it's a fun game. Facebook Messenger Kids App: If your child has access to electronics and you are able to set them up on the facebook messenger kids app there are interactive 2 player games which you can play via video chat. I'm sure there are other similar apps available but this is the App I like to utilize and it's free.
Prepare a dialogue which you always use so your child gets excited about answering as they learn to look forward to it: What's your favorite thing you did this week? What was your least favorite thing you've done this week? What's your favorite thing you've learned that you didn't know last week? etc... Write a letter to your child about something random that you saw or did between communication and if possible photograph it. Read the letter to your child and show them the photo. Ask your child to take a turn doing the same. Buy your child a journal and call it the "things I can't wait to tell you Journal". Explain that this journal is where they can write down anything they want to tell you so that they don't forget it and you keep one as well. See who can write 10 things between calls in their journals the most times in a row. Have some "I thought of you when" dialogue. Ex; I thought of you this past Monday when I saw an owl because it's hair was sticking up just like yours does when you sleep on it. Ask your child to name a time they thought of you and why.
Hangman; Get white boards for you and your child and take turns playing hangman. Make sure you use words or sentence's that aren't more difficult then their reading capabilities. Get the same book and read to one another. Take turns or read simultaneously. Reading is so healthy for kids and encouraging them to enjoy it may be helpful to them and help you connect with them.
Send your child a Chia pet and get one for yourself. Plant them over the phone together and compare their growth. If you're further apart, speculate on climate impact and who has a better green thumb.
~ Erika Parents Not Visitors
If anyone uses any of these suggestions, please share the outcome in the comments section below.