To help bridge the distance with my out-of-state in-laws, my family and I engage in frequent Skype visits, to make sure our two small kids can spend time with their grandparents as often as possible. As a result of these weekly virtual visits, we’ve gotten pretty good (and creative!) at making the most of this time, because we all know how short the attention span of a small child can be, especially if it involves asking them to sit in front of a computer screen but not playing a game or watching a video!
I’ve jotted down just a few fun tips to keep in mind when doing these visits to make the most of this precious time!
Thanks to my laptop, we recently started doing dinner chats in the kitchen so my kids can eat (which happens to be their favorite activity!) while talking to their grandparents. This helps keep them seated safely away from the laptop as well, especially since my one-year old tends to lunge at the keyboard with his messy, sticky fingers any chance he gets.
If given enough notice, my in-laws also make dinner and truly “dine” with us! I personally love these visits so I can clean up for a few minutes with the kids being entertained. Otherwise, they’re off into the living room and most likely getting into trouble!
Another favorite activity of ours is to have my mother-in-law read a favorite story over Skype to our kids. Luckily she’s extremely animated and charismatic, and can transcend this fun-loving spirit through the screen. This also can carry over into song time, which is my son’s favorite as he’s just honing in on this hand-eye coordination for “Itsy-Bitsy Spider” and “If You’re Happy and You Know It”!
We also love using Skype to let my in-laws experience our kid’s “firsts” as soon as they happen, like crawling and walking. There’s nothing more exciting then experiencing these major milestones together and I am so happy we can do that with them.
If use a desktop and are somewhat confined to one spot in your house for doing Skype visits, just be creative and prepared for your visits so you’re not spending all your time clearing dangerous objects out of the reach of your little one (like I used to do before we got my laptop!) When my daughter was really little, I’d just be sure to have crayons and a piece of paper handy so she could draw while sitting in my laptop and not be clawing at the keyboard!
What are some of your favorite activities to do on Skype while chatting with far away loved ones?