While we manage social isolation that has come about because of the COVID-19 pandemic, older people in Boroondara are missing their usual contact with grandchildren and the other important young people in their lives.

Here are some ideas to help maintain that special relationship and stay connected digitally.  You may find that you both enjoy these activities so much that they become a regular part of your day or week, even when social distancing is no longer required.

15 ideas for activities to do together

Bed Time Stories

Read a classic children’s book to your grandchild at bed time. Boroondara Library Services and our Children’s and Youth Services teams combine to give you access to their favourite uplifting picture books

Have your grandchild read to you

We all remember that stressful time of the day - dinner, baths and reading before bedtime. Why not help out by listening to your grandchild read? 

Help with homework

Why not help with homework? Your grandchild can practise spelling and times-tables or you can listen to older children’s ideas, essays and projects.

Play a game

You can teach your grandchild to play backgammon or a card game for some quality one-on-one time or the whole family can get together to play Pictionary or Trivial Pursuit. Most games can be adapted to play via Zoom, even Charades. Why not try Words with Friends (available on the App Store on your iPhone or Google Play on your android phone), Drawasaurus or Pictionary online to get started?

Be a digital tutor

Young children are home schooling and many find it difficult to stay focussed without supervision. At the same time, parents are working from home and don’t have the freedom to provide constant support and supervision. You can help by offering regular time and support.

Grow something

Do you have a green thumb? Now is the time to inspire the next generation of gardener because it’s the perfect time to order some seeds or bulbs and have them delivered to your grandchild.

Grandparents and grandchildren can grow seeds at the same time and compare their progress. For ideas check out this ABC article on growing child friendly veggies.

Cook something

Why not cook or bake something delicious with your grandchild? You can arrange to have the appropriate ingredients available beforehand and provide instruction and visual cues as you both make the same dish in each of your kitchens via an online meeting platform such as Zoom.

Form a book club

You can both read an age appropriate book at the same time and chat about it on a regular basis. Suitable books are listed in the Victorian Premier’s Reading Challenge booklist and can be purchased online..

Watch a film or television series together

Take it in turns to select a movie or television series. Watch it and Zoom, FaceTime or phone to discuss.

Watch a sporting event together

Do you both love footy or another sport? Why not FaceTime during a game? You can barrack together and share the excitement of the game.

Learn something together

Have you always wanted to learn a language or a new skill like macramé? Why not learn together? Library members can access free online courses, including language lessons from the City of Boroondara. 

Teach a skill

Does your grandchild want to learn to knit? Change a washer? Make a movie? Design a dress? Build a cubby house? Share your skills and work on a project together using Zoom or FaceTime. Or, maybe there is a thing or two your grandchild could teach you!

Tour a country

Always wanted to go to Italy? Want to share the places you have been with your grandchild? You can both visit the Colosseum and the Vatican and be home for dinner. All you need to do is Google the name of the country or city you wish to visit.  Why not start with the Colosseum?

You can share YouTube content via Zoom

Visit an art gallery or museum

Art galleries and museums around the world have virtual tours of their collections.Together you can visit the MOMA or Tate Gallery, the Museum of Natural History or the Australian War Memorial. Some museums have activities and projects that can be fun for all ages. Click on the link below to tour some of the National Gallery of Victoria’s collections.

Learn a new technology from your grandchild

Don’t know how to use Zoom? Get your grandchild to call and talk you through it. After you master the use of Zoom you can move on to some of the other activities outlined in this article. YouTube can be a great resource for tutorial videos on any topic!

Ways to Connect

Online meeting platforms

Online meeting platforms are in use like never before. You can check which platform your grandchildren, children and friends are using and sign up for free.

Zoom

Zoom is a free web-based video conferencing tool which allows people to meet online and share content. It can be used from phones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers. The link below takes you straight to sign up.

Zoom 

Webex

Webex is another free online meeting platform that can be used from smart phones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers. Just like Zoom, you can share content, including YouTube videos. The link below takes you straight to sign up.

Webex 

Microsoft teams

Yes - another a free web-based video conferencing tool which allows people to meet online and share content. It can also be used from phones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers.  The link below takes you straight to sign up.

Microsoft teams 

Chat platforms and apps

FaceTime, Skype and Facebook Messenger

If you have an iPhone or iPad you can FaceTime calls to see each other or use it to show what you are doing. If have an Android phone you can video chat using Skype or Facebook Messenger.