Grandparenting Long Distance: Creative Free iPhone Games
Creative Free iPhone Games
Connecting Long Distance Through Face Time
Earlier this year we upgraded our phones from the dinosaur version we carried for years to the newer iPhone. We hadn't planned on purchasing new phones since our antique mobiles were sufficient, but our grandchildren motivated us by expressing how nice it would be to visit face-to-face via the new Face Time option on the iPhone.
Well, that got us thinking. How wonderful it would be to actually see them up close while speaking! And we discovered that you can walk from room to room—outside, downstairs, or upstairs—while chatting, playing games, and working around the home. It's the next best thing to being physically together!
Gene Perret is quoted as saying, "Grandparents are there to help the child get into mischief they haven't thought of yet." This is true of my husband and me when we are with our grandchildren, even over the iPhone. Not always, but there have been a few times when having fun got us into trouble. Trust me, our antics and horseplay don't always go well within the confines of a living room nor do they over the iPhone.
In order to appease parents (yes, we were reprimanded!), we invented some games to play while on Face Time to keep our conversations at a moderate, civil and semi-quiet speaking level. The best part: They are free and educational!
iPhone Guessing Game
Our first creative iPhone game was a simple guessing game using toys, small household items, tools, and just about anything small that would fit within the iPhone frame view. We took turns showing a small piece of the item over the camera and asked if the other person could guess what it was.
Example of How to Play:
- Here it is grandma (small piece revealed). Can you guess what it is?
- A ribbon?
- A piece of licorice?
- No. (giggling)
- Can you show me a bit more?
- (More is revealed.) Do you know what it is?
- Nope. Show me some more, please.
- Of course. (more is displayed -- followed by giggling)
- I give up. What is it?
- My pink gel bracelet. (the full item is displayed)
- Oh! I never would have guessed!
- (Laughter and giggling from both grandma and grandchild)
This is a fun game and it can go on endlessly depending on how many items you can find and how engaged the child is in playing (and if grandma or grandpa can keep up). We have discovered that the fun is to find items that are unusual, colorful, and with some mystery to the shape.
Some Items We Have Used to Play This Game:
- Postage stamps
- Small screwdriver
- Toy erasers, animals, dolls and vehicles.
I must admit that my grandkids win most of the time on this game. They can come up with some clever guessing items, plus they have all those toys which they use to their advantage! Rest assured, as you learn to play this game with your grandkids, you will come up with some interesting items to display and guess.
Did You Guess Correctly?
More "Free" iPhone Learning Game Activities
How To Play
ABC Discover Me
Similar to Highway Alphabet. Set a time limit to find the letters around the home. You must pronounce the letter and show it over the phone when you see it for points. This can be very competitive and "active" fun.
Letter and sound recognition; some physical exercise
One person writes a noun, such as cat. The other person writes a sentence. You then share your writing to see if they make a good sentence. (They usually do not match and it is loads of fun to read them!)
Language, grammar and verbal communication.
You say an unusual word (the funnier the meaning, the better!), such as malodorous ("stinking"), and ask if they know what it means. If not, use it in a sentence. If still not able to guess, then you have them look it up using a dictionary.
Language, grammar, reading comprehension
What am I?: Drawing Game
You describe an item to them, such as a cat, to see if they can draw it from visual imagery. This is a really fun game because you never get it right and the results are hilarious!
Visualization, Reasoning, Critical thinking, Problem solving
Fun Guessing Game Song
The Rewards Of Grandparenting Long Distance
The single most important thing a grandparent can do is to build a strong relationship with their grandchild. The bond between the two can lead to a satisfying relationship that not only helps both to understand the gap in ages, but also provides a mentoring avenue for the child.
We love talking with our grandkids, but in order to help them open up and feel comfortable sharing their life, we need to find some common interests. I have discovered playing games with them aids tremendously in building commonality, and it downplays the formality of a conversation, especially the aspect of being quizzed. Being comfortable speaking with an adult is a learned social skill, and grandparents can help build this skill by using games to make the communication fun. It opens up the relationship to one where the child can easily converse as needed about important events, discuss problems, and the things they are passionate about in life.
Grandparenting long distance by iPhone, especially using Face Time, is a great technological advantage that provides continuity in a child's life. It conveys your love and interest while keeping the bonds that tie strong.