My husband and I (ages 68 and 69) would be “sheltering in place” even if we lived down the street from our four grandchildren. But when they are over 2,000 miles away, on the other side of the country and we’re all facing a crisis, the long distance almost causes a panic in this Gram’s heart.
But we grandparents can also stay connected to our grandkids just with postage stamps and an envelope! You don’t need to leave your home — all that’s needed are stamps, envelopes, and the ability to place out-going mail in your mail box. (BTW, if you need postage stamps, place an order with the post office online. Or ask a friend who has extra stamps to mail some to you.)
What can you send to your grandchild? It doesn’t have to be complicated or take a ton of creativity. Kids are an easy audience because they like getting anything in the mail with their name on it!
Here are some ideas of what you can mail and not have to leave your house:
Short letter. Kids love receiving even a short note in the mail. Let them know something about your life — without writing about the current virus crisis, of course.
Photo prints. There’s nothing kids like more than photos of themselves. Do you have some prints of photos you have taken of your grandchildren? Send a few photos with a short note, even if they are photos from when he or she was a baby!
Magazine photos. Look through magazines to find a photo that your grandchild would like. Cut a photo of a dog from a dog food ad, or find a picture of a vacation spot you’d like to visit or flowers you’d like to plant. Paste the picture to a sheet of paper and add a sentence or two.
Printable sheets. You can find dot-to-dot and other activity sheets available on many web sites. Just search “printable pages for toddlers” or another age group. Print out a couple of the sheets you think would be fun and mail them to your grandchild. (Better to send a small amount at a time!) Tell them you’d like to see their work the next time you Skype or Facetime.
Gifts are nice, too.
I’m not one to shower my grandkids with gifts but, darn it, I want to do something to help them have some fun, and give parents a break during this crisis time. I’m not leaving my house so browsing store aisles isn’t an option now. Luckily, I have Amazon Prime which allows for free shipping on many items so it’s fun for me to use and – cheap me! – select only those items that qualify for Amazon Prime free shipping. Many friends have luck with Walmart and Target shopping online.
Books are great items to order and send. It’s easy to find a good child’s softcover book for $4-$7. Yesterday, I picked out some titles and ran them by the grandkids’ mother to make sure I wasn’t duplicating books they already owned. We asked the parents to hold the boxes until the next time we Facetime with the kids so we can see them open the boxes.
Remember that you don’t have to spend big bucks to delight your grandchild. From sidewalk chalk (some with stencils!) and other outdoor fun items … to Hot Wheels cars and Polly Pocket dolls … there really are some wonderful and economical ideas.
How have you stayed connected to your grandchildren during sheltering in place? Please share — in the Comments section below.
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