Here are a few things to try with your grandchildren, infants to six-year-olds, whether you live far away or close by.
Cuddle your infant grandbaby whenever he or she is around you. The kids love cuddles from their grandparents, and you’ll give them the most memorable laughs ever with gentle strokes. Gently sing and rock her. Hearing your voice makes a grandchild smile, and you’ll have fun making him/her remember your voice and your touch.
If you are residing far away, make sure you regularly call, zoom video call, or facetime your family. When your daughters or son tells you entertaining things or milestones the baby has done, pen them down in a journal and record the entry. Often the parents are so occupied they do not do this, and later you can present it to them. Your children will know how much you care about your grandchildren, even when you are not around them.
As soon as your grandchild learns to crawl, get them helping you in the kitchen. He may put clean wooden spoons into a holder or put pans and pots into a cupboard. Or, together, search for lids for the plastic or pots containers. Keep the kids away from a knife or any pointed objects, though.
Put together a book of pictures of relatives and friends. Look at it together and talk about who do you see. Ask questions like “Do you know who is that?” If you live far away, you can email them the album and discuss the same on Zoom call.
A game you can play on the phone or in-person is “Opposites.” You say “boy-girl; black-white; up-down; big-small.” These words are the opposites. Then you say to your grandbaby, I’ll say one word, and you say the opposite like “up-down.” Say the first word in pair and then pause and wait for your grandchild to fill in the other one. This is a fun and entertaining learning lesson for your grandchild.
This age enjoys jokes. Share not so offensive “knock, knock” jokes. Laugh and laugh together. “Knock, knock, Who’s there? Ken. Ken who? Ken you tell me another joke?” Ha Ha Ha!
Make a comb kazoo. Cover a nice-toothed comb with waxed paper. Get your grandchild to press her lips gently against the paper and sing a song. If you live far away, you could mail one to your grandchild, and then when you phone or use your webcam, you could play your kazoo along with him/her.
Play dominoes (my favorite game) with your grandchildren. You will help them learn to recognize patterns and take turns. After a game, your grandchild will like to build patterns and understand the idea of symmetry.