7 Practical Ways to Connect with Grandchildren

Biblical grandparenting requires that we make the effort to connect with our grandchildren.

Connecting means that we have become joined to our grandchildren – a good rapport has been established between us. A solid, healthy connection helps generate discussion, creates spiritual dialogue, and enables us to better understand what our grandchildren believe.

In other words, the act of connecting helps build relationships.

Building relationships with our grandchildren may seem like an overwhelming task, but truly, it is not. Connecting doesn’t require an advanced degree, a myriad of material possessions, or even a wealth of money. What it does require is time and effort.

We must engage. For relationships are built as we devote time and attention to our grandchildren. Time and attention – that not only demonstrates our love but also helps our grandchildren experience it.

This is one tool that everyone (except the youngest among us) now has. So, take advantage of it to connect with your grandchildren.

  • Text your grandchildren prior to a big test, try-out, or other school event. Tell them you are praying for them.
  • Telephone shortly after a special event your grandchild has participated in so you can share their excitement and hear all the details.
  • Encourage them with a call the day before a new school year begins. Then continue calling throughout the year to ask about school academics and activities.
  • Host a Selfie Saturday. Decide on whether to include parents and set up a group text or chat for all participants. Have family members submit selfies to the group throughout the day. At the end of the day, vote as a family on the winning selfie.
  • Devise your own unique way to end each phone conversation.
  • Instead of writing a letter, use your phone to record a letter for your grandchild.
  • Make a “Day in the Life of Grandma and Grandpa” video.
  • Produce your own DIY video. Teach your grandchild “how-to” make brownies or build a birdhouse.

Grandchildren of all ages enjoy receiving mail that is addressed personally to them. I know. Some of you are groaning at the thought of writing a letter. Not to worry. If you aren’t quite ready for letters, try some of these other ideas for using the mailbox.

  • Drop a card in the mail. Sometimes short and sweet is best. Cards are a great way to celebrate birthdays, holidays, and your grandchild’s personal achievements.
  • Send postcards from the places you visit.
  • Mail one of your favorite recipes. For added fun, send along the ingredients so your grandchild can make the recipes for themselves. Ask for photos of the process and finished product.
  • Send gift cards. Again, to add some umph to this connection, ask for photos of your grandchild with their purchase.
  • Mail a coloring book and crayons. Color one page in the book before you place it in the mail.

There are so many valuable ways to connect with our grandchildren face-to-face. Whether your grandchildren live around the corner or across the country, be sure to take advantage of any opportunity you have to employ this powerful connection tool.

  • Enjoy a grandparent/grandchild date. Let your grandchild plan it.
  • Share your hobbies with them and allow them to share theirs with you.
  • Let your grandchildren explore your closet or a trinket drawer.
  • Teach them games you played as a child. If you can’t remember the rules, a quick Google search will help.

Sharing a good story together is a wonderful way to increase the bond you share with your grandchild.

  • Keep good books in your home. When the grandchildren are visiting, curl up and read.
  • Visit a library.
  • Enroll your grandchild in the Generous Kids Book Club.
  • Form an in-person or long-distance book club.
  • Record yourself reading a book to your grandchildren. Consider mailing a copy of the book to them ahead of time so they can follow along as you read. (You can even add in the “beep” to indicate page turns!)

Many of us (especially grandparents) have a love-hate relationship with technology. However, we certainly can’t deny that it is here to stay, and we must acknowledge that it’s where our grandchildren spend much of their time. So why not embrace the love part and use it as a means for connecting with your grandchildren.

  • Help with homework or tutor your grandchild in a subject they find challenging.
  • Be a practice audience for a recital.
  • Teach your grandchild a new skill.
  • Share prayer requests.
  • Sit on the sidelines of sports practices and games.

Photos are a marvelous way to connect with your grandchild so pick up a camera (or your phone) and start clicking.

  • Send pictures to your grandchild of things going on in your everyday life.
  • Once a year have a photo taken of you and your grandchild. Send a copy of the photo to your grandchild with a handwritten note expressing your appreciation for your relationship.
  • Take a few selfies at some of the places you go and events you attend. Forward them to your grandchild.
  • Ask your grandchildren to take silly selfies using a cell phone and send them to you.

An internet search will turn up a plethora of ideas for connecting with your grandchildren during the holidays. But here are a few less common ideas.

  • New Year’s – Send a journal to your grandchildren for their use in the new year.
  • Valentine’s – Send a Valentine box. Instead of filling it with candy, fill it with a coloring book and crayons, reading books, small games, hair barrettes, baseball cards, or other non-edible treats.
  • Prom/Homecoming – Schedule a brief video chat on the day of the big event so that you can share your grandchild’s excitement and see them all dressed up.
  • End of the School Year – Mail a box of summer fun: chalk, bubbles, jump rope, sunglasses, new swimwear, gift cards for ice cream, etc.

Of course, this list of ideas is just the tip of the iceberg. But even this brief list provides so many opportunities for connecting with grandchildren as you stretch the ideas to fit you, your circumstances, and your relationship.

To get started, look through the ideas and consider how you might adjust them to fit your personality and budget. Think also about how you can adapt them to the age, maturity level, and interests of your grandchildren. And don’t forget to mull over how you can tweak the ideas so that you can use them whether your grandchildren live nearby or miles away.  

Armed with a few great ideas and aided by a little planning and effort, you will be on your way to developing strong, healthy relationships with your grandchildren. Relationships that are the foundation to your work as a biblical grandparent.