Happy Grandparents Day! 5 ways to connect with the grandparents, 2.0-style

Hooray to all the wonderful grandparents out there who play such a huge role in our kids’ lives. This weekend, on Grandparents Day, it’s our opportunity to honor them. (I personally don’t know what I would do without my parents and my in-laws, that’s for sure.)

Whether the kids’ elders live near or far, technology has afforded us the ability to communicate with them as if they’re in the same room–almost. Here are 5 ways to reach out to your kids’ awesome grandmas and grandpas today. Don’t forget them!

Skype is
probably the most accessible option for two parties with varying gadgets. If
the grandparents have a computer with a webcam, they can easily
download Skype and within minutes will be able to video chat for free to
your PC. Even better, if they have a mobile phone, everyone can
videochat via a Wi-Fi connection using the free Skype app
If everyone on both ends has a later model iPhone, iPad or Mac, Facetime is
the quickest and easiest way to connect i-to-i (ha) or eye-to-eye. The
first time I used Facetime to connect my kids and my parents, it was worth
videotaping just to see the expressions on everyone’s faces. Truly
magical. But keep in mind that Facetime is only point-to-point, so you
won’t be able to conference in the aunts and cousins too.
If you do want to loop in lots of relatives at once, ooVoo is
a great option because it enables free videoconferencing for up to six
people at the same time. Get the whole family on the line to wish
Grandma and Grandpa Happy Grandparents Day! Like Skype, it requires a
quick download onto your computer or smartphone and you can have a
virtual Grandparents Day party in moments. 
Need more than six on your video chat? Google+ Hangouts, the newest talk of the tech chat world,
allows up to 10 for free. Since so many people already have Gmail
addresses, this may be the quickest way for everyone to get on the line
(or on the screen) and videochat. All you have to do is invite people to
your circle and you can instantly see them on your PC or mobile device.
And if the kiddos and grandparents want to do fun stuff together like
draw or play games, there’s a cool program within Hangouts called Scoot and Doodle worth checking out!
Finally, for the more progressive grandparents who are slightly more ahead of the tech curve and are on Facebook, an app called Rounds lets your kids chat, play games and even watch YouTube videos with the grandparents directly within Facebook. Rounds is simply an app that needs to be downloaded from the social networking site and with one-click, voila, glorious grandparents. -Jeana

Happy Grandparents Day everyone!

Jeana Lee Tahnk is a prolific tech writer, crafty mom, and passionate fan of any products that make it easier to raise three children. She's been immersed in the high-tech world for about 15 years, or since Mark Zuckerberg was in the 7th grade.

1 Comment

  • Reply September 9, 2012

    Rich Lowenberg

    Nice list! I run a little tech startup that’s aimed specifically at seniors who struggle with computers, and let’s them connect to their families. It’s called Postcards, if anyone would like to have a look! http://www.PostcardsApp.com. Thanks and hope you don’t mind the comment, it just seems relevant and we’re trying to get the word out! -Rich.

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