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.
Related: 9 video calling options beyond Skype
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. Roundsis simply an app that needs to be downloaded from the social networking site and with one-click, voila, glorious grandparents.