100+ Fun Activities For Skype With Children is now available as both an eBook and paperback book on Amazon. Since 2010 when I first interacted with my grandson on Skype I have been on a mission to help families connect with video call.
Discover easy, age appropriate & educational activities for Skype, FaceTime, and video call with children. With video call you can see and interact with the person that you are calling – it’s much more fun than a telephone call. Learn how Skype & FaceTime can connect you with family when you travel for work, if you are in the military, are divorced, or miles away from grandchildren. Readers will also find useful advice for communicating with children and young adults from infancy through the college years. Also included are important internet safety tips for children and adults. Get ready to enjoy Skype and FaceTime with the children you love.
The eBook can be easily downloaded and taken along with you when you travel. It is short and inexpensive but chock full of ideas that you can quickly access.
Readers will find age appropriate activities and advice for communicating with children and young adults from infancy through the college years.
• Explore more than one hundred ideas for fun activities to enjoy with video call apps like Skype and FaceTime
• Learn how to begin connecting with infants and babies during a video chat
• Explore ideas for video calls with school age children, teens and college age student
• Find useful tips for improving communication with children
• Discover the value of video chat for grandparents
• Learn how to stay connected to your child or grandchild after divorce
• Learn about internet safety for both children and adults
Get ready to enjoy Skype and FaceTime with the children you love.
Skype, FaceTime, Google + and Facebook all have video chat options. It’s important to know that these are designed for adult use. Children need to be protected from internet fraud when using these apps. Danger is lurking as we see children under the age of two who have quickly learned to swipe the face of tablets and phones to gain access.
Vigilance in using and checking the privacy settings on all devices that a child will have access to is the first step. Young children should never use a video chat app without supervision. Discussion with the child about internet safety is also crucial. Accepting a calls from someone not in the child’s contact list can be dangerous – predators often mask as friends. Parents must discuss the importance of never accepting calls from anyone the child does not know. Consider visiting the FBI Online Safety site with your child – click here: https://www.fbi.gov/fun-games/kids/kids-safety.
Skype’s provides this warning and good advice on their website:
Skype’s websites and software are not intended for or designed to attract users under the age of 13. We encourage parents to be involved in the online activities of their children to make sure that no information is collected from a child without parental permission.
We take the safety of Skype end users very seriously and have security measures in place to help protect children, who have appropriate parental permissions to use Skype, from being contacted by strangers. These include:
- Only allowing people in the child’s contact list to contact the child using Skype, including voice and video calls, chat messages and sharing screens.
- Hiding the age, date of birth and gender of children on profile pages, so others cannot see this information.
- Hiding children from search results unless they are returned as an exact match by Skype Name or email.
Important: Our security measures are based on the date of birth provided by the end user when creating a profile, so it is very important to enter the correct information.
FaceTime recommends parents use Settings to turn off the option to use FaceTime and turn it on when a parent is present. For older children who know how to get to the settings you may want to consider a password to protect the device.
Consider a program like Skypito for younger children – click here for more information:
The Intel Security Company also has a guide for keeping video chats safe – click here: https://blogs.mcafee.com/consumer/parents-to-know-video-chat
If safely used video chatting is great for kids. They can stay in contact with a parent who is not home, call grandparents, do homework, and be with friends. Share some of the ways that you keep your children safe online – email@example.com
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One of the activities all my grandchildren love to share on Skype is reading books with sound. It all began when I purchased Dinosaur written by Mark Radar and illustrated by Casey Sanborn. Dinosaur, whose name is Stegosaurus, is searching for his friend Frog. There is a button to make the sound of Stegosaurus, a second button to hear Stegosaurus stomp as he searches and a third button to hear Frog. What child doesn’t enjoy a game of hid and seek!
“Grammy, read Dinosaur.” All my grandchildren began to request that I read this book. When they came to visit the book was there for us to read together and it was enjoyed as an old familiar friend. Since that time I have added other books with sound. Roger Priddy has written many including Noisy Trucks. Others include Polar Bear, Polar Bear by Bill Martin and Around The Farm by Eric Carle. Consider reading books with sound as they have great appeal to children 16 months to school age.
Did you know that Skype group calls are now free for all members? In the past a Premium Skype Membership was needed to make group calls so this is exciting. All Skype members can now make calls to more than one contact at the same time. While you are on a video call you just add another contact for a group call. Select the group icon; a list of contacts will appear. From the contacts tab, click and hold on the contact that you want to add to your group call and drag that contact to your group space. Repeat the process for all you want to include in the group. All contacts must be signed in to Skype to be added.
You can also set up a family or friends group in advance of your call by clicking on the Group icon and selecting the group members from your contacts. Skype recommends that for the best quality, add no more than five others to your call, although a total of ten users is possible. There are alternate ways to create a group so your might take a look at different options at www.support.skype.com and select the process that works best for you.
Share your video call ideas with me
Give yourself a Halloween treat with Skype and FaceTime. My children, now adults, loved Halloween and now I am excited to see the wonderful playfulness in my grandchildren as they prepare for the big day. Fall is a great time to make video calls. A trip to the pumpkin patch for the perfect pumpkin can be shared with a video call. Children can’t wait to get their hands on (and in) that pumpkin. After carving, the face that emerges as a Jack-o-lantern is magical to children. When it glows in the dark it’s even more fun. Excitedly, they ask to make a video call to show others their pumpkins and their costumes.
One grandson will be a dinosaur, another will be a superhero – it’s fun for them to dream about what they would like to be and to learn that they can be whatever they would like to be. You can’t see the grins, pumpkins and costumes during a telephone call but you don’t miss any of it with a video call.
October is a time when parents and grandparents can share the fun of Halloween. Children can practice their good manners as they respond with a thank-you when they receive a treat. They can gather in groups with friends and neighbors, be silly, giggle, and smile at compliments about their costumes. If your are not living close enough to be with a child that you love on Halloween, share a video call and have some fun.
Share your Halloween treats using Skype and FaceTime with us
If you are ever grounded after breaking a bone, Skype or Facetime can come to your rescue. Returning home from vacation I had my wings clipped after a tumble down the stairs of a US Airways flight from Myrtle Beach to Charlotte. I didn’t make it home until the next day. When I arrived I was wearing a cast to stabilize broken bones in my arm and hand.
My four year old grandson was fascinated that Grammy had a cast. He wanted to see it, and I was able to show it to him while making a video call. We had a good chat about stairs and safety.
Then I learned that the bones in my arm were not healing as they should. I needed to have surgery to correct the problem. That grounded me for an additional two weeks. I felt sad about having a plate and screws holding my arm together for the rest of my life. Friends and family were so supportive but the irresistible energy and bright smiles of my three grandchildren and the reassurance from my own children during video calls really made me smile. Today’s technology eliminates the need to be isolated. Just signing on to a video call app welcomes those we love into our homes, even when you are separated by thousands of miles.
Life is full of surprises, nevertheless we don’t have to be alone in dealing with them.
Contact me and share your video call ideas www.videocallwithkids.com
Skype has great support for users and it’s easy to find answers to your questions on their site. When you sign on just select Help at the top of the screen and then select Go to Support. Right at the top of the page is a large search window. Just type in your question and click on the magnifying glass on the right, or hit enter to search for an answer. You can also look for answers below the search box where you will find three columns. The first helps you to search through frequently asked questions – FAQ. The second offers How to Guides and the third column has articles about what’s new in Skype.
Scroll down to the bottom of the support screen and you will see a list of many topics that might be of interest to you. As I teach others to use Skype I often come across questions about features that I have not used myself. I can find the answers here about using Skype for messaging, connecting to Facebook, using different devices and much more………..
Recently Skype has added video instructions which is most helpful for those of us who are visual learners. They are short and specific to the topic and I highly recommend you try them. You can find these videos for a variety of topics in the support section. It took me a while to locate them until I noticed a link in the Community bar on the left of the support page. You can also find them without signing into your Skype account by going to: skype.com/essentials . Right now I am finding videos for windows and not Mac products. There are however, many guides for Mac products in the FAQ section.
Contact me and share your video call ideas
Share stories with children or grandchildren on Skype no matter how far away you are. Reading to children on Skype or Face Time demonstrates your enthusiasm for reading and can encourage a child to read and love books. When reading to children during a video call try using different voices for different characters or props to attract interest. Hold the book page close to the webcam after reading each page so the child can clearly see the pictures. Read poems and stories, and for older children, try newspaper or magazine articles.
Take a look at Pam Allyn’s book What to Read When for an extensive annotated list of more than three hundred book titles for children from birth to ten years. One of my grandson’s favorite books to read with me is Dinosaur. It has three sound buttons, stegosaurus’s sound, the sound of his stomping as he tries to find his friend Frog and the sound that Frog makes.
Sending a book that you have on Skype or Face Time to the child is a special gift.
If you have a favorite book to read on Skype contact me and let us know.
What is the most important reason to learn to use video call apps like Skype and FaceTime? Video call can keep you connected to your family. I just returned
from Wyoming and a visit with two of my grandchildren. I am separated from my daughter and her children by 3,000 miles. My son and his family are 700+ miles from where I live in Florida. Despite the separation of those many miles, my grandchildren know me well and are comfortable being with me when we visit in person.
Upon my arrival in Wyoming my 3 year old grandson ran into my arms. I picked him up and we hugged and felt the love that we share for each other. His mom had told him that I would be arriving and he waited expectantly for the visit. Later he said “Grammy I have lots of people that love me,” it warmed my heart.
Our 6 month old greeted me with a big smile. Because our Skype visits are frequent, both children have no difficulty being with me, even when months pass between actual visits.
Another important reason to use video call is that young children are much more comfortable sharing their thoughts when they can see you face to face, rather than on a telephone call. I know what my grandchildren like. Chatting online I learned that our 3 year old loves superheroes and he was very excited to receive some hero stickers from me. He also loves to help bake and cook simple foods. So I made opportunities for us to prepare muffins and simple breakfast dishes together. Video call has kept us close. If you haven’t tried it, do it today. Don’t miss out on this wonderful way to stay connected.
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Looking for ways to engage children in a video call with Skype or FaceTime? Think about the many options available for gardening. We just celebrated Earth Day with our 3 year old by taking care of plants outdoors. One year ago in April I planted the top of pineapple in a small pot. Over the year my grandson watched it grow on Skype. As it outgrew the small pot we shared the fun of putting it in a larger pot and watching it grow even more. Last week when he visited us in Florida he got to water the pineapple plant along with herbs and other plants outdoors. By next April we hope to have our first pineapple to enjoy.
Children love to watch plants grow and through video call you can encourage and share the fun. For younger children you can start with a simple carrot, pineapple top or herbs. Edible gardens are fun to share during video calls and on special visits to your home. Plants that attract butterflies also attract children as they watch in awe as the butterflies appear. With older children gardening provides an opportunity to discuss weather and the environment, use of herbs, insects, water conservation and many other science topic. Here are some great resources to learn more about Gardening with kids:
Contact me and share your video call ideas