Category Archives: Especially for Grandparents

Why Using Video Call Is Important for Families That Are Separated

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.

Contact me and share your video call ideas

Video Call, Children and Music

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Using music during a video call is a wonderful way to interact with children. Singing Pat a Cake, Pat a Cake got the attention of my grandson at five months of age. As I began singing he looked directly at me on the computer screen and smiled while his mother put his hands together and clapped. Repetition of favorite songs is so much fun for children.

Itsy Bitsy Spider is another favorite.  Playing games with songs and gentle touch will pull the child’s attention to the computer screen. Children as young as five or six months can play with a little assistance. A parent holding the child can gently move her fingers up the baby’s arms to stimulate the itsy bitsy spider climbing the water spout. Clapping baby’s hands together while singing Pat a Cake helps the child participate with you in a musical game they delight in. There is no shortage of great children’s songs. If need to refresh your memory look in my book Learn to Video Call With Kids where I list over fifty favorite children’s songs. Children’s songs can also be found on the Internet.

Two and three year olds can play simple instruments and a good quality child’s xylophone is great fun for the child to play for you during a video call. Older children who are taking music lessons can share a new song they have learned during your call. If both you and the child play an instrument, play a song together during your video call. You may be miles apart but you will enjoy the activity as if you were in the same room.

 

 Contact me and share your video call ideas

 

Video Call and Hearing Accessibility

One in five computer users are believed to have some hearing loss. Add the large number shutterstock_80960722of aging boomers to the mix and those needing assistance with hearing while using  a computer is likely to rise.

Video call is helpful for those with hearing problems as it allows for face-to-face contact, lip reading and sign language. Winks, smiles and other facial gestures, which can be seen with video call, are helpful in understanding speech. With Skype, ichat or
FaceTime, students and adults can communicate easily with sign language.Mixer

speakers buttonThe quality and volume of sound can be adjusted on computers and hand held devices such as phones.  On computers look for the speaker button located on the task bar – often on the bottom of your screen. When you click on this icon the volume mixer should open, or you may have to select it, but it looks similar to the picture on the right. You can raise or lower the volume of your speakers using the slide bar on the volume mixer.

Skype has a great feature where you can make a test call to check your computer speakers and quality of the sound. In your Skype contacts you will see Echo/Sound Test or Skype Test Call. Once you see the test button double click on it and it will bring up the sound test window. If you click on the green call button you can start the test. You will be asked to record a short message. When you stop speaking your will be able to hear your voice recording played back and hear the quality of the sound.

The sound can also be improved for some with a headset – speakers worn right on the ears. Some headsets plug into the computer, others are wireless. There is a wide range of hearing assistive features that are available with all computer products. You can search online on the following sites for some great ideas for hearing accessibility:

http://www.apple.com/accessibility/ios/#hearing

https://www.microsoft.com/enable/guides/hearing.aspx

 ltibbles@videocallwithkids.com

 

 

 

What Grandparents Need To Know

shutterstock_124710580At a recent book club meeting my friend Karen approached me with a concern that her daughter-in-law was not too keen on video calls. “I think that after the first fifteen minutes they just don’t seem that interested in continuing the call. Do you think we should make the calls shorter?” Karen solved her own problem.

Young children and busy, or tired parents often enjoy short calls at a time that works best for their schedule. New parents are often exhausted from sleepless nights and busy days caring for their children. Attention spans of young children are short.

With our own children we often let them initiate the call when the time is right for our grandchildren. Your video call will be welcomed and more enjoyable for all if you keep it short and let the parent determine the best time to call.

Contact me and share your video call ideas