Category Archives: Video Call Activities

Games and activities for video call

ENJOY VALENTINE’S DAY WITH SKYPE AND FACETIME

It’s so much fun to share your love face-to-face with those you are separated from. Skype and FaceTime can help you to give the best Valentine’s gift of all. It’s easy and it’s free! Almost all computers come with a video call application (app). Apple computers come with FaceTime and those using Microsoft Windows come with Skype. You can download Skype to any computer if you don’t have it.

Parents and grandparents separated from the children they love can talk about what love is and their love for the child. “Daddy loves you and I’m so happy to see you on this special day.” Read to the child one of many children’s books with a Valentine’s theme, here are just a few:
Curious George via-amazon

Happy Valentine’s Day, Curious George by N. DiAngelo and Mary O’Keefe Young

My Fuzzy Valentine (Sesame Street) by Naomi Kleinberg and Louis Womble
Amelia Bedella3

Amelia Bedelia’s First Valentine by Herman Parish and Lynne Avril

The Story of Valentine’s Day by Nancy Skarmeas  Valentine's Day

 

Don’t forget to blow a kiss when you say good-by. Even very young children enjoy catching your kisses and sending their love to you with a kiss on a video call.

 

 

 

 

Kids, Jokes, and Video Chat

Have you tried telling jokes during a video chat?  With school age children this can be lots of fun. Keep them simple: Why do birds fly north in the winter? Because it’s too far to walk! Or, What is a volcano? A mountain with hiccups! I just discovered Rob Elliott’s book LAUGH OUT LOUD JOKES FOR KIDS. Elliott includes Question & Answer jokes, Animal jokes, Knock Knock jokes, Tongue Twisters and some funny questions to think about.

In the Knock Knock jokes section there are jokes with children’s names. If the child that you video chat with is named Anna, Samantha, Lee, Cameron, or many others, there is a Knock Knock joke for that name – Wow!! If you didn’t find the name of your child or grandchild the book will give you ideas so you can make up your own personalized Knock Knock joke.
Have fun!

Share your video call ideas with me –  ltibbles@videocallwithkids.com

Video Chat with Two and Three Year Olds

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Preschool children are on the go, running, climbing, and jumping. Their attention span is often short. Don’t expect a two year old to stay in front of a web cam for very long. Their attention span is about 3-6 minutes. Some of the best video calls at this age happen when the parent can position the computer so the web cam scans a large area of the room. Watch the child select toys to play with.

Parents can encourage interaction by suggesting the child show the caller a favorite toy. Often children will come smiling toward the computer to let you see what they have. Cars, trucks, pull toys, dolls, dress up clothes and costumes are all enjoyed at this age and can be shared with the caller.

Don’t be surprised if you preschooler who has enjoyed chatting unexpectedly decides that they don’t want to participate in a video chat. Enjoy chatting with parents or siblings and the reluctant participant may just saunter back to participate when they are ready. I have discovered that even on a day when a youngster is reluctant to interact he usually comes back to wave goodbye and throw some kisses my way.

Reading and Skype

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 shutterstock_57014594smtry 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. 

Skype and the First Trip to The Dentist

shutterstock_103939727DentiMy own recent visit to the dentist brought back a great memory of the day that our three year old grandson visited the dentist for the first time. He was so enthusiastic about the visit that my daughter suggested a Skype visit so he could tell us all about it.

He was smiling broadly when he appeared on the Skype screen. He chatted about every detail of the visit. How the office looked, and the earphones he wore to listen to music while his teeth were cleaned. With glee he showed us the the toy ice cream cone that he received as gift from the dentist as he excitedly popped the ice cream – a foam rubber ball – from the cone several times. Lastly, he showed us the Hulk tooth brush (one of his favorite characters) and the floss that he had received in a “goodie bag” from the dentist.

This was one of our favorite Skype visits because our grandson shared a first experience with us as we sat back and enjoyed listening. We are fortunate that our children often suggest a video call when one of the children is especially excited about something special, a new activity, or a new accomplishment. It can be some of their art work, a gift received, a trip to the park, or the first trip to the dentist. We have watched first steps and listened to first words – Skype has given us great memories to enjoy. Video call with apps like Skype, FaceTime or Google video can do the same for you.

 

Contact me and share your video call ideas

 

 

Gardening with Children on Skype and Facetime

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 Butterfly3in 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:

 www.kidsgardening.org

www.pinterest.com/educatorsspinon/gardening-with-kids

urbanext.illinois.edu/firstgarden

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Gardening_for_children

http://www.almanac.com/content/plants-attract-butterflies

ltibbles@videocallwithkids.com

 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

 

Sharing Jokes and Riddles On Skype & FaceTime

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Simple jokes are a wonderful way to get children giggling. With video call you can see the smiles as well as hear the laughter.  Both the library and internet are great resources for riddles and jokes. Below are a few to get you started.

Why does a flamingo lift up one leg?
   Because if he lifted up both legs, he would fall down!

Why do birds fly south in the winter?
Because it’s too far to walk!

What is a volcano?
A mountain with hiccups!

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
   Olive!
   Olive who?
   Olive you!

Have fun, be silly and share some giggles.

 

 Contact me and share your video call ideas

 

Video Call And The Best February Holidays Ever

Depositphotos_2527527_m-balVideo call is a must for parents who travel for work, and for military families. It’s also great fun for grandmothers like me. February’s holidays and special occasions are times to share with your little ones on Skype or FaceTime .

If you want to have the best Valentine’s Day ever make a video call and ask what the child thinks love is – get ready for some wonderful definitions. Watch younger  children open Valentines and send craft supplies to older children and watch them make Valentines. Read The Story of Valentine’s Day by Nancy Skarmeas to toddlers and young children.

February also brings Presidents’ Day and Flag Day. This is a good opportunity to ask children if they know why we celebrate Presidents’ Day.  Wear red, white and blue; display a flag that can be discussed. Send a small flag that the child can wave. Read President’s Day by David Marx.
Contact me and share your favorite video call holiday ideas.

ltibbles@videocallwithkids.com

Opening Gifts on Skype or FaceTime

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“Grandma, I love it!!!” This gift, a puzzle for our three year old grandson, was a big hit. Excitement could be seen in his broad smile as he jumped and clapped his hands.

Have you ever sent a gift to a child and then wondered what he really thought about it? A telephone call or a note thanking you for a gift is very nice to receive.  However, it isn’t as much fun as actually watching the child open the gift. I’m still a fan of the written thank-you note, and an email thank-you is just fine. However, nothing is quite as satisfying as the excitement of seeing someone open a gift that they really enjoy receiving.

Opening the gift during a video call also gives young children an opportunity to identify with the person who purchased the gift. With a video call you are right there in the room enjoying that time together.

Be prepared as the reaction may not always be what you expect or hope for. I once sent pajamas that I thought my two-year-old grandson would love. What I learned was that the stickers on the package were much more interesting to him than the PJs. As a result of that observation, I added stickers to other packages that I mailed and I didn’t send clothes to my other grandchildren until they were older and could appreciate that gift.

The reaction to the puzzle was a real treat. We also watched our grandson put the puzzle together with a little help from his Dad. When he finished he said “can we do it again?” It was a priceless moment and memory.

 Contact me and share your video call ideas