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Whether you’re away from your children due to business travel, a trip out of town, or maybe you’re a long-distance relative… technology now enables you to communicate and spend some time with the kids like they’re in the same room! But instead of simply looking into the camera and chatting as usual, give these activities a try and make video calls fun for both you and the kids!
Popular video call software:
- Skype– It can easily be installed to a computer with a webcam, as well as on your mobile phone. It’s free to download and free to use!
- Facetime – If callers on both ends have an iPhone, iPad or Mac, this is the quickest and easiest way to connect.
- Google Hangouts– Video chat by PC or your mobile phone. Plus, there are apps you can use to do fun stuff together like draw and play games!
Fun activity ideas:
1. Read books together
- Caribu– This app turns video calls into story time! Both readers are visible on the screen while reading. Available on iPhone and iPad
- Kindoma Storytime – Another iPhone/iPad app to read with your kids over video chat.
- Story Before Bed– This is a Google Hangouts app that allows you to record a video of yourself reading a children’s book to be played back any time. Wanna read to the kids in real-time? You can do that too… and it’s free!
2. Draw together
- Scoot and Doodle – Have a face-to-face session of drawing and designing! Available for Google Hangouts.
3. Take a field trip
- This is not an app, but an actual outdoor activity! Head out to the zoo, park, or museum and take the kids “with” you! They’ll get a kick out of this virtual field trip!
4. Guessing game
- Take turns showing a small portion of a toy, household item, snack, tools, flowers, etc. over the camera and ask the other person to guess what it is.
5. Find the alphabets
- One person picks a letter from the alphabet and the other searches the home for an item that begins with that letter. Don’t forget to set the time limit, or you may not hear back from the child for hours! When the item has been found, you must show it over the camera and say the letter. Points are earned for correct items found and proper pronunciation.
6. Guess the drawing games
- What am I thinking? – Describe an item to the child (such as a cookie, puppy, flower, etc.) to see if they can draw it strictly from visualization!
- What am I drawing? – Focus the camera on a blank piece of paper. Begin drawing an object, piece by piece, while the other person tries to guess what it might be.
7. Jokes and riddles
- Take turns sharing silly jokes and riddles. Don’t know any? Search online! You’ll discover an endless supply of giggle material right at your fingertips!
8. Sing karaoke
- Turn up the music and sing together! If you don’t have children’s songs or don’t know any lyrics to them, don’t worry! Simply search on YouTube for karaoke versions of your child’s favorite songs that includes lyrics!
9. Dance party
- Set the phone down, turn up the music, focus the camera on you, and dance with your little love bugs!
10. Staring contest
- Remember this game? Both players begin by closing their eyes, and at the count of three, open both eyes and stare into the screen. Whoever blinks first loses!
These are just some quick ideas for video call fun time with the kids! Do you have a favorite video call game that you enjoy with your children? Looking for more options? Search the web!