Virtual Playdates to Connect with Your Grandchildren

Play is not only important for your grandkids, it’s also important for yourself. But it can be challenging to play with your grandchildren when they’re long-distance. FaceTime and Zoom can feel like a vast wasteland if you don’t have ideas or activities to engage young grandchildren.

Grandmas Lynnae Allred and Marilee Woodfield faced that challenge with their long-distance grandchildren. The two sisters were looking for creative hands-on activities to lengthen the too-short FaceTime calls with their preschool-aged grandchildren.

Marilee worked in early childhood education for over 30 years and authored over 20 books in preschool curriculum so she had lots of experience to draw on. In 2019, the pair founded Playdate Box. Just like the name says – it’s a playdate in a box. Each month, they curate themed supplies that include a book and activities to help you simplify the time you spend with your grandchild.

At a recent GaGa Sisterhood meeting, the sisters explained that grandparent play is an important form of self-care. Playing with our grandkids can help us stay young, leave a legacy and have our family around us as we grow older. The sisters found that using play for building connections opened up a whole world of fun, curiosity, and learning — for them, not just their grandkids!

Lynnae and Marileen shared some of the many creative projects they’ve developed to help you connect with your grandchildren. It’s important to get buy in with your grandchildren’s parents help to facilitate the connection.

Their June Playdatebox for ages 3 – 8 years is called “Let’s Plant a Garden!” and includes:

  • Lola Plants a Garden – a fun read-aloud book by Anna McQuinn
  • Flowerpot painting activity – paint your own decorative flowerpot
  • Plant some seeds – plant something fun in the pot you decorated
  • Seed packet decorating activity – design and color your own seed packet to send to a friend
  • Sun-sensitive paper – go on a hunt for some unique plant foliage
  • Seed starting – start seeds you find in your refrigerator, for example from a bell pepper

On their website, they offer hundreds of playdate ideas with activities and supplies you can use to engage young grandchildren. Some of the themes include family stories, movement, science, and cooking.

Lynnae and Marilee want to inspire other grandmas to create their own playdate boxes. They suggest starting with a book you love to read and then creating an activity that dovetails the book. When building your activity purchase two sets of supplies – one for your grandchild and the other for yourself so you can play along with them. Start with simple ideas and you’ll begin to generate more.

Whether you build your own box or order one from Playdatebox, remember the goal is to connect intentionally with your grandchildren. And when you do, you’ll all be able to create lasting memories that spark joy and fun together.

Some Kudos We've Received

Scroll to Top