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Keep your kids connected with their grandparents

Lisa Steinke, with Liz Fenton, is the co-author of the debut chick lit novel l'll Have Who She's Having and the popular Chick Lit blog chicklitisnotdead.com.

Keeping a special bond alive from afar

There is nothing more special than the relationship between your parents and your children, don't you agree? But, if the grandparents in your kids' lives live in another city or another state, it can be hard to keep that connection strong.

Here are tips for making sure kids and grandparents stay close, even when they're far away, including Skyping and sending a journal back and forth.

Connect through technology

For communicating with the tech-savvy grandma or grandpa, using the latest technology like an app is an easy, exciting and clever way to bring your child and his grandparents closer together.

Double scoop is an app that works on any Mac or PC computer, your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Kids can draw pictures, write stories and take photos to share with their grandparents. The sky is the limit with what Grandma and Grandpa and their grandkids can send back and forth. Some grandparents even send math equations for their grandkids to solve.

The art of letter writing

Although technology is fun and fast, it's also nice to show kids another way to communicate with their grandparents like good old-fashioned letter writing. Something Grandma and Grandpa obviously know a thing or two about. The Traveling Journal, originally designed by best friends who moved apart, but still wanted to stay connected to one another, is a great way for grandparents to bond with their grandchildren across the miles.

It's simple, the grandparent can start by writing the first letter in the journal, then send it to the grandchild. Then the grandchild writes a journal entry and sends it back. And so on. Your child won't get the instant gratification he's used to from a smartphone or other technological device, but there's something to be said for teaching him that sometimes great things are worth the wait. He'll be excited to run to the mailbox each day to see if the journal from Grandma has arrived.

Reading stories

Although Grandma and Grandpa can't be in your child's room at night to read her a story, their voices can. With the Anybook Reader, a grandparent can record her voice reading her grandchild's favorite story or stories. The reader can hold between 15-60 hours' worth of recordings and doesn't require a computer or the internet. Simply press the button and record!

9 best grandparent gifts >>

Skype

Skyping is a fun way for grandparents and their grandchildren to connect — not only can you talk back and forth, but you can see each other. And there are clever ways to use Skype beyond just having a conversation. Carrie Carroll, mom of toddler twins and founder of Thetwinsource.com says her twins connect with her parents through regular Skype calls that involve reading. "The grandparents have the same book as our kids and read it to them page by page. It is a really fun experience for the grandparents and our twins."

Grandparents Gone Wired

These days, studies still show that many in the 65+ age group are still not readily embracing or adopting new technologies. For the grandparents that are still a little tech-shy, Dosomething.org has an annual campaign that begins again this fall called Grandparents Gone Wired. The program is designed for teens to teach their grandparents about technology so they can better stay connected to family. Your teen can work one-on-one to encourage and teach Grandma and Grandpa how to sign up for Facebook, use email and Skype. The process of teaching them about technology will bond them. Plus, once they're comfortable, it will be a great way for them to stay in regular touch.

Read more about kids connecting with grandparents

4 Ways for kids to bond with grandparents
15 Ways for grandparents and grandchildren to bond
Step back and enjoy the role of grandparent

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