Showing posts with label Facetime. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Facetime. Show all posts


10 Easy Ideas for Facetime with Kids - Stuck at Home & Need Help!

Are you stuck in the house?

If you are confined to home

             or self-isolating

                          or just a long way away from your grandchildren   

 then you probably need some good ideas for things to do

                            when face timing or on a Zoom call with your grandchildren.

If So  


This is the place to find 10 Easy Ideas that you can do to have fun & interesting Facetime calls or Zoom meetings.

Let's face it when we are having to facetime our young grandkids so often instead of visiting them or having them round to our homes we can't just talk to them.

Our grandchildren are used to being interactive with us each time they are with us and they will feel such a difference when they feel they can only talk or show us a picture they have drawn or a model they have made with their lego. We will feel it hard to ask them questions all the time or try to tell them what we have been doing when we have hardly been outside our homes.

Hence we have had to adjust our thinking and we came up with several ideas to do in our face times which usually last for 45 minutes - not too short not too long - we all want to enjoy our time together.

1.   Hunt the Bear

Of course it doesn't have to be a bear, it can be any cuddly toy that the kids love.

We have a little cuddly toy bear that is called Charmin because it came free with Charmin toilet roll many years ago.

This bear sits on the window sill of our bathroom just as it sat on the window sill of our small toilet in our home in Belgium from 2004 to 2010.

The idea of hiding Charmin started when our son (who had remained in Northern Ireland when we moved to Belgium) would come to visit and we would hide the bear and one of the first things he had to do was hunt the house to find Charmin.

Now I hide Charmin before facetiming our grandkids (his children) and they have to tell their grandpa where to take them to look.

One time Charmin was hiding under the duvet cover on the Daybed in the room the kids would sleep in when they come to sleepover at our house.

The last time he was hiding behind a photo frame that holds a picture of our three children when they were young.

Of course you can hide the same thing each time or a different thing each time.

2.   Drawing Objects

I decided to try to learn how to draw cartoon type animals and objects and had sent for a book to learn from so now when we are face timing I draw what I have learned and they have to guess what it is.

So far I have drawn - dogs, cars, trees, buildings, cats, rabbits, flowers and a knight in armour.

The first time, Ruby guessed my dog and then wanted a another dog so I drew it slightly differently.
Matthew guessed my car and even knew the longer one was a Limo.

If you want to know just how easy it is drawing these dogs and cars you can see me drawing them in the video below.

Here is a picture of the book I had bought to learn from

and inside for how to draw the dog

The book can be found HERE on Amazon

If the children want to learn to draw there are various books you can get for them such as:

3.   JigSaws

We received a lovely personalised jigsaw for Christmas from our daughter-in-law.

It was based on a photo taken the day our third grandchild Sarah was born so it consists of Fred and I and the 3 grandchildren.

We thought this would be a good choice to start with.

We started it off by doing the outline of the jigsaw but leaving out some of the pieces and then on the face time we got the kids to tell us where each of the pieces would fit in to finish the outline.

They were both good at that and soon the outline was completed.

The next face time they helped us do some of the faces, etc.

You can do the same with one of their jigsaws that they have done before or buy some new ones that are based on things that interest the kids.

I was very fortunate earlier this year to find this Portapuzzle on a Facebook Marketplace where I only paid £10 for it and it is in such good condition - hardly used at all.

It zips up round your jigsaws and holds them in tight so that you can move them around so easily.

It is well padded and has two mats.

We used one mat for holding this jigsaw and the other for placing on top while we had it sitting on the table in the sun room before the facetime calls.

When I am working on a larger jigsaw I can do it on one half of the open Portapuzzle and the mats can be used to sort the pieces.

I can not see it on Amazon - although there are several solutions there but mostly roll up or very expensive similar versions of the one pictured above.

Jigsaw Puzzle storage on Amazon

I was able to see it Here on Argos for £30

4.   Sticker Fun

In between face times you can ask the children if they could make a nice picture or card for you using stickers and drawing things you like and this would be like giving them a topic or theme.

They could then post their creations to you or show you on your next face time together and it gives you something to thank them for and show your appreciation to them which is so good for kids.

Matthew and Ruby did some for us and posted them to us.

I like hearts and butterflies and Matthew had in the past helped Fred to put together a Pirate Ship which he plays with at our house.

Some drawing and colouring and stickers on the outside and then there were more on the inside.

You could even buy them some new stickers and post them off so that they could use them for your pictures.

5.   Learning a New Song 

Most kids love to learn songs and then they can pass a longish car journey singing at the top of their lungs.

We have always loved doing kids songs for church so it was very natural for us to want to teach our children and grandchildren lots of kids songs.

You can see some examples of Kid's Songs on the Kids Resources Page on this blog

We have even done some hand washing videos teaching some songs that are at least 20 secs long. You can see them at Kids Songs for Hand Washing

Of course you can always get the kids to teach you a new song too.

And don't forget it's more fun if there are actions involved

Here are some Song Book & CD suggestions on Amazon

Little Songs for Little Souls (Wonder Kids: Music) 

6.   Puppet Shows

All kids love puppets and you can easily make up a little story from when your own kids were young and have the puppet tell the grandchildren.

I used puppets for kids clubs and church events and then our daughter studied drama and used puppets during her studies and projects.

So our house has loads of puppets of different types.

Fred and I got these two out the other day and made a quick 40 sec. video as a birthday treat for a friend.

If you don't have a proper puppet use a cuddly toy or use a sock on your hand.

7.   Reading Books 

Another things kids love to do is listen to their grandparents reading books to them.

You don't even have to get any new books just use their old favourites that you would read to them at other times.

I had got a book I was intending to review and I like to include Matthew and Ruby in my reviews so we just went ahead and Fred read it to them over face time while I tried to video him, the book and the kids.

You can see the result in the video below:

Ruby was the one who really wanted a story this time and Matthew had decided he wanted to draw a picture for us but if you watch the ipad you will see he was just as interested as Ruby but didn't need to stick his face right up to the screen.

8.   Quizes

You can do a quiz based on a different theme each time you want to do a quiz.

Try to think of types of Quizes that would suit your grandchildren (this will differ greatly because of ages)


Matthew would like something based on cars or dinosaurs
Ruby would like something based on clothes or butterflies.

However I always find that kids love to guess answers to anything.

You may be able to find something to suit you at  FUNQUIZES  or    QUIZGLOBAL

Or if you want to get a book to keep try HERE on AMAZON

I like to have some simple number cards ready to for scoring a quiz.

To make simple numbered score cards:
  • cut out several squares of card all the same colour and size
  • write a number on one side of the cards*
  • leave the backs of the cards blank
* usually a variety of just the numbers between 1 and 5 should be used - easy to add up,

These squares of card act as scores for when they answer correctly, keep them turned face down on the table and the children choose the card they want.

I had these round craft pricing cards lying in a box in the craft armoire - they had been there for a few years so they were ideal for me to use.

Perhaps another time the grandkids could make up some questions and you have to see if you know the answers.

9.   Memory Boxes

Do you have a memory box?

If you do or if you keep a picture diary or if you have a little memory scrapbook then why not show the kids a few items or pictures or pages and tell them about why these things are special.

Then you can encourage the children to start memory boxes of their own.

Below is one of my memory boxes - maybe I'll put all the contents into a scrapbook sometime!

10.   Playing Games

You may not be in the same room or the same house but you can still play games together.

Matthew and Ruby love playing games whenever we are together so they can still enjoy playing short games with us on face time.

Just be careful which types of games you chose to play, not to long and not too involved, simple games are better in this situation.

Pen and paper games are probably the easiest to start with such as X & O's or hangman so having some notebooks at hand will be a good idea.

I love the large A4 size notebooks I get from The Works Website and I use them for everything I want to write down.

This is the notebook I used to write down all the ideas I had for what I wanted to do during the lockdown time.

Other ideas for individual games to play together are available in another post on this blog

And there is also  


Give Me an Eighth Day in the Week!!! - A Dose of Encouragement

Well I've been more busy reading books and other bloggers than thinking about or writing my own blog so I had to get caught up and ahead of myself because the whole family will be here together soon for a week and I won't have time to write posts then.

There are just so many distractions and daily chores (just added that in to try to make you believe that I do some housework) that a day can soon be filled up.

I enjoy going on twitter each morning and evening to catch up with what some interesting people are saying but this usually involves reading blog posts and website write ups so I get carried away and amazed at how much time I spend on this especially when I do scroll quickly through the tweets of all these twitterers ( is that a real word?) probably it should be tweeters but I'm not too worried about being completely up to date with all the jargon.

Photo Credit - Pixabay

Then there are all the lures by the freebies offered and retweeted by everyone.  
I am amazed that anyone makes any money by selling ebooks or apps as they all seem to be offered free on a regular basis, but I'm not complaining and my iPad and my kindle will prove that as they are filling up very nicely with apps and ebooks that I'm not sure I ever will get round to using and reading.  Oh no I need more time to do everything!

Of course there is this great thing where I just "favourite" a tweet so that when I have more time I can come back and read the web article in full, but when do I have more time?

There is a growing store of these starred tweets which are patiently sitting waiting for me to think of them and free up some time to come and take proper notice of them.  "Give me an eighth day in the week Lord because I need to read my favourites" is my cry.  

Then there are those notifications that pop up to let me know that there is some activity on facebook and so I delve in to see who has put up something good, what my daughter is doing in South Korea via photos, and of course get into a discussion thread in one of the blogging groups.

Photo Credit - Pixabay

There are loads of interesting things here too so I'm saving posts to read in detail later and then there goes that cry again because I don't know when I'll ever find enough time to do all the catching up I want to.

And we can't forget about Pinterest because there are all those lovely pictures to click and pin and create boards for and to hope that lots of people will follow our boards and repin our pins and there again is the cry for that eighth day because someday I do want to go back and find that particular pin I pinned and make the item because that was my original intention.

Photo Credit - Pixabay

My husband Fred's cry is give me an eighth day in the week so that I can get up-to-date with my personal emails & my travel expenses (at least the latter would be profitable monetarily but the former would be profitable in keeping up with his life).

But I know that ours is not the only household where people are saying I don't have enough time for everything.

I often look back and say how did I manage to get three children out to school each day, go out and teach at another school, look after the house and regularly be involved in Kids Work through the church.  Plus still have time to read and enjoy activities with Fred & the kids.

Was I crying out for an eighth day in the week then too?     YES!

How do we all do the things we do?   
Why do we feel like we never get caught up?

What gets the shove?
What gets put on the todo list today and constantly gets flipped on to tomorrow's list and then the next day?

It should be: 

The things that are NOT the most important for the quality of our time spent here on earth.

The things that we will not regret having shoved to one side.

The things that will not be in our minds as "If only I had used my time for that" later in our lives.

The things that we often misguidedly think need to be done to make our homes the greatest homes possible.

It should not be: 

The things that ARE the most important for the quality of our time sent here on earth.

The things that God has asked us to do for Him.

The things that go hand in hand with us raising a good God fearing family.

The things that help others.

The things that show God's Love to others.

The things that bring others to know Salvation.

The things that draw us closer to God.

These should be our priorities because they are God's priorities

So if God ever did give me an eighth day in the week I think I would manage to do all that He wants me to do and then I would probably want a ninth day to do all the rest.

But I have to make the effort to manage the time He has given me as a good steward and believe that He knows just the right amount of time that I need because He is the perfect one and I am only human.

God has given you the right time you need too.


His Pyjamas on Another Bed! - A Dose of Encouragement

My husband Fred has been travelling more frequently with work in the last few months so a lot of our communication is via email, text messages, Kakaotalk, and Facetime.

I used to hate texting but now with three kids grown up and all living a distance from us I am well used to it even if my fingers seem to so often hit the buttons beside the ones I mean to hit so that I say things like  "I live yoi" instead of "I love you".

With our daughter Linda being in South Korea the rest of us were all introduced to Kakaotalk which is free messaging throughout the world provided you have wifi (Just like WhatsApp).

We message in groups of all of us and pairs of us and trios of us so we just decide who needs to be in the conversation and pick that group.

We can also send pictures and cute clipart things that Kakaotalk provide for us.

I love the sound of a message coming in - it actually goes "Kakao" in a little squeaky voice.

Then of course who couldn't like Facetime where I can prop the iPad up and sit and chat and make faces at the person at the other end of the call.  It is nice to see their faces when they are far away and we don't meet up for months on end.

So of course when Fred is away I am thankful that we can Facetime to have a proper chat but sometimes our time zones are different or when one of us is free the other one isn't so the Kakaotalk using comes into force then.

Well, being the type of people we are in this family there is usually something "random" that occurs or something we find funny or strange or just something that's different to normal and we have to send a picture or when on Facetime we wander round the house or room to show the other person something, angling the iPad as best we can.

This is exactly what happened the other day.

Fred is in Morocco at the moment (yet again) but this time he was in a different hotel to his previous trips.

This is what he showed me on facetime

Yes His Pyjamas on another bed!

Well you might say

 "What do you expect when he's travelling?"

My answer is

"Not him getting interested in some other woman setting his pyjamas out in a fancy way
 on the bed!"

He told me this was the second time it had been done and probably would have been the third but the day before he had thrown his pyjamas in his case so they didn't appear neatly presented on the bed that night.

Well we had a nice laugh about it.

And I said

"You should have taken a picture"

So he did then and there with the iPad.


This is the picture he sent me yesterday when he had moved to another location so another different hotel.

His comment was

"It must be a Moroccan thing"

"Not quite as fancy as Marrakech, but still!!"

Now let's go back to my thoughts from the first time.

I have to be honest and tell you that the woman responsible for that nice act was not the focus of my thoughts then.

The thing I was honing in on was

"He'd better not expect me to be placing his pyjamas on our bed neatly and artistically 
each day - or even once a week or once a year!"

We actually thought it was a lovely gesture that the cleaners would take the time to place the pyjamas not just folded on the bed but to arrange them neatly and with some thought put into it and in the first instance not only the pyjamas arranged so nicely but the covers on the bed presented differently too.

Obviously I am not as artistic or patient to take the time to do that.

But then later I thought about it again and

NO! I still did not think I was meant to start doing this for Fred

instead I considered this small act of kindness towards my husband and all the other people staying there on business trips

made by ladies who did not know them

ladies who were already busy

ladies working all day

but ladies who made people smile when they walked back into their rooms and saw that someone had just made that little bit of extra effort for them; and I was thankful for them.

"Obviously I am not as artistic or patient to take the time to do that!" she said.

So what kind of small things, that just take a little extra effort from us, can we do to make someone else feel more cared for?

Or what small things have others actually done for us that we can go around not noticing?

I encourage you today to think of some small things you can do each week just to take a little more care in something you normally do but that could just put a smile on someone's face or make them feel more appreciated.

I also encourage you today to notice these types of things when they are done for you and extend a smile and a word of thanks to show that you have appreciated the effort.