Our little guy has family spread all over the country. We’re lucky to have one set of grandparents just down the street in our hometown, but Henry’s other Grandma and Grandpa are a few states away. Because of that, we’re always trying to think of ways for them to feel connected. I really would love for Henry’s distant grandparents to feel like they’re part of his everyday life, and vice versa, as Henry grows older and more aware of the people around him. I’m so grateful to live in a time where we can rely on both digital and analog forms of communication; it means that we have a whole world of possibilities open to us when it comes to saving important moments. Here are five ways we save and share those moments with the people we love most:
Make and Send Memories with RealTimes
RealTimes is the perfect app for families who live across the miles. It’s beyond simple; the app gathers and curates your photos and videos into stories that you can share with family and friends. It’ll compile your images from an event or time frame, mix them together, show the best clips, and set it all to music—without you having to press a single button! (My first time using it I actually got a little teary at a story that it made of Henry learning to crawl. I sent it to his grandparents right away and they loved it.) If you’d like to customize your stories a bit, you can always edit images, video, length of the story, and even the background music by just hitting Remix. From there you can save it for yourself or share it with family. Once you send the story along to your kiddo’s grandparents, they can watch it on their phones, computers, or televisions again and again. It’s a great solution for sharing a gorgeous selection of memories without having to spend lots of time editing photos and video. Check out a great little example of RealTimes in action here.
Set Up a Pen Pal Journal
Technology is wonderful, but it’s equally awesome to teach your kids how to use some good old-fashioned snail mail. I love the idea of a pen pal journal that grandparents and grandkids can send back and forth. Get a simple, blank journal or composition notebook, and have your child write a note, draw a picture, or just make a few scribbles (if they’re super young!) on the first page. Be sure to date the page; you can paste in a little photo if you like, too. Send the journal to grandparents, with instructions to write a note back on the next page (ask them to be sure to date it). Then when it comes back you can help your child read the message and write a new one. After a year (or a few years!) you’ll have an incredible journal of memories to keep or share with your child’s grandparents.
Send School Artwork
There are only so many pictures of crayon rainbows that can fit on your refrigerator…am I right?! The next time you feel a little overwhelmed with the amount of artwork your kids bring home from school, make a little package of it to send to grandma and grandpa. On the reverse of each piece of art, write the date and have your child explain a little about the project. Even better, have your child make a piece of art especially for the grandparents!
Create a Calendar
Create a daily reminder for grandma and grandpa about how much their grandkids love them! Use photos of your family and kiddos from the previous year to make a printed calendar for a desk, wall, or fridge. Photos of happy memories like birthdays, vacations, or just the kids being silly are the perfect snapshots to include; it’s a quick and simple way to save memories in a format that grandparents can use every day.
Make a “Favorite Things” List to Share
Each week (or month, if you’re busy!), sit down with your kids and ask them what their favorite and least favorite things were that week/month. Help them write out their thoughts in an email or a snail mail letter to grandma and grandpa. So often we record the really important moments and memories, but the mundane daily things are what will really help your kids and their grandparents feel connected. Maybe your daughter made a new friend at school that week, or your son decided that he finally likes zucchini. Jot it all down and send it off to your folks; I promise they’ll love knowing the small details that you might think are no big deal. Bonus points for including a snapshot of your kids from the week!
I’d love to know your tricks for staying in touch and helping everyone stay connected. What’s your favorite way to save and share memories?
This post is sponsored by RealNetworks