Heart Connection: Long-distance Grandparenting via Snail Mail

Maybe you’re some of the lucky ones—those grandparents with grandchildren living nearby. But many of us have to make a lot of effort to keep the heart connections with our grands vibrant and strong.

Children tend to remember fun interactions with the important people in their lives, but it can be a challenge to build those connections when we’re far apart. One of the best ways to stay in their thoughts and hearts is to mail them little care packages from time to time. And it pays to be intentional about the items you send to make your connection to them even stronger than before. 

Choose to send things that build upon times spent together:

  • Books                                                                                                                                                Books are always a wonderful choice when it comes to gifts for grandkids. Maybe you read some Frog and Toad books when you were last together. Why not round out the collection with a few more titles? Or maybe you planted some seeds in pots when your grandchild last visited you. Why not send a few books with a gardening theme to cement that memory?
  • Arts and Crafts Materials

Kids love to create. Did you create play dough critters when you last played together? Did you paint a birdhouse? Sending arts and crafts materials in the mail will allow your grandchild to revisit the times spent with you. And a big plus is the new creations they’ll make with the supplies. Don’t forget to add photos to refresh memories.

  • Baked Goodies

Baking cookies or making other treats is a fun grandparent/grandchild activity. Which came out the best? What recipe does your grandchild love the most? Why not bake up a batch, place them in a tin, add the recipe and send it all off in the mail? Your grandchild will love eating the treats and then perhaps venturing onto baking their own batches in the future.

  • Themed Package

Children tend to focus on a favorite toy, movie, song or character for a period of time. My grandson has loved Lion King, dinosaurs, and Paw Patrol characters over the past several years. If your grandkids have their favorites, why not put together a care package with items from their favorite of the day? You might include t-shirts, coloring books, sheets and pillowcases with the theme, or any toy items that celebrate their favorite things.

  • Movie Package

Did you watch a favorite movie with your grandchild last time you were together? How about packing a box filled with a movie re-run experience? Add the DVD, any movie memorabilia, some popcorn and maybe a soft blanket to wrap up in as your grandchild enjoys that movie experience all over again.

  • Funny Things

Kids love to laugh and it doesn’t take much to get them started. Find some simple joke books or books of funny poems. Write a verse using his or her name and tell funny stories about them. Or look for a riddle book to get them chuckling. Draw some funny pictures and ask them to send some back to you. Send a photo of you and your grandkids playing funny games together and having a great time.

It can be hard to be far away from the ones we love. We’re always searching for ways to keep the personal connection alive and well. Draw on the fun experiences you’ve had with the grandkids in the past. Remind them of those fun times and talk about great times to come. Let them know you care about the things that are important to them and you know what “makes them tick.” That means you understand the things they love and you share some of those things with them. Help them look forward to the next time you can be with them to make new memories.