It’s been eight weeks since we last spent time with Daisy. We’ve learned, like so many grandparents, to navigate our way around Zoom, FaceTime and other ways of keeping in touch by sight and sound. We all know that none of these technologies are any substitute for that hug administered in a tangle of bendy limbs, biscuit crumbs and sweet smelling hair.
But enough about us, what about our grandchildren and their feelings of confusion and separation? How can we help from a distance, and provide that grandparently service of distraction to our children and their partners?
We know, and are very grateful for the fact, that Daisy really enjoys her visits to our house. So today I decided to set Daisy a kind of remote treasure hunt. Using a set of her little play figures I took twelve photographs of them in different locations in our house and in our garden. I then sent these to her Mummy and Daddy so that they can show them to Daisy and ask: ‘where am I?’ to see if she can explain where her little friends are standing. I use the term ‘explain’ because at her age the name of the room might not come to mind, but she’s old enough to talk about where she thinks the location is.
I think the most valuable aspect of this activity lies in the language development that it stimulates as children navigate around a familiar space and try to verbalise their thoughts.
I hope Daisy has fun doing this and that it provides a valuable respite to her parents who, like so many, are full time carers, teachers and playmates.
It’s a pleasant activity for a grandparent who has more time on his hands than usual and I can’t pretend I didn’t enjoy the whole process.
Of the many ways that we can keep connected remotely and send little reminders to our grandchildren I like this one for it’s interactive nature. Maybe Daisy’s parents will help her send us back a similar treasure hunt.
Meanwhile I am thinking of an audio version.
Granny Smith says –
An activity like ‘Where am I?’ gives our grandchildren an opportunity to explore their feelings and emotions. Once Daisy has worked out where each little friend is located in our garden and house Mummy and Daddy can also chat to her about what she’d like to do next time she comes to stay here. Perhaps if she’s feeling a bit melancholy this will give her an opportunity to talk to Mummy and Daddy about what she’s missing.