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Kids & Family

(BPT) - There's no arguing grandparents have special relationships with their grandchildren. Whether they are a couple hours' drive away or a flight across the country, distance doesn't dissolve this bond.

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Keeping Grandparents part of the family

National Grandparents Day happens every September, but grandparents and families shouldn't have to limit the celebration to just one day of the year. Here are five fun ideas for staying in touch with family, no matter how near or far they live.

Play games online together

Technology can be a wonderful way for different generations to connect long-distance. Beyond phone and video calls, schedule time for grandkids and grandparents to play virtually. There are numerous programs that let players in different locations challenge each other to cards, checkers, chess and more. Interactive sketching apps make drawing or playing tic-tac-toe a breeze from two locations. A little play can make everyone's day.

Schedule weekly phone calls

Making a weekly phone date ensures everyone stays in touch. Long-distance phone calls are easy and budget-friendly when you use an affordable cellphone provider like TracFone. With a new 30-day smartphone-only plan with talk, text and data for just $15 a month on the largest 4G LTE networks, you'll have enough money left to spoil the grandkids. And, with no activation or cancellation fees, you can change your no-contract plan as often as your needs change, without penalties. Learn more at www.TracFoneSwitch.com.

Read a book together

The written word has a way of bringing people together. Pull up video calling for the whole family to read a goodnight story together. Older kids can select a series of interest with their grandparents and read at the same time, meeting each week via a video or phone for a discussion. Perhaps Grandpa or Grandma can start by suggesting their childhood favorite, and family members can take turns selecting books from there.

Pen pal exchanges

In a digital world, it's rare to receive letters. However, kids love to get mail, so why not start a pen pal exchange? Small kids can color pictures while big kids can practice penmanship and writing skills. Grandparents and grandkids alike will love receiving fun surprises in the mail from each other. Strive to send items once a week so everyone has something to look forward to.

Video performances

If you cannot connect in-person but the kids and grandkids want to show off their talents, try a video performance! Whether it's demonstrating the year's dance recital choreography, practicing a new tune on the piano, or acting out a fun play, kids will enjoy showing off and grandparents will feel extra loved. Hit the record feature and send grandparents the file afterward so they can revisit any time they're missing the grandkids.

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