The grandparent grandchild relationship can be one of the most important connections in both individual’s lives.
A grandparents’ life advice, stories and familial support not only enriches a child’s life, but also provides them with a tangible connection to their roots and family history.
Unfortunately many grandparents and grandchildren are not only separated by physical distance, but also cognitive. Which can impact their ability to connect.
To help strengthen these important intergenerational relationships, we’ve put together a list of easy and fun online games for grandparents and grandchildren to play.
Not only are they fun and easy to learn but they also have some impressive health benefits!
The Benefits of Online Games for Grandparents & Grandchildren
Recent research out of New South Wales, Australia shows that online gaming not only has a positive impact on the relationship grandchildren have with their grandparents, but can also have cognitive benefits for grandparents!
Online gaming has been linked to improved memory function, task switching, and visual attention meaning that the act of gaming was improving functions that are otherwise naturally slowing down with age.
Both parties can benefit from this shared experience because it takes away the pressure of finding topics of conversation while making their interactions fun.
I mean, what child wouldn’t be excited that an adult wants to learn and play with them in their digital world?!
We think the benefits are clear, if you do too, let’s get cracking!
The Best Online Games for Grandparents & Grandchildren
Uno Online is a digital way to play the classic family card game. The app lets families play a continuous game no matter how far apart they are geographically.
The online version is easy to follow, which is perfect for grandparents who don’t feel they are tech-savvy. Plus, their grandchildren can always show them how to play.
Multiplayer features are also available, allowing you to host groups of cousins who all want to game with their grandparents.
Snakes & Ladders
Played like the classic board game, Snakes & Ladders is a high-tech upgrade for kids and adults alike. The app lets you play against each other in a variety of themed game-worlds.
Whether you are competing to climb to the top of a snowy tower or through a jungle scene, the app levels up the classic gameplay making it a fun experience for all.
Snakes & Ladders is also easy-to-learn and kid friendly making it the perfect match for younger grandchildren.
Based on the original Rummikub game, Rummikub Junior is adapted for online gameplay and children. This game involves matching colors, numbers, and patterns to create groups during your turn.
We think it’s a great game for grandparents and grandchildren because it is educational and a cognitive challenge! It requires you to use your memory and to help kids remember numerical values.
Dominoes was one of my favorite games to play with my grandparents. A digital version would have changed the dynamic of our relationship as we could have continued to play with each other while in different states.
Luckily, now we can!
The Dominoes app is a great option for grandparents and grandkids as it’s probably a game they both already know how to play. If they don’t, it’s easy to learn!
Words With Friends
This modified and virtual version of Scrabble is a popular word game for people of all ages. Words With Friends can be played throughout the day as players take turns adding words to the app’s Scrabble board.
It can be played as an ongoing, multi-day game making it a great option for older grandchildren or working grandparents with busy schedules!.
We think this desktop version of Checkers is an easy way to start online gaming because you don’t have to download anything.
All players have to do is add their name and challenge each other via the website’s built in multiplayer feature. So kids and grandparents alike can play without overwhelming their technological abilities.
The interface looks like a classic checkerboard so the game is easy to understand for even the least tech-savvy person.
Guess Who! is another web gaming option based on the physical board game.
Players have to choose a character and then guess their opponent’s character through a series of questions.
To narrow down the possible characters, you have a preset selection of questions to choose from. Asking a good question will reduce the number of faces on the board until you have just one or can guess which character your opponent has.
Together Family Video Chat
Together Family Video Chat was designed especially for long distance grandparents and grandchildren. The app is an all-in-one solution that combines video chat with virtual gaming in an internet-safe environment.
You can start by playing games like Memory, Bingo, or I Spy and then move onto other activities like drawing together. To end the night you can even read them a bedtime story!
This is a fantastic option for parents with younger children who want a safe, virtual space to interact with long distance grandparents.
Want more app options? Check out our post on the best apps for grandparents and grandchildren to stay connected from afar.
Games to Play on FaceTime With Grandchildren
“I Spy” is another classic go-to that we played constantly throughout my childhood. My grandparents were always saying “I spy something blue…” or “I spy something fuzzy…” to entertain us on long road trips.
Now, “I Spy” can be the perfect game for FaceTime! Grandparents can send their grandkids running on a fun hunt for something they see on the screen in the child’s room.
Simply look around on FaceTime and start making “I Spy” statements. Next thing you know, both grandparents and grandkids will be giggling at the silliness of the game. Plus, this allows grandparents to feel as though they are physically in their grandchildren’s rooms or homes!
Would You Rather?
Would You Rather? Is a fun game that will have grandchildren of all ages laughing with their grandparents.
The game is easy and consists of each person asking a question. For example:
Would you rather have an elephant trunk for a nose or a long giraffe neck?
Not only will these questions have the grandchildren laughing uncontrollably, it will also help foster a more connected relationship.
What better way to get to know your grandchildren than finding out if they’d rather eat only cereal or only ice cream for the rest of their lives!
Over FaceTime, Charades is almost more fun than in person! The game consists of acting out a word or phrase and making your partner guess what it is.
In person, this game can be fun, but sometimes awkward. Playing via video on a laptop or phone can take away some of the stage jitters while letting both grandparents and their grandchildren get goofy with the gameplay.
A quick and fun guessing game, 20 Questions is another way to encourage grandchildren and grandparents to goof around. The game is played by asking a series (of 20) yes or no questions in order to guess what someone is thinking of.
Is it alive?
Is it fuzzy?
Does it have legs?
The point of the game is to use the questions to figure out what the other person is thinking of before you get to the twentieth question!
The Categories game is another memory game that requires both players to think of a series of categories. Once they decide on a category, players take turns naming as many things as they can think of until they run out of ideas.
Categories could include dog breeds, types of plants, countries that start with A, and more! By playing Categories, grandchildren and grandparents can get to know each others’ hobbies or niche interests.
After the game, they may even want to exchange stories or knowledge about one of the categories they chose!
Interactive Online Games for Grandparents & Grandchildren
Today’s technology makes it much easier for grandparents and grandchildren to interact online despite geographic distances. Zoom has a great feature that makes online interaction even more engaging and dynamic!
The digital whiteboard!
This lets people within a Zoom meeting draw and write on a shared in-meeting whiteboard space. If setting up a Zoom meeting and interacting with the whiteboard seems daunting, check out the tutorial below!
With Zoom’s interactive whiteboard Pictionary is a great gaming option!
Simply draw something based on a prompt and the other person in your Zoom meeting will have to guess what you are drawing.
Pro tip: Use this online pictionary word generator and adjust the difficulty level based on who’s playing.
We think it’s a great option as it let’s grandparents see their grandchildren’s artistic sides in real time.
Pictionary also makes a great physical gift! Here’s our take on the best gifts for long distance grandparents that won’t collect dust!
Using the whiteboard feature, Hangman is easy to play. Mark out dashes for a word and have the other person guess a letter. If they are wrong, begin drawing the hangman!
If you are able to draw the whole hangman, the person guessing loses. However, if the person guessing manages to get the word, they win.
Hangman is a great option for grandparents and grandchildren as it helps kids grow their vocabulary and practice their spelling skills while also being a game that grandparents are pretty familiar with.
Tic Tac Toe
Tic Tac Toe is another classic. Simply draw out the board and start adding your Xs and Os. The first to get three in a row wins!
We like this option because it is lighthearted and easy to play as you talk. Grandchildren can learn more about their grandparents’ life as they share stories from their childhood.
Last Letter is the final game on our list and a great option helping kids to learn to spell and visualize words.
First, you start with a category. For example, you may want to focus on animals. The first player says a word in the category, we’ll say ‘panda’. The second player then has to continue the list with a new word that starts with the last letter of the last word, which could be ‘aligator’.
Grandparents and grandchildren can go back and forth until someone messes up or takes too long to think of a word.
Which Online Games for Grandparents & Grandkids Will You Play?
Show this list to the grandparents and kids in your life and see if any game has caught their eye!
Whether you start with Tic Tac Toe or Guess Who, online games for grandparents and grandchildren may ignite the flame of what’s to become a long and beautiful relationship. No matter how far apart!
If you are feeling intimidated by technology, consider starting with one of the easier games over FaceTime or using the Zoom Whiteboard. Then, as your tech skills increase you can move onto some of the more tech-savvy games.