Grandma, grandpa, come play

or what games to play at the time of coronavirus

During the time when the coronavirus infection is spreading in our communities it is recommended to reduce direct social contact as much as possible. However, we mustn’t forget
about it entirely. Children don’t go to school and are often bored at home. They are not alone in that; elderly people – an at-risk group – can also get bored while staying at home. We are offering you an overview of some basic activities that can help you connect your children and their Grandma, Grandpa, or another elderly person near you. Online and safely!

Telephone

Storytelling

Reading books

First Letter, Last Letter

Guess Who I Am

The Alphabet Game

Telling jokes

Battleships

Bingo

Mobile phone with an internet connection

Online games for two

Apps for two

Sharing pictures

Drawing pictures together online

Computer with an internet connection

Skype
crossword puzzles
conversation
a "visit" for a coffee
everything in the previous two sections

Online board games

Pantomime

Movie classics

Telephone

Telling stories or jokes

A great way to start a conversation and relate interesting experiences from the lives of both the elderly person and the child. The child can ask the elderly person about their childhood – who they were friends with, where they played, what games they played, where they lived, where they went to school, what they liked there, whether they misbehaved etc. The elderly person can ask the child very similar questions. There are no boundaries to imagination.


Reading books

The elderly person can read to the child or vice versa. Try to get two pieces of the same book, one for the elderly person and one for the child; they can take turns and show pictures to each other.


First Letter, Last Letter

The first player says a word, for example, “rose”. The second player says a word beginning with the last letter (E) or last syllable (SE) of the previous word, for example, “elephant” or “seal”.


Guess Who I Am

The first player thinks of an animal, occupation, or a famous person. The second player then tries to guess who itis while asking only yes/no questions.


The Alphabet Game

The players are telling a story together. Each of them says only one sentence. The first player says a sentence beginning with the letter A, the second player continues with a sentence beginning with the letter B. This goes on with the rest of the letters of the alphabet. It is possible to modify the game for example by telling a story about a certain topic.


Battleship

You can print out ready-made grids which you can find on the internet, or you can create your own. You only need a graph paper and a pencil. Draw a big square the size of 10×10 small ones. On one side, write the letters A to J; put the numbers 1 to 10 on the other side. Each player then places 8 battleships into this grid. Three of them are the size of one small square, two are the size of two squares, one is the size of three squares, and the last two are the size of six squares. The first player can’t see the grid of the second one and vice versa. They take turns in guessing the squares on the grid (e.g. A-10) and trying to hit the other player’s ships. The first one to hit all the ships is the winner.


Bingo

You only need paper and a pencil. Create a grid the size of 3x3 squares. Each player writes a random number from 1 to 30 into every square. Each number can only be used once. One of the players then draws leaflets with numbers 1 to 30. They always say which number they have drawn and if it is in any player’s grid, the player crosses it out. The drawing of numbers continues; once a player has all their numbers crossed out, they win. It is possible to play the game in many different versions, for example with the letters of the alphabet, a bigger grid, etc.


Quiz

Let the child create a quiz for the elderly person on any topic – the elderly person can exercise their memory while the child learns something new. What about the topic of the presidents, ice hockey championships, Czech cuisine, or gardening?

Mobile phone with an internet connection

Online games for two

Together, you can check out websites such as www.twoplayergames.com.


Apps for two

Apps for two – Together, you can try playing some of the games for two, for example, Spaceteam where you have to cooperate to win against the game. If you want to play against each other, you can try the game DUAL! Classics such as Worms 2 Armageddon can also become a fun option. If you are afraid that these games may be difficult to operate, you can try the game Badland which is only operated by tapping the screen.


Sharing pictures

You can try for example www.keepy.cz where you can easily upload pictures and projects that the child has created, and send them to the elderly person.


Drawing pictures together online

The web www.draw.chat provides a fun way to draw pictures together in realtime.

Computer with an internet connection

Skype

If you teach the elderly person to use Skype or another video chat program, you can use it for all the activities mentioned in previous sections. You can also try to play games like chess and tic-tac-toe, solve crossword puzzles, or have a coffee together. Chess and tic-tac-toe can become a bit more challenging; everyone must have their own tic-tac-toe grid or chessboard, and with each move, you also have to move the other player’s pieces.


Online board games

You can play various board games on the computer through the website https://boardgamearena.com/.


Pantomime

You need a video connection to play this game. The first player thinks of a character, occupation, or animal which they imitate trough pantomime – that is, without any sounds. The second player must guess, and then they switch the roles. If there are more people in your household, don’t hesitate to join in. You can play this game in teams with more members when one player does the pantomime for their team, then another player for theirs, and each team scores a point for every correct answer. Another option is one player doing the pantomime for everyone and whoever guesses the correct answer first scores a point.


Movie classics

Let your elderly choose a movie each of you will watch, you can talk about it afterward. What did you like about the movie? What was weird? And what are Grandma’s/Grandpa’s memories of that time? You can also let the elderly person show the child their favorite songs and reminisce about the concerts they visited.

What if the elderly person has issues with technology?

If your elderly relative is afraid that they will not be able to operate the apps, create a detailed step-by-step manual for them together with the child. Include screenshots of the individual steps and a commentary. You can then send them to the elderly person by email or by post. You can call them, go through the manual remotely, and help them with the installation process.

Authors: Jana Fikrlová, Tereza Kašková under the leadership of Zuzana Masopustová