Can you recommend some 'grandpa/grandson' games?
November 27, 2010 10:52 PM   Subscribe

I'm in Japan. My 5-year-old grandson is in Canada. Can you recommend any games/activities we could do 'together' (in real time) over the net?

I was thinking of something like a two-player interactive game in a browser window, while we also run a Skype video in one corner of the screen ... something like that. He's a pretty sharp little guy (aren't they all, these days?), and I'd love to have some suggestions on how we can get some good 'face time' together.
posted by woodblock100 to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I recommend playing UNO or Scrabble on Facebook. You can "friend" each other, and invite each other to games. Fairly snappy in response time, and simple enough for a 5-year-old.

Plus, he can play something like Farmville on Facebook (my 5-year-old is fairly addicted), and you can be Farmville neighbors, helping each other out.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:11 PM on November 27, 2010

Minecraft? 5 years old is old enough for legos, right? And every mefi thread becomes a Minecraft thread eventually.
posted by yeolcoatl at 11:13 PM on November 27, 2010

In the same vein as Scrabble, UNO, Farmville, etc. on Facebook, you might want to consider the tons of free games over on including a lot of board game classics. Bonus: since there's no physical pieces to serve as choking hazards, a lot of the age 8+ games could be played by a sharp 5 year old.
posted by asciident at 12:49 AM on November 28, 2010

Boardgame Geek usually lists online versions of games.

Here is a list of top Children's Games. They also list recommended ages, which should help you out too.
posted by backwards guitar at 5:14 AM on November 28, 2010

These are awesome ideas- Facebook actually ought to figure out a built-in way to do this for just this kind of scenario. (I've never used Skype, do they have any of this functionality built in?)

Another suggestion would be to spend some of the time doing grandpa stuff instead of just kid stuff. My favorite times with my grandparents (and parents) were when they let me glimpse into their world- going to work with my dad on a Saturday, and listening to my grandfathers tell me stories about their work. I'm just guessing at the context here, but for example if the kid's home is in Canada and that's all he really knows, show him some stuff about Japan.

There is an application called gotomypc that I keep hearing advertised- I think it is geared for business meetings, but they might have a personal product, or there might be some other app that does the same thing. It handles the audio (and video, i believe) chatting, and also lets the user see the other person's desktop. You could take him on a sort of tour of where you are and things like that. I bet with the right kind of cell phone, you could do that kind of thing live, out in the world. Walking through the streets or a park, with the kid seeing what you see and you narrating.
posted by gjc at 8:21 AM on November 28, 2010

One thing I did with my son when he was abroad at a similar age was to browse YouTube with him while Skyping. We had a blast watching music videos, blooper reels, Sesame Street skits, and so on.
posted by YamwotIam at 8:44 AM on November 28, 2010

A friend of mine plays all sorts of games with her granddaughter via Skype. She says they have the best time! I know she's mentioned Bingo, but I'm sure there's more that you could do.

BTW, my friend is in Ohio and her granddaughter is in Germany.
posted by SoftSummerBreeze at 9:39 AM on November 28, 2010

You could write something collaboratively. For example, you could write an adventure story, or a play, or a silly fantasy about a perfect day.

There exist a bajillion ways to do collaborative text editing over the internet. PiratePad is easy (hit the big blue Create New Pad button on the right).
posted by brainwane at 12:29 PM on November 28, 2010

Thanks for the suggestions everybody ... I'm a bit saddened to find that there really isn't anything 'made to order' for this. I think there are a lot of people in the same situation - perhaps this is a real market opportunity for somebody!

We'll keep hunting around, to see what we can find ...
posted by woodblock100 at 1:20 AM on November 30, 2010

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