Get Face Time With Your Grandchildren

face time with your grandchildren

Photo by Hannah Tasker on Unsplash

Do you get enough face time with your grandchildren? Unless you’re lucky enough to have your kids nearby, aren’t you always looking for ways to keep in touch? Although I’m not lucky enough to have any grand kids (yet), I know seeing them as often as possible would make me a happy camper. When little ones are growing and developing so quickly, you miss so much when you’re in another city or state or even country!

The next best thing to being there in person is to stay in touch with our loved ones by phone or video. Thankfully technology gives us lots of options to stay connected. If you haven’t already already found what works for you, or if you’d like more alternatives, here’s a list of ways to share a screen and get enough face time with your grandchildren. I’ve heard kids are much more likely to remember you when you’re sharing screen time with them. Turns out facial recognition counts for a lot. Reason enough!

By iPhone/iPad:

facetime with grandchildrenFacetime is an app only available on Apple, which means unless you have an iPhone you won’t be able to use it. It goes without saying your kids need to have an iPhone also. Facetime is one of the easiest video chats to use. You need to enable the function under Settings > Facetime > Turn on button (to green). When you pull up your Contact to make or receive a call, just select the Facetime on the screen.
Facetime is designed to be used on Wifi (although you can also use it with cell/data) so you can use it to make or receive calls on your iPad.
Free: (requires Wifi/Internet or cell plan)
Note: Unless you have a plan to call internationally, each Facetime chat will cost you as much as a voice call.
Ease of use: Very easy!

By Computer or iPad/Tablet/Android or iPhone (with app)

face time with grandchildrenGoogle Hangouts. Alas there’s no built in application to video chat on Android phones (Samsung, LG, Blackberry or Nokia). An alternative is to use Google Hangouts which allows you to real time chat, send pictures and messages to anyone whether they’re using iPhone or Android. You simply need to download and install the app on your phone.
Hangouts also works on your desktop computer. Google makes it easiest to use on their Chrome browser but you can also use it with Safari on IExplorer. With Hangouts you can have live face to face calls with up to 10 kids at one time; video conferencing at it’s best!
Free (requires Wifi/Internet)
Ease of use: Some setup required. Get a friend to help or guide you the first time.

By Computer or Android/iPhone/Tablet/iPad (with app)

face time with grandchildrenSkype was acquired by Microsoft to replace Windows Live Messenger and is now fully compatible with Android phones. You can now access your address book from the app. Skype allows unlimited one on one video chats whether on your phone or through your desktop computer. Group chats are included.
You and your kids need to sign up get a Skype number for free Skype to Skype calls. Give your number a name. I chose Tessamom as my Skype name. Keeping a contact list of all the kids and grandkids makes calling a breeze. You can download Skype to use on your phone, tablet or desktop or you can simple use it in your browser window on Skype’s site.
Free (requires Wifi/Internet. Skype to Skype calls only are free, you can purchase additional minutes for other calls)
Ease of use: Some setup required. Get a friend to help or guide you the first time.

By Phone Android or iPhone

face time with grandchildrenWhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $19 billion. WhatsApp is just what it says. It’s an app you download and install on your phone to make free calls, including video chats anywhere in the world. The beauty of WhatsApp is you can use it anywhere just like you can use your phone. I used it to call my son in the UK to avoid expensive voice calls from my US AT&T phone. You can use WhatsApp to make calls, send pictures or text messages. Once you have it installed on your phone you can also install it on your desktop computer.
Because it’s owned by Facebook, all your Facebook contacts will be instantly available to add to your WhatsApp contacts. You can also create a new contact by manually enter anyone’s mobile number you want to call.
Free: (requires Wifi/Internet or cell plan)
Ease of use: Once you download the app it’s relatively easy to setup and use.

It goes without saying, although all these video chat services are mostly free, you will need to have either a cell plan, or Wifi/internet plan to use them on your phone or desktop computer. So for example if you’re using WhatsApp in a foreign country on a phone without a data plan you’ll be charged for usage. Even if you do have a data plan (cell service) I suggest making calls on WhatsApp while you’re on free Wifi whenever possible as this app soaks up data like a sponge and you could easily go over your monthly limit.

If you’re using Facetime on your phone in your own country, it’s much like using it to make a regular call. Just be aware of any data or cell service limits you have. If you use it in another country for which you don’t have a plan, consider using it only when you have access to free Wifi or internet.

So please don’t lose face time with grandchildren. Get one of these great video chat apps/services and start connecting! If you have any questions please comment below or send me an email.


After a long career in advertising and technology, I started an interior design business at the height of the crash. I’m passionate about being creative and helping others reinvent their life. I restarted mine at 50+ and have never been happier. How can I help you?

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