I’m all about finding gift ideas that do double duty. This one is the gift that will keep on giving on video chats!

This idea works no matter if you will be with your grandchildren over the holidays or at a distance.

Buy yourself the same gift you give them, so you can play, use or discuss it together online during video chats.

If you want to get extra fun about it, give it to the parents as a ‘Santa’ gift and then show your grandchildren that Santa brought you the same thing.

If you are with them on Christmas day wrap up the present from ‘Santa’ and give one to you and one to yourself on Christmas morning.


You could send something ‘pre’ Christmas day, that is holiday themed to get the fun started earlier. You can ‘Christmas-a-tize’ any of the ideas below (e.g., Christmas activity book or picture book, a Santa stuffy, etc.).

Here are a few ideas shared with me by long distance grandparents or personally used with my children’s grandparents

The same activity book so you can work on it together online. This could be a book of mazes, a Mad Libs book, a Would you Rather Book (especially for older grandchildren).

The same tea set so that you can have a tea party together online.

The same big truck or car (remote control depending on their age) so you can drive around together online.

The same Barbie, baby doll, stuffed animal or puppets so that you can dress them up and cuddle them together online.

A packet of seeds with a pot that you can plant and take care of together online.

The same musical instrument so you can play music together.

The same book you can read together on video calls. This works for older grandchildren too but you might suggest you have a ‘discussion’ about the book on a video chat instead. A mini book club with Grandma/Grandpa kind of approach.

I hope these ideas get your creative juices flowing.

Let me know if you have any other suggestions for gifts that can be used ‘together’ on video chats. I’ll share them with other grandparents on my FaceBook Page and Instagram account.

Happy Connecting!


Kerry Byrne, PhD