Pam Watland is married to illustrator Dave Watland and is part of the creative inspiration behind Funkland World.
As a grandmother of 3 little boys who live in another province, I am always thinking about ways to build & maintain a relationship with them. I must admit to dealing with a bit of envy toward my friends whose grandchildren live close by.
Frequent visits in person are not a reality for us, however, my husband and I are trying to be creative with our communication with our wee boys. I know we are not alone, as our global village shrinks, families have found themselves sprinkled around the world. I have been grateful to share with friends who also have grandchildren living across the world.
It is pretty great to grandparent from a distance in this digital age with so many ways to bridge the distance. Nothing fully replaces reading to a child who is sitting on your lap but we make the most out of wonderful opportunities we have to connect over video chats. Perhaps some of you have experienced the pleasure of a FaceTime good night kiss (gotta clean that lens afterward though!) Sharing familiar picture books and songs is a favourite activity for our extended family via video chat. It is really fun to join our voices in song, especially tunes which model life skills and improve vocabulary. Stanley the Walrus has been a go to for us…great to read aloud, fun to sing and tends to get those little ones running to the bathroom to find their toothbrushes! I know he is a fictitious walrus but he has a real way of appealing to all generations and bringing smiles out in everyone!
Whether you get to share Stanley’s story in person or via a screen, the positive message is more than worth the time. It might even make the very biggest difference!
Funkland World…where everyone is possible