What is the best way to inspire an hour of laughing between your kids and your parents?
TheÂ Panasonic HomeTeamâ„¢ app.
Seriously. I just watched Grace, Allie, and Joe’s parents spend an hour on the phone (something that has never happened before). They played Crazy 8’s together, and they laughed and laughed and laughed. Grace talked about her biking scrapes and her fat lip, and there were moments of quiet concentration.
In short, it was everything that makes a family game night awesome – except that the participants were 75 miles apart.
ThreeÂ of my kids’ four grandparents live a distance away, so we are always on the lookout for ways of keeping in touch that bridge the gap.
We’re not unusual. According to AARP, more than half of grandparents live at least 100 miles away from their children and grandchildren.
We have tried Skype, and that works, but the conversations are usually one-sided, with the grandparents asking lots of questions and the kids giving one-word answers before they run off to do something else. (Or worse, hang up on the grandparents!)
We send Old Grandma a photo every day using her Presto printing mailbox, and that works great – except it’s one-sided as well. The kids don’t actually get any interaction with Old Grandma, even though she gets a photo of them printed out every day.
We’ve found a new wayÂ withÂ the Panasonic HomeTeam app. The appÂ allowsÂ grandparents and grandchildren toÂ enjoy the same activities they wouldÂ enjoyÂ in person. (This would be great for parents who travel, too!)
The HomeTeam app allows users to read books and play games together. Books include titles likeÂ Curious George and Jumanji, along with 5 Little Monkeys, Martha Speaks, and more. Games include chess, checkers, and Crazy 8’s plus new exclusive HomeTeam games.Â The app has everything to keep little people connected with the big people who love them.
Why does it matter? you ask. Can’t we just do this by a phone call?
In a word, no.
A phone call doesn’t allow kids and grandparents to share an activity, to do something together. In creating a memory of a real shared activity, kids bond with their grandparents in a way never before possible. The kids want to be on this call. They want to use HomeTeam. They want to spend time with their grandparents, even at a distance.
Grace, playing Crazy 8’s an hour past her bedtime, asked, “When can we do this again?” before begrudgingly hanging up.
What if Nana read your kidsÂ aÂ story before dinner every night? Wouldn’t that be a special memory for them to hold?
Or if your kidsÂ had a standing date to play checkers with PopPop on Thursday afternoons?
Wouldn’t that be great?
ItÂ can happen with HomeTeam.
The people at Panasonic made HomeTeam to build real, lasting connections between kids and adultsÂ separated by distance. The service fosters rich bonds between loved ones, making it easy to connect and build memories together. HomeTeam helps families create authentic connections through shared conversations, shared book reading, and shared games, all from the convenience of a tablet or computer.
HomeTeam users can useÂ video chat while reading books and playing games together. The key is the activity, and the conversation happens naturally from that. It’s not a forced conversation just for the sake of talking. That’s what makes HomeTeam different.
The service includes curated content, including children’s books and multiplayer games. New users can sample the entire HomeTeam experience, including unlimited access to content and all features free of charge, for 30 days. After that, a premium subscription for continued access is available by month ($7.99/month) or by year ($79.99/year).
Learn more about Panasonic HomeTeam or download and try the HomeTeam app today!
This post is sponsored by Panasonic.Â Read my full disclosure policy hereÂ for more information.
© 2015, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.