All you need is a web cam and a microphone to use the program. If you use a laptop, it’s likely you have both already built-in. My parents use a desktop computer, so it was just a matter of finding a camera & mic combo on Amazon (one that was plug-and-play to keep it simple) and having it shipped to them. We went with this one and my self-professed, don’t-know-much-about-technology mom literally had it up and running within minutes of opening the box.
She looks and sounds great on our end, so we’re very happy with it! 🙂
Here are some ways we’ve found Skype to be educational and fun for L&L so far:
- They can see and chat with their grandparents whenever they want, when otherwise they only see them about once a month.
- It’s great for keeping in touch with people you may not get to see that often, like grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, or even keeping up with friends who move!
- When their dad has a work trip, we can do a video call in the morning or in the evening to chat with him. It’s much easier for the kids to carry on a meaningful conversation during video chat than compared to just talking on the telephone.
- If the kids are staying at their grandparents for the night, we can call and see them, read them bedtime stories, sing to them, etc.
- L&L can show off any artwork, new items they’ve received, or Lego kits they’ve built to whoever they’re talking to. It’s like a high tech version of Show-and-Tell. 🙂
- Luke, who is just beginning to read and is a bit reluctant, calls his grandparents to practice reading his new book of the day. Their attention and excitement seems to help motivate him, and it gives him a real reason to practice reading. Plus, they enjoy getting to see him progress as he’s learning. 🙂
- Last night, L&L got a narrated video tour of their dad’s hotel room. It may not sound that exciting, but for kids who don’t travel that much, it was a pretty neat experience.
I love that when we get a call now and the computer starts “ringing”, L&L stop whatever they’re doing and run to it while yelling, “Someone’s calling US!” <3
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