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
This post may contain affiliate links.