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Apps to play with your grandchildren

22nd May 2020


As many people around the UK cannot see their family or loved ones, finding new and innovative ways for family members of all generations to communicate is crucial. With video calling never more popular, so is the use of games and other technology to keep us all entertained. With ideas like exercise in the garden to seated games evening for those who often require the use of straight or curved stairlifts, there is plenty to be getting on with, but what entertainment is there to enjoy with children and grandchildren?

In this article, we look at the best apps and games to play with your grandchildren over the phone or on a video call.

Candy Crush

Easy to get your head around and a competitive game everyone can enjoy together. Although Candy Crush isn’t a multiplayer game, it can be played over video call and scores can be discussed and challenged. Samara from Gift Goonie explains how her children enjoy playing Candy Crush with their grandparents:

“My kids’ Grandmother loves to play Candy Crush and now my children play candy rush with her. I think it's great as it is something that both grandparents and children can bond over. Candy Crush is a visually colourful game so my child is really attracted to it and its also great for Grandma as it keeps her brain active. I think it's very important for Grandparents and grandchildren to keep in contact over this time to combat loneliness and boredom for both.”

Not only is Candy Crush a great game to play with your grandchildren, but it is also a great option for keeping yourself occupied and installing some of that competitive spirit in this troubling time.

How to play:

Candies can be crushed by swiping over any three matching candies, making them disappear. Once you crush a row of candies, a new one will drop-down. Your aim is to reach the goal that is supplied to you on each round.

Draw Something

An app that has been around for a while, Draw Something, is a rather self-explanatory game in which two players have to draw and guess, earning points.

Draw Something can be played with friends and family through Facebook so is a great option for those who want to play with their family or on a video call.

How to play:

Create a new game on the app, this is your opportunity to connect with your friends on Facebook meaning you can connect with your family. Once you have chosen an opponent you can choose your difficulty level and start playing. The aim of the game is to guess what your opponent is drawing as quickly as possible to gain as many points as you can.


The team at Caribu told us a little more about this video-calling app and how grandparents and grandchildren can use it together: “Caribu is an interactive video-calling app that helps grandparents read and draw with their grandchildren when they're not in the same location, increasing longevity and brain stimulation in seniors due to regular engaging video-interactions with their grandchildren.

“We are a tool for Cognitive Fitness, allowing older adults to stay active and engaged. Findings published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry show that young seniors who frequently engage in social, creative, and memory stimulating activities - like reading and drawing in a video-chat with Caribu are able to delay the effects of cognitive decline and depression related to the ageing process. By using our app, seniors increase their social exposure thereby strengthening cognitive health through meaningful and interactive video-calls with young family members. Caribu’s library has books for all ages as well as interactive activities like colouring pages, games, and educational workbooks that help develop and reinforce motor and cognitive skills."

Kerry from the Long Distant Grandparent says that her family love playing Caribu together: “Caribu, free during the pandemic, is an app with storybooks and games to play together in real-time with grandchildren over video.”

How to use the app:

Integrated with tonnes of fun family games, activities and learning portals, Caribu is a great way for families and grandparents to interact with their grandchildren whilst ensuring they are still learning.

Mario Kart Tour

A classic game that most will have played at some point, Mario Kart recently released its sister game Mario Kart Tour which now allows you to play with your friends online rather than just a computer on your phone. Mario Kart Tour is a great game for family members of all ages and allows larger groups to compete in a family battle for first prize.

Mario Kart can also be played on a number of different devices including the mobile app, the Nintendo and the Nintendo Switch meaning that plenty of people can get involved. Although it looks daunting, Mario Kart is simple to use, and the app will take you through the steps and controls you will need to play the game. Join a video call and ask your family if you find it is difficult to set up.

How to play:

Users can choose to play as a single player or multiplayer (multiplayer should be chosen to play with friends and family), connecting online to add friends to the game. Once you are connected, you can choose your race tracks, your character and your vehicle and its customisable options. Once ready to race you will race through a number of courses trying to beat your opponents.


Another popular option which always brings family and friends together is Psych. Created by the makers of ‘Heads Up’, Psych is an exciting new party game with a whole host of new categories testing your general knowledge and speed.

Helen from Actually Mummy explains how her kids love playing Psych with their grandparents over Zoom:

“Keeping the kids in touch with their grandparents is an especially big challenge here as my kids are teenagers, and teenagers are only really interested in their friends, and food! We've done a few Zoom meetings with the family, but the kids trying to teach their Grandma how to play Psych during a Zoom meeting has been the funniest thing to watch. It's actually a good way for them to catch-up and find out more about each other's week, or what they like. And we do enjoy Grandma's confusion over which buttons to press - she never wins, but she never minds, and she's always glad of the catch-up.”

How to play:

Although it sounds a little more complicated, a game of Psych is pretty simple to understand once you have played a few rounds. You can play one of two ways, the first way is to answer all of your questions correctly and try to gain points this way, the second is to try and bluff your friends by suggesting answers that’ll fool them into getting it wrong.


A game that many know and love, Uno is commonly known as a high-intensity card game, but in recent years it has been made into an app so groups can all play together online to see who can reign victorious. The perfect options for grandparents and their grandchildren, the Uno app offers a variety of different gaming experiences so you’ll never get bored. With all-new rules, tournaments and adventures, it is definitely one to pass the time during the lockdown.

How to play:

The rules are the same as the card game, where the aim of the game is to get rid of all of your cards before the other players. Each card has a rule or a colour on it and these determine how you can play your hand, but make sure you don’t forget to shout Uno else you’ll have to pick up all of the cards on the table.

No matter how you plan to spend your time during the lockdown, making sure you keep in contact with friends and family is a great way to stay positive. Play some of these games next time you talk to your loved ones for a video call with an extra fun element.

READ ALSO: Tips and advice for grandparents

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only and are up to date as of the time of publishing