Power up and connect with your grandkids

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Connecting with your grandkids over Skype or FaceTime can be fun, but when you want to interact beyond just talking, there are thousands of smartphone and tablet games available that can help bring generations together. Here are a few to try with grandkids (all are available for iOS or Android devices).

Elementary Schoolers

  • Animal Memory Match
    This matching game is for in-person play and tests your ability to recall where pairs of friendly animal cards are hiding. You can set the game for 6, 12, or 20 cards. (Free)
  • Tic-Tac-Touch
    Ideal when you’re waiting for meals to be served in a restaurant, this rendition of tic-tac-toe keeps kids occupied. No crayons needed, and it’s neater than playing on the back of a place mat. (Free in the App store; $.99 in Google Play)
  • Marble Mixer
    Up to four can play with these digital marbles, with themes like Space Mania, Table Tactics and Monster Picnic. Best of all, there’s no chasing dropped marbles on the floor. Pretend you’re flicking an actual marble, as the app uses true-to-life physics to make the bounces realistic. ($1.99)


  • Words With Friends
    This popular Scrabble-like game can be played from across the globe or the kitchen table. It helps kids develop a strong vocabulary and learn good spelling habits. (Free)
  • Dice With Buddies
    Think Yahtzee with instant messaging. Kids need to formulate strategies while rolling the dice against you on the same couch or from 2,000 miles away. (Free)
  • Mini Golf MatchUp
    You can sit next to your grandkids and play putt-putt, or you can challenge them from anywhere in the world. It’s rather addictive. Tip: The longer your virtual backswing, the better your putt will roll on longer holes. (Free)


  • Heads Up!
    You hold your phone to your forehead, the device displays words or names, and your grandchildren yell out clues to help you guess what’s on the screen. Then swap roles. Totally fun and you and the kids will relate on a whole new level. ($0.99)
  • HQ Trivia
    This game transforms time together into much more, especially because each generation complements the other’s trivia strength: Teens are up on pop culture, and you know anything 20th century. Be aware that the games run only once or twice a day (If you’re late, you can watch as a spectator.); you’re competing together against millions of people. (Free)

Good to know: For most multiplayer games to work, both devices need to be on the same operating system, so be sure to check the app’s system requirements before you download it.

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