Games like Monopoly and Scrabble are great to play together, especially if you both have the games at your house.
Speaking of learning more about loved ones, Zoom is the perfect platform for kids to interview Grandparents/Special Friends. Let the children ask questions about their Grandparent/Special Friend’s past. Where did they grow up? What were their favorite activities when they were your child's age? How did they meet? Of course, my kids' favorite questions to ask revolve around stories about my siblings and me and our growing-up shenanigans. Make sure your kids take notes (of everything but the shenanigans!) or record the conversation for prosterity's sake.
The student tries to determine from yes and no answers to not more than 20 questions what word or object the others have chosen to be guessed.
Download a printable crossword puzzle and share it with Grandma and Grandpa in advance. Then, let your kids connect with them and work through the clues together, building vocabulary and connection at the same time.
Student picks out a special piece of artwork or current favorite toy and shares it with the grandparents. Grandparent/Special Friend can return the favor, sharing a beloved family heirloom or unique artifact from a recent trip.
Set your Zoom camera up in front of a busy background and ask Grandparent/Special Friend to do the same, then take turns playing I-Spy and providing clues and guessing objects in the background. Bookshelves make for a variety of possibilities. Another fun spin: Find a small action figure and hide it somewhere in the background, then try to pick it out while you chat.
Remember these old-school fill-in-the-blank stories? Pick one up, and let your kids take turns filling them in with Grandparent/Special Friend. Hilarity always ensues, and children get a bonus parts-of-speech grammar lesson to boot. Try some of these: https://www.woojr.com/spring-mad-libs/
Help your kids come up with a list of everyday household items and let them shout out those items to their Grandparent/Special Friend. Set a (generous) timer and let Grandparent/Special Friend try to beat the clock by finding each one and bringing it back to the screen to share via the camera. Turn the tables, and let Grandparent/Special Friend shout out a list of items for the kids to collect. Need ideas? Pinterest abounds with lists of scavenger hunt items to cull.
Set your Zoom up in the kitchen and let Grandparent/Special Friend teach the kids a simple recipe. Even little kids can whip up some no-bake cookies, or use the microwave to make something like Rice Krispie Treats.
Savvy kids have likely figured out you can swap your Zoom background for any photo in your camera roll. Let them school Grandparent/Special Friend on this tech skill during one Zoom, then encourage them each set up a new background for their next Zoom call. It might be a personal photo or something from Google Images. Each person guesses the other's background and then talk through why they choose that image. Is it personally significant? Historically significant? Somewhere they've been or hope to visit? It's a fun way to learn a little something new about a loved one.
A simple craft can be lots of fun and another way to learn something new about Grandparent/Special Friend. Maybe Grandma knits and can give some pointers via a video chat, or Grandpa can demonstrate some whittling techniques. Whatever handiwork Grandparent/Special Friend are passionate about, encourage them to pass it on to your kids.