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Try Grandma’s Trivia Quiz by email and online

A simple and cheap way to keep kids amused and give them something to talk to grandparents and others during online calls.

Grandma/pa starts with some trivia questions for the kids to research, sent by email.

Later in the day there’s an online call when grandma/grandpa can catch up on the day and discuss the answers.

A simple, great idea heard on BBC Radio 4’s The World Today program.

It’s a way for people to interact with kids online and have something to direct the conversation. Instead of a vague online call “What did you do today?”  “Awww, nothing”.

This is a way to keep the kids distracted and have something to talk about during a Facetime or Skype call.

Grandma’s Daily Quiz

Of course, Grandfathers, Dad, Mum/Mom, Uncle, Auntie and others can also use this trick.

Adults too

Friends (adults or older kids) could swap trivia questions then meet up online later to talk about the answers.

Make a trivia quiz

Email some trivia / general knowledge questions to the kids.

Five questions seems like an ideal number.

Choose a single topic for each set of questions.  Continents, Cities, Baby Animals, Dinosaurs, Trains, Planes, Dogs, Cats, Trees, Insects, Pirates, French, German, Dutch, Tulips, Chinese, Daffodils, Woodpeckers  ….

Start with topics you know the kids are specially interested in. That’s more likely to get their attention before the topics broaden to other areas.

Tailor your questions to the children’s ages.  Don’t ask a 15 year old the capital of the USA or ask a 7 year old the chemical formula for water!

Bonus points!  Add extra questions for extra credit.

Search Tasks

Maybe add some online search tasks as well.

Q:  What is a baby penguin called? Find the cutest baby penguin photo you can.  What type of penguin is it?

Personalize questions

Link questions to your own life so you can talk about the answers personally.

Q: Grandma visited these cities last year, Dresden, Dortmund, Karlsruhe and Mainz.  What country was she in?

A:  Germany

Q: In Mainz, Grandpa went to the museum about a very famous man.  Who was he and what did he do?

A:  Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press.  Mainz has a fascinating museum dedicated to the great man.

Starter questions

We have some questions to get you started.


  • Which one place is a continent and an island and a single country.
    • Australia
  • Another place is continent and an island but not a country. Which one?
    • Antarctica, has territories claimed by many countries. Under all the ice is a landmass.
  • Which country spans across both Europe and Asian continents?
    • Turkey is mostly in Asia but has a European segment.
  • What city is spread across Africa and Asia?
    • Suez, Egypt spans both sides of the Suez Canal which divides the two continents.


  • What city in Central America has the same time zone as New York (ignoring daylight savings time)
    • Panama City, Panama
  • What is the capital of Australia?
    • Canberra. Sydney is the largest city but not the capital.
  • What is the capital of California?
    • Sacramento.  Not San Francisco,  Los Angeles or San Diego
  • Name three cities that were created and designed from scratch as capitals.
    • Canberra, Australia.  Brasilia, Brazil.  Nur-Sultan, Kazakstan (formerly called Astana, until 2019).  All were either empty land or tiny towns before being named as capital.
  • Tokyo is the capital of Japan, what city was the capital before Tokyo and when did it change?
    • Kyoto was Japan’s capital for over 1,000 years until 1869.
  • Timor-Leste is one of the newest countries in the world, what is its capital?
    • Dili

Gettysburg Address

  • Why did Abraham Lincoln make a speech at Gettysburg?
  • Who was the main speaker on the day of the Gettysburg Address?  How long was his speech?
    • Edward Everett’s was the featured speaker on the day, he spoke for around two hours.
  • What is ‘Four Score and Seven’ in binary?
    • 1010111
  • Who wrote ‘Abe Lincoln vs Madison Avenue’?
  • Why did Lincoln say “Four Score and Seven’ instead of just ’87’?
  • If the Gettysburg Address was given today, there would be a PowerPoint slides too.  Make some slides that summarize or accompany Lincoln’s speech.

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