I have to say we are lucky that with technology as it is staying in touch with adult family members is fairly easy. Two of my great aunts read my blog and one is on Twitter and I can email my mom and grandma, but my brothers that are 10 and 12 need a little more care. I feel at their age it is easy for a person even as close of siblings that we are it is easy to fade away into somewhat random person, especially since it will be over a year till I can see them in person again.
While reading a mystery book I came up with a plan that I thought would help us keep in touch in a fun way so they will look forward to hearing from me as well.
I copied the code from the book I was reading then wrote the Top Secret message which was a mission for them to go to our local pier take a picture then send it to me with a magnet.
I sent one brother the code and the other the message, I sent them the same day and for some reason they arrived three days apart and my mom said it made my brothers even more intrigued about breaking the code. I also did not include my name on it and let them decide if it was from me. They finally concluded that it is indeed me after evaluating the handwriting on the birthday card I sent to my mom and the writing on the letters to them. What me and my mom thought was funny that since it is so rare to receive mail these days they just ripped the envelopes open and totally missed the Swedish postage stamp on the outside!
It has worked though for wanting them to keep in touch with me as they have had questions and asked for more codes to break in the future! If you are away from younger loved ones I would suggest this method of keeping in touch!