With the whole of the country on lockdown for the weeks and possibly months to come, many people are adjusting to a life of social distancing and experiencing fewer visits with loved ones and as such, keeping in touch with family is beginning to look a little different for now.
Thankfully, as is often the case in a crisis, humans are sharing fun and exciting ways to stay in touch with one another and especially help those self-isolating or shielding alone. With plenty of ideas around, there's no need to miss out on a normal family celebration or event as the distance between everyone becomes less important.
Up to now, speaking to family over video calling apps Skype, Zoom or FaceTime have mostly been used for a quick catch up, but families and friend groups all over the UK have been using this software in other ways. I've been looking around on the internet to see what people have been up to and here are some of my favourite ideas.
My daughter Tilly is used to seeing her Nanna at least once a week and often stays the night, along with her cousin Jesse. We have been making use of FaceTime so that Nanna can read her a bedtime story. This has become really fun and Tilly has been really comforted by still getting to enjoy some special one-to-one time with her Nanna.
Digital Family Dinner Party
It's our family tradition to all get together and eat every weekend. Now that that isn't possible, I love the idea of a digital dinner party. Perhaps you could use the opportunity to create a theme, with different international dishes or why not set a cooking challenge, with the same basic list of ingredients for each household and the task of coming up with something special. Don't tell each other what's cooking though - wait until dinner time for the grand reveal!
Virtual Pub Quiz
Families are often naturally competitive, even the most loving ones, so if one member of the family fancies themselves as the ultimate quizmaster, they can create and host a quiz at myQuiz.org for free! What's you family's specialist subject? Disney movies? Football? Animals? You can create a quiz around anything you like.
Why not get your pens and pencils out to play an online drawing game? Prepare by writing down different objects, actions and locations on slips of paper and pop them into separate pots. To play the game, draw one from each pot at random and set a time for a few minutes for everyone to draw heir own interpretation of the scene. For instance, what would you draw if the words Teapot + Dancing + Science Lab were chosen?
Ever thought about keeping in touch with family by way of song? How about an online Karaoke party? Every good party needs a host and for a family karaoke party, nominating someone to organise a theme or playlist is a great idea. To make your karaoke party even more fun, why not ask everyone to dress up as their favourite pop star? Just be considerate of your neighbours when belting out a Spice Girls classic at the top of your lungs!
Make use of the latest Netflix feature Netflix Party to watch movies together at the same time. Watching movies with family members can sometimes be irritating, if your loved ones can be relied upon to talk all the way through or ask too many questions, but that's where a game of movie bingo can help to keep them quiet. Before the movie starts, create bingo cards with phrases, words or sayings that are likely to come up. Or perhaps objects like 'a red car' or 'a glass of wine'. The first team to complete their bingo card are the winners!
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