Updated: May 7
There are lots of virtual options to keep up your group meetings and programs.
Staying Engaged with your Group is Important!
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In the age of novel coronavirus, staying connected is more important than ever. There are many available opportunities to engage with others online. Whether you're looking for an activity for the extended family, work team, friend group, or social club, you can find the answers here, for all ages. The following activity ideas can be done over a video conference app such as Google Hangouts/Meets, Zoom, Skype, or Webex. Some additional resources and links are provided.
Play a card, word, or board game together. Some good ones are Codenames, Scattergories, Pictionary, Balderdash and MadGab. Some boardgame makers, like Days of Wonder, creator of Ticket to Ride, offer online play for their games as well. Organize a quarantine scavenger hunt. Have folks use a mobile device to seek out and show the objects they’re supposed to find, or send out the hunt list, set a timer, and then reconvene to see people’s picture evidence of what they’ve found. Choose objects that can be found inside a home or backyard. Apps such as Goosechase allow you to streamline your scavenger hunt and offer pre-made lists.
Enjoy some storytelling. Among the oldest of human traditions, storytelling has a universal appeal. During this pandemic, numerous authors, teachers, camp counselors and other childcare providers are staying connected by reading stories online. But stories can be great for any age. Professional Storytellers like Valerie Tutson offer a great opportunity for your group to listen to live or pre-recorded stories that delight all ages. The company Guard Up Guardian Adventures even offers interactive stories, where you’re encouraged to play along by actively fighting monsters and overcoming physical challenges while they create a story for you online.
Hold a Karaoke night together. Let participants pick their own songs, or drop challenge songs on unwitting participants. Players can and belt them out solo or collaboratively. Apps such as Smule can help you organize the whole thing. Have a virtual skill sharing night or talent show. Invite everyone to share or teach one thing to the group. This one may take a little bit of advanced coordination. Give each participant a 5 or 10 minute window to share and explain their interest. If participation requires supplies, make sure they’re simple things people are likely to have on hand, and communicate in advance. Hold a cooking contest. Pick your favorite dish and see who can make it best (s'mores are a great choice) then compare and exchange recipes. Send out the dish people must prepare in advance, and have participants take short videos or pictures to share with the group when everyone gets together to show off and eat their creations.
Create a trivia game to play together. You can find other people’s premade quiz questions online with Sporcle or Quizizz (for teachers), or you can make your own.
Use Netflix Party Chrome extension to watch a movie together. Then chat about it afterwards. This is especially good if someone has seen the movie in advance and prepares some discussion questions. You can also find discussion guides available online. Think of it like a modern day book club.
Play an online game together. Jackbox Games makes a fun interactive set of software that can be streamed over a video conference and players can participate on their phones. There are also plenty of video games designed for online multiplayer, including teaming up with a squad of people you know in real life. Some examples are Fortnite, Minecraft, Elder Scrolls Online and World of Warcraft, but there are plenty of others out there for PC and gaming consoles, including family friendly options.
Put on a virtual yoga class. Plenty of real life yoga teachers are offering classes online today, or find a session you like on Youtube and stream it to everyone.
Just give people the opportunity to be together! Enjoy your hangouts and make the most of your time together during coronavirus. There's a real danger in isolation and these are some great ways to give people the community they need. Your people may not remember exactly what program you did, but they'll remember that you give them the opportunity to be together.