These are challenging and isolating times for everyone, of all ages and abilities.
Children are missing the freedom of play dates and parties, adults the spontaneous cuppa at the local café, meeting friends at the pub, and of course, at this time of year families and friends are going to be missing those Christmas get-togethers and parties.
We thought we’d share some of the things our team have been doing to keep in touch over lockdown.
Postcards & Letters
Technology has come into its own during the coronavirus lockdown. Remote working, online conferences and video meetings have been a game changer for many.
However, in these times of limited physical contact, we think receiving something through the post is that bit more special.
Letters, postcards, kids’ drawings, photo books, little tokens of love and friendship can brighten someone’s day no end.
Zoom, Teams, Hangout
Video calling has made the world of difference for work and social connections. There are many options for video call apps now, but they are quite similar and getting much easier to use.
Whatever your preferred mode of video calling, we’ve found in our families that although the kids are all about watching screens when it comes to movies and games, but when it comes to talking on Zoom they quickly run off to do something else, leaving the adults alone at the laptop! Even without kids in the mix, it can be hard to chat as a group on a video call as conversations cut across each other.
Our most successful video calls have been when we’ve organised a specific activity. Some of our favourites have been…
Great for all ages! Write a few rounds of questions (or find some online or even raid your Trivial Pursuit box!) and invite your friends and family! We’ve had a regular Saturday night ‘pub quiz’ on the go with family and friends throughout lockdown and we’ve also joined in various kids’ quizzes. My youngest has also enjoyed drawing a picture to be posted to the winner!
Bingo is another great one for all ages. In our family, the kids in different households have taken turns to be in charge of setting up a round and calling the bingo. You can go traditional with numbers, or there are various websites that allow you to set up a round based on your own choices! For wordy ones we’ve used My Free Bingo Cards and for picture rounds we’ve used Bingo Baker. This has been a great little bit of home learning for the younger ones too! Set them off thinking of words in a theme, typing them into the app and then you can either use the app to call and mark off your card, or (to keep the kids occupied for longer!) print out the caller card, cut out the words!
We’ve also taken part in some pre-prepared zoom events with individual party packs having been distributed to guests beforehand or a list of things to have to hand. From kids’ parties with craft activities to wine tasting (grown-ups like a theme too!)!
This is an app that provides an all in one video call and selection of activities. Allowing you to drop into a ‘house’ with several friends on your phone or tablet and access games, quizzes and puzzles to play together through the app. It’s got much more of a feel of a social media app than the regular video conferencing systems so seems to be a good one for keeping the kids engaged!
What have you been doing to keep in touch?
We’d love to hear what ideas you have for keeping family connected over Christmas! We are thinking we might have Granny joining our Christmas dinner via the laptop on the dining table!