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How to Keep Family and Friends Close When You're Stuck at Home

With so many of us separated for the holidays this year, it’s up to us to think of creative ways to celebrate using the safest methods we have available. For most of us, that means meeting outdoors and staying 6 feet apart, or using a video chat platform like Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime to connect.

Even though we’re spread far apart, there are still lots of fun family activities you can do at home. You just need to think outside of the box and plan some remote family activities everyone can do at home.

Remote Family Activities to Do at Home

Video chatting platforms make it easier to connect with far-away family, but using them will always require a bit of advance planning, especially if you have older family members who aren’t as comfortable on a computer. Before the holiday season begins, spend some time helping them get familiar with your family’s chosen platform, so they can join in the festivities.

Once your family has agreed on a platform, you can start planning some fun activities for everyone to enjoy at home.

a couple wearing ugly holiday sweaters

Host a Themed Party

Parties over video chat are fun, but can be awkward at the beginning while everyone gets used to the platform. Smooth over the awkwardness and keep the conversation flowing by hosting a themed party. You can choose any theme you like – keep it traditional with an Ugly Sweater Party, or host a murder mystery night with everyone taking on a different role.

Share Creative Cocktails

If everyone in the Zoom is an adult, set a challenge beforehand to see who can come up with the most creative cocktail. Give people a few days’ notice to collect ingredients, then award the person with the best recipe, or the most original presentation.

woman using laptop to video chat friends and family

Play Games

There are many different family games to play at home while on Zoom. You can adapt a traditional party game like Pictionary or trivia, or opt for one that takes advantage of Zoom’s screen sharing capabilities, like Quiplash or Outburst.

A father and son enjoy an indoor movie night

Plan a Move Night

Video chat platforms are great, but they don’t do a great job replicating the casual atmosphere of a movie night. That’s where Teleparty comes in handy. This Google Chrome extension allows you to watch a movie or TV show in sync with remote friends, and gives you a chat room so you can talk while you watch. Right now, it’s compatible with Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and HBO.

Set the Right Background

Sometimes people need to see with their own eyes how much you love and miss them. Instead of leaving your background blank, fill it with framed photos of your family and friends. By displaying these treasured memories prominently, you’ll show everyone just how much you value them and miss their company.

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