10 Ways to Spend Time with Family Virtually

 

Shorten the distance between you and loved ones with a virtual activity.

Time with family members we love has the power to change us. Not only can it improve our moods and lighten our spirits, but it can build our self-esteem, strengthen our bonds, and encourage positivity.

Whether you look forward to an annual holiday or a weekly dinner, family time is special time. Nothing can replace time with our loved ones, but when you find yourself away from each other, there are some activities that can help.

If a phone call doesn’t feel like enough, or if you want to find ways to engage a larger group, get creative. What activities would you like to be doing together?

Here are a few ideas to kickstart your next family night, with a little help from your favorite video calling platform.

Host an art class or music concert

Does someone in your family have a special talent? Put them in the spotlight with a special night for family art. Have a talented aunt demonstrate a painting how-to over video, or schedule a private concert led by your musically inclined cousin.

Share a meal

Maybe your mom can’t make your favorite meal for you, but she can help guide you through the recipe. From the comfort of your own kitchens, cook and enjoy a meal together. Open up the invitation to a larger group and have a dinner party the stretches across miles.

Do a game night

Game night can go on! Find new online games to play, get creative and start a boardgame over a video conference, or use an app like Houseparty, which allows users to chat and play.

Hold a happy hour

Upgrade your phone call to a video conference—but don’t think of this as work. For the adult members of your family, host a happy hour. Think of it as simply time to chat as you would during a night out, or try to have everyone open a special bottle and trade tasting notes.

Organize a puzzle challenge

Send a care package to your crafty loved ones in the form of a puzzle, and then send one to yourself too! Working on the same project at the same time will make you feel closer, even if you’re not together. Make it more of a challenge and see who can complete it first!

Establish a book club

Get your family to read the same book and then get ready to trade notes. Hold a video call at the end to discuss the book or simply keep in touch over text and email as you each make your way through the pages.

Have a movie night

Instead of a book club, have a movie club. Choose the same film to watch on Friday night. Start at the same time or try out a plugin like Netflix Party to bring the group together virtually in a chat that’s synced with the show.

Launch an at-home treasure hunt

This might take a bit of creativity. Create a treasure hunt list (think: something green, something from the year you were born, something that starts with the letter “a”) and send your family members on a trek around their own homes. Have them send in pictures on a group text message or email chain, or in a private social media group.

Show up to an event “together”

Do you wish you could take a yoga class with your sister? Tour a museum with your dad? See what virtual events and experiences are available online. You may be able to find you can access cultural centers digitally, attend a one-of-a-kind event via Facebook Live, or travel globally—together and without leaving your home. 

Send homemade cards

Virtual connection can be fun and easy, and make you feel a lot closer to loved ones. But a surprise via snail mail feels like a special delivery. Whether it’s a little note or a card made by your kids, drop a line in the mailbox so your family knows you’re always thinking of them.

 

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