Whether you are social distancing or just moved to a different state, video calls are a great way to stay connected with friends and family who live far away. However, there is only so long you can talk about your life and catch up with people before video calls get boring. If you're looking for ways to keep things interesting while on video calls with your family, here are some fun activities you can try.
1 - Board games
Playing board games over video calls can be a lot of fun. Trivia games are easy to play over video and can be fun for the whole family, while strategy and roleplaying games can spawn complex campaigns that last for dozens of hours. Either way, you'll get to spend plenty of time with the people you like without boredom getting in the way.
Most board games are not designed with online play in mind. But in the wake of the pandemic, many board game manufacturers have released alternative rule sets to make playing over video calls easier, as well as tips on how to do so. Boom Again is a good example. Boom Again is a pop culture trivia board game made by boomers for boomers, with over 2.200 trivia questions related to the culture of the 50s, 60s, and 70s. And recently the company has also released a guide on how the game can be played through video calls - or Boom Zooms, as the company calls it.
2 - Online games
This requires a bit of technical knowledge, so it might not work well with older relatives. But playing games while on a video call with other people is a lot of fun since you get to see their expressions and gesticulate to them while playing. This can be achieved by playing online games in windowed mode, or by choosing a video call service that can overlay the call over a full-screen game.
Another option is to have a video call going on your phone while playing with that person on your computer.
3 - Watch movies together
Many services make it easy for people to watch movies together from a long distance. These generally require that both users have an account on a specific streaming service.
Another solution is to simply share your screen with another person, which allows you to stream a given movie to them directly. This often results in the other person seeing the movie in a lower resolution than the original, but it is convenient enough to be worth it. Plus, if the person you're streaming for is watching the movie on their phone, they might not even notice the difference.
4 - Cook together
Cooking side by side while on a video call can be a great way to bond and pass the time. It's also a great way to learn how to cook, so if you've been missing a relative's cooking while you spend time away from home, now it's your chance to learn their culinary secrets.
5 - Book club
Book clubs work great over video calls. Everyone can read the book on their own time at their own pace, and once the reading is done, you and your family can get together on a video call to discuss it. This will make sure everyone has something to talk about, while also giving you a book to read and keep you busy when you are not talking to your family. It's also a good motivation for getting more reading done throughout the year.