Our golden years were meant to be filled with visits from our grandchildren, lunches with friends, and family gatherings that celebrate major events. But, while we are waiting to conquer the spread of the Coronavirus and living our lives separated from our loved ones, staying in touch is more important than ever for seniors. Daily check-in calls are one way to make sure everyone is safe and healthy, but it doesn’t replace the joy of face-to-face communications.
Another way that helps to keep personal connections up-to-date and strong is the fun of having group calls on the Zoom social platform. Besides having the pleasure of both seeing and hearing each other in real-time, your Zoom group calls give you the opportunity to creatively enjoy each other’s company while still being physically separated. With group chats and coordinated activities staying in touch is easy, safe, and heartwarming.
If you have a laptop, computer, smartphone, or tablet, you have access to Zoom. There are easy to follow instructions on the internet with step-by-step instructions on how to join a Zoom group. You do not need to be tech-savvy to enjoy the fun of being with family and friends. A caregiver or another member of your household can help you get started, or someone can talk you through the process during a phone conversation.
The fun, amusement, and gratification increase with each group meeting. And the memories can be viewed again and again when someone records the gathering and posts it online. If you are looking for topic ideas, look no further than the topic suggestions listed here. The following are ways to make Zoom calls exciting and fun for family and friends of all ages.
Zoom Calls for Fun with Friends and Family
Not being able to get out of your home because of the Coronavirus does not mean that you cannot stay connected with those who mean the most to you. When you have a circle of friends and family that want to actively stay in touch without risking each other’s health, Zoom gatherings are ideal for staying connected whether it is once a week or more often.
To ensure that each gathering has a different targeted topic, let a different person be the host and be the one to select the theme for the meeting. Then, let everyone who wants to be at the gathering can prepare to play along with the topic.
Games That Include Everyone
1. An Evening of Bingo: You can either email everyone a different Bingo card or select one of the Bingo videos on the internet. When people are playing with printed Bingo cards, they can use pennies or real Bingo chips to cover their numbers. The host for the meeting can be the number caller for the games. When people are playing along with a video game, that program will have the number caller within the game. Without the ability to hand out prizes, the person who wins the most bingo games can be the host for the next gathering.
2. Charades: The host for the evening can either set up two teams to play against each other. Then, each team is given a movie title, a popular song title, a favorite television show, or a popular saying like Hungry as a Bear, for one member of the team to silently act out. One member of Team A will silently act out the saying or title while Team B members will do the guessing within the time limit to win. If Team B guesses correctly, they score a win and get to start the next round of the game. If Team B runs out of time, Team A gets to go again. At the end of the evening, the team with the most wins gets to select a host for the next gathering.
3. Staring Contest: See who can go the longest without blinking. The winner of that round gets to judge the next round.
4. Two truths and One Lie: The host for the gathering can email or text each member of the gathering with a list that contains two truths and one lie. The first person who guesses which are truths and lies will be the next person to challenge the group.
Non-Game Themes for Zoom Gatherings
1. Virtual Dinner Party: The host for the evening’s gathering can plan a virtual dinner party where everyone is eating the same basic food items. Keep the menu simple so that everyone can buy the basic ingredients. The meal can be as easy as hot dogs and baked beans, a can of each person’s favorite soup and crackers, a simple casserole, or a tossed salad with pita bread. Then everyone can talk about their selection and why it is a favorite.
2. Memory Lane: Each person can relate a favorite memory about someone else at the gathering. While some family and friends may already know the memory, everyone else will get to know the person being talked about better. It is a great way to get another view of everyone in attendance.
3. Future Plans: Each person can say what they plan to do differently after the Coronavirus is contained or one of their favorite things that they plan to do again when the pandemic has been contained.
4. Who is in the Picture: Each person can bring a few old pictures to the gathering and see if anyone can tell who is in the picture. Once the person in the picture has been identified, then the person who brought the picture can tell everyone when and where the picture was taken. The fun is learning about past events, people, experiences.
Whatever topic or theme is chosen for group gatherings, the Zoom sessions provide a way for staying connected with loved ones and they will serve as opportunities to make new memories. These cherished sessions will one day be the memory lane enjoyment that friends and family will talk about and share with others.