10 ideas to making your family Zoom holiday party actually fun

The holidays are usually a time for celebrating and enjoying the company of friends. However, we can’t physically be together with everyone this year because of covid-19 and social distancing. However, as the feeling of isolation and the anxieties of this pandemic set in, getting together may feel more important than ever.

The following is a step-by-step guide to using the Internet to connect virtually for a family holiday gathering during the pandemic.

Games and activities for virtual family holiday gatherings

When you interact with your friends or family members in person, it’s natural to have more freedom to talk about what you want to. But this is not always true in online conversations. Preparing a game or two can be an easy way to keep your family connected.

Here are some game ideas for a virtual meeting with friends and family that will keep all of you engaged:

Two truths and a tall tale: This game is a little like “Guesstures” or charades. You start by telling two truths about yourself and then tell a story that incorporates those truths. You can add props and pictures with websites to help you remember to make it more interactive.

The photo scavenger hunt: Divide everyone into teams (this could be anyone online, not necessarily close friends and family.) Team One gets together with all the photos they want to use. They write out descriptions (with links) for each of them. Then they send these instructions and the pictures to team Two. The second team sees if they can figure which photos go with what directions using only those instructions.

Rose, thorn and bud: Another game that can be done with pictures, this one is a little like Charades. You need to think of a word or phrase that goes with three things in the photos you send and they have to figure out what it is.

Face painting: Everyone who wants to join gets prepped by looking up face painting designs at the library. The rest of the group guesses who each design is on. (It’s okay if someone has multiple designs!)

The holiday pageant: Everyone writes out a few lines they can say to play parts in this interactive holiday skit. Then everyone takes turns playing narrator and performing their piece for the others; you have to guess who is narrating and who is acting as people improvise and switch roles. You can make it more difficult by having two narrators or giving new pieces of the story at random times. 

Funny trivia questions for kids:  if you have kids with you at a virtual meeting, try to make them engage with funny trivia questions for Kids. It is a form of word game where players must know a lot of answers, names, dates etc. The questions asked in this type of game can be very silly and funny. You can ask your children some funny trivia questions, this way they will get engaged and will not feel bored.

Sledding: Imagine how much fun it would be if everyone were sledding at once in some virtual place. For this game you could have everyone create their own sleds and try to get them to jump over a virtual hedge or a ditch. You can give clues if someone gets stuck and make sure that no one hurts themselves by using the ‘mute’ button until they have gotten through it on their own.

Story by sentence: Everyone selects a few words from a story they have written and creates sentences with them. These become key to answering questions for the others in their group; if you guess which sentence someone uses first, you get two points. You can make the game more difficult by having people use a limited number of words.

Story writing: Put everyone in a group chat and tell them they have ten minutes to come up with as many ideas for what their holiday will be like in the future. Then each person writes down three things they heard, and you try to guess which story came from which person.

Guess the picture: You could play this game in a few different ways. One way is for everyone to vote and then take turns guessing what they think the most popular answer was myenvoyair. Another method would be to have everyone post three options at once and then see if anyone can guess which one had the majority. A third method is to have a poll for each question, with the options changing every few minutes.