For military spouses, we’re used to getting together via Zoom or FaceTime for regular chats and keeping connections strong.
But being online with your friends can still lead to the same screen time burnout you experience at work. One way to keep things humming along is with fun (and funny) questions, prompts and activities!
Make Zoom Interesting Again
You all roll up in your pajamas or your cocktail attire or whatever you’ve thrown on for day 3,678,890 of the pandemic. And then…nothing. You all sip your beverage and look at the screen.
But what if you switched things up with a coordinated activity?
Try these on for size:
- 3-minute TED Talks: everyone joins the Zoom with a 3ish minute powerpoint, then everyone shares and rates the talks. The winner gets a small prize, like a gift card, or everyone Venmo’s them $10.
- Unbox a shared activity: grab a subscription to a mystery box, like Hunt a Killer or Finders Seekers, then do the activity together each week until you solve the mystery; assign each person a role in the activity and keep track of your discoveries!
- Cooking show: every week or month, assign one person to be the “host” of the show; they should share a recipe and ingredient list prior to the chat and during the call will lead everyone through making their yummy dish together (but apart).
- Group watch: Netflix Party and Disney+’s Group Watch function allow groups of friends to watch a movie together and talk about it in real time. Grab some popcorn and hit play!
- Tasting experiences: many wineries and experts are offering virtual tastings … and your group of friends can get in on the fun, too!
- Paint & Sip: invite an artist/teacher to your next chat and grab the supplies, then create your own masterpiece via video.
Get giggly with funny questions
Sometimes you just need to drop a completely random thought into the group video call. When the conversation hits a lull, start things up again with these thought provoking queries:
- If you could pick one thing to bring with you to a desert island, what would it be?
- What would your last meal be?
- Do you have a crime that’s fascinated you since forever?
- Where do you want to move to if nothing stood in your way?
- You can only wear one color, but in any shade, for the rest of your life. What color are you wearing?
- What’s the weirdest thing your boss has ever asked you to do/
- Let’s make a list of our best pandemic impulse purchases.
- What are missing most about “normal” life? What are you loving about the self-isolation?
- Ask this or that questions with a giant list from Conversation Starters World
- Pick a celebrity to spend a month with, 100% alone.
- Coffee, tea or cocoa?
- To drink or not to drink?
- Best board game ever?
- Pick your favorite movie and convince the rest of us why it’s awesome in one minute
- 6 word stories, as featured on HuffPost
Turn your next virtual hang into game night
Games are better when you can play together, but since you still can’t really be in each other’s actual houses virtual games are a great option!
We’ve been using:
- Cards Against Humanity: it’s a pretty ubiquitous game for millennials, so everyone should have a set; deal yourself in at your house and rotate the judge as you play.
- Pictionary: use a word generator, like this one from The Game Gal, then draw and show your work!
- Charades: switch your setting on the word generator and get going with this fun classic game.
- Apples to Apples: like Cards Against Humanity, everyone probably has a set of this game. Break it out and start making funny matches!
- Settlers of Catan (or other similar board games): set up a video feed of the “master” game board or have a set in each location, then play – moving each player’s pieces with each decision in the game.
Meg Flanagan is a teacher, blogger and military spouse. She owns Meg Flanagan Education Solutions, an education advocacy service dedicated to serving families on the K-12 journey. You can find Meg on Facebook. Meg is also available as a freelance writer and personal education advocate!