Looking to connect and have fun during this disconnected, shelter-in-place time?

The good news is, so are your friends, and it’s easier than you might think.

People are getting very creative with their video conferencing right now, and finding it a great way to connect with friends and laugh. Both of these can help lift your spirits, easily.

First, if you haven’t already, sign-up for a free Zoom account. You can use others, of course, so if you already have a favorite like Skype or Google Hangouts – use that too. Make sure, if you don’t use Zoom, to use one that works with phones, laptops, tablets and computers – so all your friends can join in.

Then, setup a time with a few of your friends to do one (or more) of these fun ideas below. Before you know it, you’ll be having a good belly laugh.

1. Spelling Bee

Have fun with an adult and/or kiddo spelling bee.

  1. Think of a fun prize for the winner (gift cards are great; you can also do free things like sing their favorite song).
  2. Assign someone to be the officiant. You can get words here to use.
  3. The officiant decides a random order of people to go.
  4. One at a time, the officiant reads the word. They may be requested to read it in a sentence.
  5. If the person gets it right, they advance. You can decide if you want to allow 1-3 mistakes and stay in.
  6. Keep rotating until you have a winner.

2. Play Charades

You can play this classic game with as few as two people, although it’s better with three or more.

If you have a game like Pictionary, you can use those cards for the drawing person to rotate through. If not, sites like this provide a list. You can split the list before starting, among the people participating.

You can keep score if you like, or just have fun at the drawings and guesses. You can use an online timer and the drawing function in your video conference tool to keep it fun.

3. Dance-Offs

Video conferencing has come a long way, and yes, you can even do a dance off on this. Rules can vary, but generally two people compete and one (or more) watches. The watchers determine the winner.

You can randomly pick songs to make this fun (and more challenging), and rotate the competitors every 30 seconds or so. At the end, determine a winner.

This will  also give the dancers a nice little workout, and everyone a good smile.

4. Happy Hour

While there aren’t chicken fingers, tacos and beer specials you can share – you can schedule the 5pm time with friends and meet online.

To make it fun, agree on a theme and dress for it. You can make themed drinks too if you like, or just keep it simple.

5. Coffee Hour

This one can be with work colleagues or friends. We’ve found doing this once at week with work colleagues can be especially fun. You can the video time with your pets, kids, spouse and let your colleagues get to know you better.

If you have nine or more, you can attempt to re-enact the starting of the classic Brady Bunch intro (or Hollywood Squares), looking at each other in the video windows.

Schedule 30 minutes and enjoy. You’ll be surprised how much everyone enjoys this.