The natives are getting restless around here, and Fortnite aside, they’re missing their one-on-one time with their buddies. Totally understandable, and honestly, my heart aches for them that the weather is so beautiful and they can’t play with their friends in it. We’re going to make it, we just have to be resourceful and find new ways of doing our favorite things.
Virtual Play Dates seem like a pretty great idea! If you want to reconnect with friends or family over the Internet, here are a few suggestions for games and activities that might pull some chuckles out of even the most stoic of teens.
What Tech Do I Need?
Well, if you have a smartphone, tablet, or computer with a webcam and microphone, you could use online conferencing tools like Skype, Zoom, Facetime, or Google Hangouts, you’re ready to go! Here’s a quick tutorial on how to use a few of those awesome online tools, Online Conferencing Tools for Virtual Meetings.
Go to your board game closet and look around. If you and a friend share a game, it’s pretty likely it you can play it over Skype, Zoom, Facetime, etc. Here are a few suggestions:
- Battleship (it’s okay if you don’t have the game – here’s a printable version)
- Guess Who
You can play countless virtual board games, as well. You could have one browser open to the game, the other to your conferencing site, and split the window so you can see them both. Maybe have your conferencing site open on your PC, and a game app open on your device. Here are a few great websites with online board games:
How about a game of I Spy using things you see in the background at your buddy’s house? Have them think about what’s behind them without turning around.
Now’s the perfect time to write and perform a fun skit for your friends or Cub Scout den. Go all-in! Find props around the house, get dressed up, get the family involved, and prepare yourself for a lot of laughs. Here are a few great skit sites to get you started and inspire your creativity:
Maybe perform a magic show or read out loud to each other as dramatically as possible. Maybe have a fashion show, talent show, dance off, concert, or book club!
Download the Lego app and host a Build Challenge, choosing a design and seeing who can build it first! Find a coloring book page online, print it out, and host a Coloring Challenge. Maybe work together to write and illustrate a story, comic, or movie script. Choose something you love and draw or paint it, revealing your masterpieces when you’re both done. Create a scavenger hunt list to take out on your next walk with your families, and compare what you found later.
Are you missing gym class? Log on with your friends and create a fun exercise routine that you can complete together. Jumping jacks, sit-ups, push-ups, running in place, stretching, yoga… the possibilities are endless. Don’t forget to stay hydrated!
The Great Indoors – Skills and Activities
Scouts.org.uk/activities is chock full of activities (793 to be exact) that are perfect for children – Scout or not – to complete together online. 20 Questions, script-writing, drawing, animal facts, campfire cooking, circle storytelling, fort-building, DIY’s, musical exploration, and more make this the perfect resource for fun in the Great Indoors. In fact, Bear Grylls, the chief Scout, is working with the Great Indoor Initiative to bring live weekly videos over Facebook, including many of the activities found on the Scouts.org.uk/activities site. Will you log-in?
If you’re like us, you’re working on an extensive packet of at-home school work these days, and sometimes it gets a little boring to do your work at the kitchen table. Invite friends from school to get together and work on their packets together! Some activities might include a virtual field trip to a local museum – how fun to do that together? What about that math problem they’re stuck on? Sometimes it’s easier to walk through it with a friend (especially when the new home school teacher’s are working from home and have multiple children to help with their work).
Just Talk It Out
Kids are going through something none of us can understand; this isolation is exceedingly difficult on active little people, and missing friends and the daily routine can be very upsetting. Just log-on and let them talk it out! Maybe they just need a friend in a moment when they’re feeling down about everything, someone who gets their experience and can share some true sympathy. We can give them every activity in the world as a distraction, but the truth is, they’re feeling big things and having big thoughts… connect them with their bestie and let them release a little steam.
Scout or not, I encourage children to complete the NetSmartz activities for their age group. This is a requirement in Scouting for the Cyber Chip, but I think this is the right time to convince as many families as possible that our children should know how to safely navigate the World Wide Web.
Everyone, now’s our opportunity to embrace the meaning of DO YOUR BEST! We’re not going to be perfect, but we’re going to be our best, and that’s above and beyond anyone’s expectations. Let’s all find new ways of doing the things we love to do! I have a feeling the way we do a lot of things has been changed forever.
Stay healthy and strong!