12 lockdown activities to do with isolated family members

Lockdown activities to keep everyone happy and included are hard to come by at the best of times and are even harder when you’re all stuck at home. Online activities can be frustrating. Making sure everyone knows what’s happening and when hoping no one’s internet is going to fail… It’s a difficult task, but sometimes this can add to the fun… Sometimes…

Out of lockdown? Try our other list of 37 activities for dementia patients.

An elderly gentlement engaged in a mobile phone based lockdown activity

Before we get into the list, you should first know a way to video call. Elderly family members are more likely to struggle with this, and that is why we would recommend Whereby. Whereby is browser-based, and doesn’t require an account, and you simply just need to share your link in order to invite friends and family. So for those who are comfortable with technology… They just need to click a link. Of course, there are other options such as Skype and FaceTime, but these may be a bit more difficult to access.

1. Exercise class

As you may have seen from endless videos online, there are a lot of people sharing themselves doing online exercise classes or just exercising with friends and family over a video call.

This idea is great for keeping everyone active, and it can be even more fun if you have kids in the family! Get them involved, have them lead the session! You might find a new position that you never knew existed…

2. Sudoku races

Sudoku races may be a little bit more difficult as you might want to try and do the same Sudoku as everyone else. But you can do this by simply finding one online or in the newspaper, and sending it via text or WhatsApp so that everyone has the same puzzle… Just don’t go and cheat… Yeah, we’re talking to you.

If you’ve not got any spare sudoku puzzles laying around, first of all… Good, that would be weird… Secondly, no worries you can find some online. The wonderful world of the web hey… You can go to https://www.websudoku.com/ to find a large variety of puzzles, this also makes it easier to find the same puzzles, simply click “Select a puzzle” and choose the same difficulty and number to see who can complete the puzzle quickest!

3. Watch a movie together

Watching movies… I’m sure everyone is doing this at the moment, but why not be cheesy? FaceTime family and friends, choose a film and start it at the same time. You may hear someone else’s TV but you can always mute your microphone until you want to say something.

This could be messy for some, but it’s the company that matters, so enjoy it and watch that film you’ve been waiting to watch together.

4. Research the family history

Researching family history is different, it doesn’t require a video call, just a simple phone call. You can use sites like ancestry.com to help with this. Researching family history is a nice way to get your mind off of the current situation, and it’s a nice activity for the elderly, as they may be able to fill in some gaps.

5. Google street maps tour

For those of you who are a bit more technical, why not screen share on a video call? You can look at where you live on google street maps and turn back the time to see what things used to look like. doing this with an elderly member can bring back memories for both you and them!

Discuss the things you remember and, best of all, moan about what you miss! Everyone loves a good moan… doing this with an elderly family member can be fun as they will remember and miss more then you would, talking about what shops used to be where, and of course, moan that the community isn’t what it used to be… The great internet hey? Destroying communities then and creating them now.

6. Book club

Grab a book, virtually or physically, and read it with family members, children, adults, everyone can get involved. You can then get together to discuss the book, just like a normal book club, just over video chat…

Getting kids involved again can make this even more fun, have them choose a book, it’ll be a fun experience for all the family when you have to re-read that bedtime story they love for the 100th time…

7. Family pub quiz

Creating quizzes can be difficult, so searching for questions online can be the solution. Or get everyone to put in 5 questions each, in which everyone will have to answer, have household teams or work individually to see who is the quizmaster in the family.

Got kids? Great make it more family-friendly with some questions they’ll know. Or don’t… just don’t beat them by too many points… they might not want to play next time. Try not to lose either, because you won’t hear the end of it.

8. Just video call

Not into fun games? Not into fun activities? Well then don’t play…

No really, you don’t have to play games to enjoy yourselves. Just simply video call each other, see how everyone is doing and just have a chat. You don’t have to be playing games to have fun.

9. Share videos and imagesĀ 

Remember that video that you laughed at and shared with your friends? Why not share it with your family? It’ll show that you’re still thinking of them, and I may even put a smile on their face. Funny videos and images are great to share with friends and family as it’s just like have a conversation… Without the conversation part.

And what about that old photograph? take a picture of it and send it to your parents or siblings. The more embarrassing the better! And then just hope they don’t share it online.

10. Video diningĀ 

Time for dinner, why not video call the family? It’s the only time when everyone is together, so why not plan a time to all call and have dinner together. It’ll be like a Christmas dinner video call, the whole family around a virtual table, chatting away.

11. Play some mobile/online games

Everyone has a mobile, so why not play some games together? There are lots of simple games that can be enjoyed with friends and family. Here are just a few we enjoy:

  • Draw Something – Everyone loves Pictionary, In this game, you send a drawing to a friend and they have to guess what it is before the time runs out. then they’ll send you a drawing. The game goes back and forth and isn’t in real-time, so you can draw today and then they can guess and send you a drawing tomorrow. Download Here
  • Words with friends – This is a virtual game of scrabble, take turns to play words on a scrabble board and see who can win more points. Once again this isn’t played in real-time so take your time. – Download Here
  • UNO – Does it need explaining..? grab some family or friends to play a game of UNO. Include the kids, and even play in teams of two if you’re feeling like you might lose on your own. – Download Here
  • Psych! – This is a new game from Ellen. in which you all must come up with the most convincing false answer to trivia. Each fake answer is submitted anonymously alongside the real answer, leaving you and everyone else to pick the correct one. Get it correct, you win a point, but also gain a point for every time someone else fell for your false answer. – Download Here
  • Remote Insensitivity – For the more mature audience, cards against humanities. This one is online so as long as everyone can get on the internet, you should be fine. – Go to http://playingcards.io/game/remote-insensitivity

12. Houseparty (App)

And finally Houseparty. This video call app has rocketed with downloads. Similar to all the other video call apps, such as Skype and FaceTime. This app can be downloaded on all mobile devices and has the option of 4 different games to play whilst the video call is kept in the background.

So 12 different activities for you to try with your family over video and mobile calls. We hope you enjoy yourselves whilst isolated at home, but remember you’re not truly alone. With the internet today, there are many things you could do to keep yourself busy and interact with distant family and friends.

Author: James

I founded and manage PrimeCarers, a Platform that connects Private Clients with Private Carers near them.