Virtual Fun During Shelter-in-Place

It takes a village to raise a child, but during the global Coronavirus pandemic, that village looks a little different. If the kids or you are going stir crazy, here’s a list of virtual fun activities that we at ClickAway have found helpful with our own families.

Entertainment

Home music concerts and been popping up all over Instagram, Facebook and Youtube. For example, type #togetherathome and you’ll get a selection of virtual concerts by Coldplay, Pink, : Pink, Keith Urgan, Chris Martin, John Legend. NPR has a running list of online concerts around the world including the Vienna State Opera. Bookmark this link.

For a limited time, Broadway musicals and shows are available to stream for free online. You can stream classic shows like “The King and I” and “Cats” through BroadwayHD. Also try searching #hamathome for an awesome digital show.

virtual concerts

Zen – Relaxation 

Spend some time enjoying the majestic sights — including world-class sunsets — by livestreaming the Lake Tahoe Cam

Try EarthCam for a network of livestreams from such places as Times Square in New York City, Key West in Florida, St. Croix and New Zealand.

Watching sea otters play around in the water is a great way to beat the blues. And seeing moon jellies float about is a good prescription for de-stressing and chilling out. You’ll get to see the otters, jellies and various other water-loving creatures by joining in on free livestream fun offered by the Monterey Bay Aquarium through at least March 27. Of course, the aquarium (like pretty much everything else) is currently closed, but its 10 different webcams are still livestreaming daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/live-cams

For a virtual dose of the aloha spirit, check out the livestreams on www.hawaii.com/discover/webcams. There are cams in place from Maui, Kauai, Oahu and the Big Island. 

online yoga classes

Home Works-Ins, Exercise 

There are many studios and nation-wide fitness companies offering free or low fee online fitness classes you can enjoy from your laptop. Virtual fun should include some sort of movement to maintain a healthy mind and body.

  • Planet fitness – Facebook Live Tuesday at 7pm ET 
  • Medicine for the soul yoga – NYC-based studio offering up to 4 classes a day. $14/month or pay per class options. Classes are both live and taped so you can do them when the time is right. 
  • San Francisco company Dryft offers virtual workouts 
  • Lady Gaga’s former backup dancer, Mark Kanemura, is hosting virtual dance sessions on his Instagram page

What Can The Kids Do Now? 

The public educational company Scholastic has launched a “Learn at Home” website with ‘day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing. Other websites like Khan AcademyNational Geographic KidsST Math and Duolingo, also offer free online courses.  

Skype a Scientist is another interactive approach to learning. The service matches families to a scientist for a live video Q&A session. 

virtual fun by Skyping a scientist

Online Field Trips For Any Age  

Guggenheim Museum  

Van Gogh Museum  

The Louvre  

Houston Zoo live animal cameras 

Online Game Night 

Staying at home would be the perfect time to bust out the board games for a games night. Effective social distancing means that nobody is allowed to bring over a six-pack and chips for a game of Monopoly. 

What you can do is host a virtual fun game night. With the right online chat application, you can set up a video call or screen share with friends and play tons of fun games. Need help setting up your computer, tv or internet? ClickAway is open and can help you online or in person.

Jackbox Games. Jackbox Games is a cross-platform game bundle where players connect to the host game with their phones by going to jackbox.tv and entering a custom room code. All players can then play a variety of games ranging from word games to a telephone-like drawing game.  Costs range from $12.49 to $29.99 for different game bundles. 

Pogo Games  Pogo is a website with a variety of games available ranging from mahjong, word games, and bingo. They also have an online version of Monopoly that you can register to play for free, so no one will flip the board or accuse the banker of cheating. Pogo is free and any web browser will do.

Playing Cards.io Playing Cards is just that: playing cards, but online. The free website has checkers, crazy eights, and the perennial party favourite, Cards Against Humanity. Much like Jackbox, players enter a room code to play with their friends. All the card movements are synced on everyone’s screens, and there’s even an option to play a custom card game with a virtual 52 count deck. 

Exploding Kittens. A sometimes grotesque cat-themed card game where players try to avoid drawing the titular exploding kitten. This mobile game is nearly identical to the physical deck, the only changes being some exclusive cards. The online version features a solo mode as well as multiplayer. It retails for $2.59 on Android and $1.99 on iOS

Tabletopia. Tabletopia offers over 800 virtual board games to play, from intense strategy games, to simple chess, to more unusual titles like Terra Mystica and Anachrony. Titles can be filtered by age, maximum number of players, maximum play time, and age recommendations. It’s free but there are some restrictions to the free version.

Get Creative With Virtual Fun

Have an Entire Conversation Using Bitmojis. You might not have broken out the Bitmojis in a few years, but the app is still going strong and is available across platforms. There’s literally a sticker and emoji for everything, which makes it a fun challenge to see how long a full conversation lasts without actual words being typed. You can also be on the lookout for the most ridiculous Bitmoji around. 

Create Your Own ‘Lip Sync Battle’ Videos. You can do this using TikTok, but it’s more fun and personal to send them through text. You can even challenge each other. Name a song you’d love for others to lip-sync and see how well they do with a time window of 15 minutes. If they aren’t familiar with the song, that’s even more fun. You can also do it live through video chat. 

Solve a Murder Mystery. Speaking of creative apps, there are plenty of them out there that’ll put you right in the middle of a mystery. A fun one is “I Am Innocent,” which also includes a lot of puzzles to keep you busy. While you can’t play it together, you can be on the same page if you download it and start it at the same time. 

Give Each Other Doodling Prompts. You can do this through video chat or even send a text with the day’s “assignments.” This is perfect for artsy friends and family members who might find it hard to get inspired because of all of the bad news coming in. You can even start up an Instagram account to share some of the best submissions. 

Virtual Fun Togetherness

Watch a Movie Together When Your Not. There are plenty of great apps on your phone that’ll let you stream movies together. While it may be wiser to use a tablet (just based on screen size), it’s still possible to hang out and watch movies together just by using your smartphones. Rave and Airtime are two popular apps that allow you to stream with friends. Netflix Party also allows for group viewing and interacting. 

Have a Virtual Fun Sleepover or Playdate or Happy Hour. Grab your PJs, some chips, and a bottle of whatever. Hang out in bed and just chat with each other about anything and everything. If you’re both single, chat about people you like — or people you used to like a long time ago. Since you’ll be staying in your own room and not at someone else’s house with a sleeping bag, it’ll be the most comfortable “sleepover” you ever have. 

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