With lockdown upon us one more then, like we have done throughout 2020, we’ll have to rely on technology to stay connected. We’ve put together some top tips to help you stay connected.

2020 has proved how important technology is in keeping us connected with our loved ones. After the year we’ve all experienced, most of us now will be somewhat of an expert when it comes to video calls, and whichever platform you stand by, whether that’s Zoom, Skype or Microsoft Teams, connecting with our families is now only ever one click away.

The ease and convenience of video calling also means our older relatives can talk, laugh and play with their grandchildren, even if they can’t be there in person.

Follow our tips and plan a great night, and celebrate together despite the distance.

 

Ideas for a virtual party night

If you need some inspiration on how to liven up your video calls, we’ve gathered a few ideas.

 

  • 1

    Get creative

    Pick a party theme, decorate your video call backdrop, pop on some tunes. This is the perfect way to kick off the celebrations.

    DIY-Photo-Backdrop-Feature-Image

  • 2

    Games

    You might not all be in the same room, but there’s no reason you can’t all enjoy some fun games to liven up the mood. Classic games like Charades and Pictionary can easily be enjoyed over a video call and are guaranteed to have you and your loved ones in stitches. And if you haven’t had enough of virtual quizzes in the last few months, then we all know they’re a family favourite.

    Bring Your Family Together With Google Home

  • 3

    Bake off

    Why not gather everyone for a video call and do a joint cooking or baking session. Pick a recipe, and everyone can spend time together while whipping up some delicious dishes. And then for a bit of friendly competition, you can compare your results before tucking in over your favourite tipple.

  • 4

    Virtual movie night

    A lot of us have probably already done this throughout the last few months, but a virtual film night is a great way to spend time with your family when you can’t all be together. If you can manage to all agree on a film first, then it’s as simple as serving up some fresh popcorn, getting comfy on the sofa and dimming the lights.

    Bring Your Family Together With Google Home

  • 5

    Get active with your family

    After one too many mince pies over Christmas, why not gather the clan together on a video call and bust out a sweat with some activities like yoga and Pilates. With a library of videos to follow on YouTube, everyone can get involved. Plus, none of you will feel guilty when you scoff a few more cakes later.

     

Get the right tech

You don’t need much to connect with your family and friends over a video call. The most important thing is the app that you’ll be using to make the calls. Which app you prefer is up to you, but they all work relatively the same.

WhatsApp

The go-to for group chats, and an app that you’ll find installed on most smartphones. Just select the camera icon in the app to connect with your loved ones.

Zoom

Before 2020 a lot of us probably hadn’t even heard of Zoom, but now most people will be pretty familiar with the app. Zoom is great for group video calls as it’s really easy to setup, and even easier for people to join. Just get the most tech savvy person in your family to organise the call, and everyone else can dial in through a shareable link.

Skype

Skype works in a similar way to Zoom, you can set-up groups that can all call in at the same time for some virtual family fun. Just make sure everyone in the family has the app installed on their smartphone, computer or tablet.

Top tips for video calling

For virtual family time without any hiccups, check out these simple tips and tricks.

Put the app in focus: For older family members, remove all other apps from the home screen to help avoid any confusion.

Disable pop-ups: Within the app’s settings you should be able to disable any automatic updates to stop anything interrupting your video calls.

Keep your device charged: When connecting with your family virtually, make sure your device is hooked up to a power supply to prevent any abrupt interruptions.

Connect to a soundbar: If you have a soundbar or smart speaker in your home, connect your device to it for much louder and clearer audio.

 

By Amy Marsden on 16.12.20

Guest Contributor

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