Connecting with family members and friends is still possible via video chat
With the stay-at-home order in place, we know many people will miss seeing family members who do not live in their immediate household. If you are looking for a creative way to connect with those people, you can do a little bit of prep this week to get set up for a connecting moment as a family.
A one-on-one video call is great for kids to connect with grandparents or friends during this time, but what if you want to get the whole gang — aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, GREAT grandparents, and more — on the same call? Try a family Zoom.
At least one person, the event organizer, will need a Zoom account to set this up. (Start at the Zoom website here.) Free accounts work perfectly fine and will allow you to have up to a 40-minute meeting.
Once you download Zoom on your computer, phone or tablet and create your account, decide when you’ll schedule your meeting. You can require a password if you wish but only people with your link will be able to join. We recommend sending this link directly to your family members and not posting it publicly on social media.
Once the meeting is scheduled, go to the meetings tab and you can see the details there. Click “copy invitation.” This is what you can cut and paste into a text or email to your family members.
And there you go! If you have family members that you think may have some technical difficulties locating or downloading the app specific to their device, you can do a trial run with them and set up a meeting just for you and them before the “big” family gathering. In our family’s gathering, we know that great-grandma loves seeing so many households of family members at the same time. It is definitely worth the extra time to make sure nobody will have technical difficulties when it comes to your actual family gathering.
Tips and suggestions for making the most of your family gathering:
- Recommend that people take turns un-muting, especially when kids are involved. That way everybody isn’t talking over each other.
- Have a favorite tradition, or want to start a new one? Why not take a cue from Thanksgiving and go around the group saying one thing everyone is thankful for? The thing you’ve enjoyed the most outside since it started warming up? Any kind of icebreaker will work.
- Adults can pour a beverage of their choice and “toast” with the entire family before the meeting ends. Remember, even if you aren’t together in the same room, you can be together in spirit!