We’ve been in lockdown in the UK for over two months now, and whilst lockdown restrictions have lifted slightly, we still cannot meet up with our friends and family in the ways we are used to. As time has gone on my friends and I have got creative with different ways to socialise over the internet.
If you’d like some fresh ideas of fun ways to stay connected with your friends during lockdown then continue reading!
1) Interactive Quizzes
I know that everyone and his mother is telling you to play a quiz with your friends right now, but what I haven’t seen is anyone else using Kahoot! to host their quizzes.
After the first week of lockdown, my friend Ella and I decided that we wanted to create a quiz to entertain our friends. Me being slightly cynical did not trust that my friends would not cheat given the opportunity (sorry guys!) so I was trying to think of a way around this problem. This is when I remembered the website Kahoot! Kahoot! was something we had used in school. Anyone can log onto their website and create a quiz consisting of multi-choice questions, or true and false questions, you can also include images or videos in each of your questions.
With Kahoot! people play via entering the game pin onto the website on their phone and are given a countdown to answer the question on the screen via the choices that appear on their phone. As time moves along the correct answer is worth less points, so you can never end up with a tied situation at the end of your game. You also get to see the leaderboard at the end of every question too which adds to the competitiveness!
When my friends and I play, we normally have a video call going over Zoom, or Facebook’s new Rooms feature (using this instead of a Facebook group chat call means anyone without Facebook can join via the link). Whoever is hosting that week’s quiz will share their screen that contains the questions whilst everyone else plays along on their phone.
We’ve found this a great and easy way to perform our weekly quizzes. Kahoot! also has pre-made quizzes by other users, although as it is intended to be an educational platform most of the quizzes are about biology or maths or similar.
Here’s the first quiz Ella and I made so you can see what it’s all about!
This app was a firm favourite among my friends and I long before the pandemic. If you haven’t played before it is an app developed by Ellen that is free and downloadable from the app store (and android equivalents). The app contains multiple playing options but we’ve found the best one to be ‘And the truth comes out.’
‘And the truth comes out’ asks players a question regarding other players, for example, previous questions I have seen have been ‘If Katie had a reality tv show what would it be called?’ ‘What is Katie’s spirit animal?’ and ‘If Katie were a Disney princess what would they be?’ Those are just a few I can remember off the top of my head, but many of the other questions are much funnier. Once presented with a question you have to respond – the funnier your reply the better. Once everyone has submitted their answer to the question, all the answers are displayed anonymously. At this point everyone votes for the answer they found the funniest. Once everyone has voted you can see whose answer you voted for, who voted for your answer and where everyone is placed on the leaderboard.
This app has caused many giggles among my friends, we used to play it in my uni house last year just before we all went to bed and you could hear laughter from around the house when the answers were displayed.
Sometimes we play this whilst we’re on a video call, or sometimes we simply play it without directly talking to one another. Either way, it’s a fun app and a great way to keep entertained and have a little laugh during this time!
3) Tabletopia – Trust me, I’m a Doctor
This next one is a recent find (all credits to my friend Lizzie who shared this one with the rest of the group). Tabletopia has loads of online games you can play with your friends (or strangers), so far we have only played this one – it’s still far too entertaining to leave it to play anything else. We normally play this over Zoom but the game does feature a chat box should you wish to use that instead.
The concept of this game is that everyone who is playing is a 16th century doctor. On the ‘table’ are two piles of cards, ailment cards and cure cards. At the beginning of the game each player picks three ailment cards (you do this by dragging a card toward the bottom of your screen and they appear in a line facing you) and six cure cards.
Each player then takes it in turn to be the patient for the round, they choose which ailment they would like to present to the doctors and they place this face-up in the middle of the table. Each doctor then has to decide which of their cures they think will be suitable to treat the presented ailment – all of the ailments and cures are hysterical and nothing like modern medicine.
Each doctor then takes it in turns to argue for their cure, again the cures are ridiculous so the arguments are always creative! When each doctor is presenting the patient can ask questions about the cure, as can the other doctors. Once all of the doctors have presented, the patient has to choose which cure they would like to receive.
The game doesn’t keep track of the score for you so I’d recommend letting someone do this on a piece of paper.
This game is really funny, so if you’re looking for something completely different to play with your friends online then I’d definitely point you in the direction of this one!
We’ve only played Jackbox a few times, but like Tabletopia it contains multiple games. There are different versions so whichever version you pick you’ll get slightly different games.
The game we’ve most enjoyed playing has been Quiplash. Similarly to Psych each player is presented with two questions they have to answer. Unlike Psych however, these questions aren’t about players, a few examples of questions are, ‘The worst advice your boxing coach could give you,’ ‘A double rainbow doesn’t have gold at the end. Instead it has____,’ and ‘The hit song from the Broadway musical show Fart: The Musical.’ There are multiple questions but each question is only asked to two players. Then everyone gets to vote on which they think is the funniest.
Again, this is one that you need to be able to screen share for, so I’d recommend Zoom or Facebook Rooms.
5) Netflix Party
If you’re tired of watching Netflix by yourself, then this browser extension is great. It allows you to all watch a show or movie at the same time. Whoever is hosting can pause the show and it will pause for everyone. It comes with a chatbox where you can discuss what you’re watching (or anything else) with your friends.
We watched Shrek using this and it was a really fun way to have a remote movie night!
6) Send Cards + homemade gifts
This is kind of a bonus one as it’s not online, but I’ve sent quite a few things out to friends during lockdown (especially as both my boyfriend and best friend had important birthdays during this time).
Personally, during lockdown, I have sent cards, easter eggs, home-baked biscuits, books, and more. Sometimes it’s nice for the people we care about to receive little pick-me-ups in the post – even if it is just a card saying you’re missing them.
I actually think this is a more personal way to interact with friends that we cannot see as it takes time and thought.
I hope this list of 6 things to do during lockdown with your friends has offered you some ideas and inspiration to ease the boredom that I know is setting in for so many people! If you’ve been interacting with your friends in any different ways then please let us all know in the comments!