Actively connecting with extended family

Published
22nd May 2020
Written by
Energise Me

 

It’s been two months since we went into lockdown. For many of us, it’s been a long time since we’ve seen our family. The virtual world has boomed recently, so we wanted to share some ways that you can get active together using technology. So although you may not be together, you can still feel connected!

Skill share

We all have a family member that has an amazing skill or party trick that we’d like to be able to do. Juggling, cartwheels, pogo stick, walking on your hands, unicycle… Now is the perfect time to learn it! Ask your family member if they would be happy to film a few tutorials and send them using Whatsapp or email. Once you’ve gone through the tutorials and taken time to practice, book in a live session with your new ‘teacher’. You can show them your progress and ask them to mark you out of 10 and give you some top tips. You can repay the favour and teach them one of your skills.

Mini Olympics

The Olympics may have been cancelled this year but that doesn’t mean we can’t get the family training for the next one! Choose your top 5 sports and recreate them in your house or garden. Virtually invite other families or groups of friends to join in and pick a country. You could make flags, paint your faces or wear t-shirts in the colours of your chosen country. Choose another family member/friend to be the judge. Take videos and highlights of your games and send to the other families so it feels like you are taking part together.

Some examples of sports you could try;

  • Gymnastics – give each person 10 minutes to come up with a gymnastics/dance routine to a piece of music of their choice. Ask them to perform and send a video to your judge
  • Penalty shootout – give each child a chance to score against an adult. You could give each child 3 attempts, best out of 3 wins
  • Long jump – A very simple one to do. Mark out a takeoff point, grab a tape measure and measure the jumps. Ask someone to help you watch the jumps and mark where they landed
  • Basketball/Netball – Ask each person to score as many goals as they can in a row without missing. If you have a net use that, if not you could use a bucket or mark out a circle and use tennis balls or bean bags
  • Shotput/Discuss – Ask everyone to stand behind the line, throw beanbags, paper plates or a ball as far as you can. The winner is the best of 3

Closing ceremony – Schedule this in with the other teams over zoom so teams can celebrate each other’s victories and give them big applause as they step up on the podium. Buy some medals (many places are selling them online or in supermarkets). If you can’t buy them you can make them here. Create a podium with different heights for Gold, Silver and Bronze, or use your stairs. Winners get to choose dinner or that night’s movie!

Obstacle course challenge

If you want to get creative with exercise and inject some fun into family PE sessions, why not create an obstacle course. You can then challenge your extended family to create their own. Use whatever you can find in the house or garden, such as hula hoops, skipping ropes, balance beams, balls and targets… the options are endless! Time and video each of your family members on the course. Add this to your story on Instagram or Facebook and tag who you want to challenge!

Pick ‘n’ Mix Workouts

Get two empty jars, fill one with names of family members and one with different workouts e.g. yoga, pilates, aerobics, dance. Scrunch each name and workout up before putting it into the jar so you can’t see what they say. Each week choose one piece of paper from the names jar and one from the workout jar. This will match a family member with a workout. This family member is then in charge of leading a workout, which can be done over Zoom or Jitsi. Give them one week’s notice so they have time to prepare. If it’s a young family member they can do this with an adult or follow a pre-made workout from Youtube. Choose a day and time to do this each week. At the end of the workout choose from the jars again so the next person can start preparing for the following week.

Photo competition

Take your phone or camera out on your daily walk, run or cycle and snap your best photograph. You could set a theme such as sunsets, nature or choose a colour such as yellow (e.g. photograph a field of daffodils). Invite your family and friends to take part and choose a judge. Set a time frame and deadline for when all photos have to be sent in by. The best photo gets to choose the next theme.

Walk and Talk

If you want to have a natter and catch up with a family member or friend, simply having a video call whilst walking could be just up your street. Choose a quiet location for your walk, arrange a day and time with them and give them a call using Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger. Schedule it in the diary, so this time is especially for you both to have a good conversation without being interrupted. It’s a great way to feel connected to them and with nature.

Speed Round Quiz

Online quizzes have been really popular in the last couple of months. Why not add an active twist to yours? Ask the quiz master to choose 10 items that you can find around the home, without telling anyone beforehand what they are. When the quiz master shouts out the object each team player needs to find it as quickly as they can and show it to the camera. The first one back with the correct item gets a point, it’s sure to get the heart rate up!

Something for the weekend

If you want a break from exercise but are looking for a way to have some fun with the family, you could try Psych! It’s a party game where you can choose from a variety of categories. Each player makes up fake answers to real trivia questions. You can play this whilst being connected to online video as well,  it’s more fun to see their reactions!

Top tips

  • Even though more people are at home these days, it’s surprising how busy we still are. Organise your event a few days before and ask everyone to add it to their diary
  • Jitsi.org is an online meeting platform that you can use without being limited to time. You don’t need an account either. Go on to jitsi.org, click on start a meeting, give it a name (The Smiths Mini Olympics), click allow microphone and camera, then share the meeting link and password with those who you want to join
  • If you are limited on time, let people know that they can ring you with any technical questions beforehand so that you can start on time
  • Spend five minutes before the meeting ensuring you have a good position for the camera, as well as good lighting so you can all see each other

We love to see how you’ve been actively engaging with your friends and family. Keep sharing with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Emma and her daughter after stay in work out PE
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