Have a Virtual Family Reunion (No Travel Required)
Last updated: August 26, 2020, at 4:42 p.m. PT
Originally published: August 26, 2020, at 4:42 p.m. PT
Many family reunions have been cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving children who were excited to see their cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, or other extended family members disappointed. If your in-person family reunion was cancelled this summer (or if you’ve never had a family reunion), the end of summer is a great time to engage virtually with your family both near and far! Make it a family activity by engaging your children in the planning process! You can guide them along the way or assign them specific projects. Below is an easy to follow planning checklist:
Choose the Date and Time
- Don’t forget to consider different time zones. This site can help coordinate times with families from all over the world.
- Consider setting up a test call before the scheduled event to provide support for family members not comfortable with digital platforms.
Select a Virtual Platform
Below are a couple of examples of platforms you can use:
- Zoom – free accounts allow up to 40 minutes of live time with up to 100 different devices.
- Google Hangouts – No time limit and free; however, participants must have either a Gmail account or Chrome Browser extension.
Pick a Theme
Ask family members to come dressed for the occasion and even make it a competition for best dressed! Take it one step further and decorate the room where you’ll be connecting from or find a fun background. Here’s some ideas to get you started:
- Pajama Party
- Show off your Team Spirit
- Tropical Beach
- Dressing through the Decades
- Around the World
Here are some activity ideas you can use during your virtual family reunion:
- Talent Show
- Writing or Art Contest
- Completing a Mad Libs
- Minute to Win It Competitions
- Virtual Scavenger Hunt
Create & Send a Virtual Invitation
Make the event more formal by using a free electronic invitation to your virtual family reunion like Evite.
Capture highlights and special moments from your virtual family reunion in hand-written or virtual thank-you notes! Don't forget to take screenshots of your virtual family reunion to print or send via email!
No matter what you plan for your virtual family reunion, remember that spending time with your extended family is the most important thing! Connecting with others during this pandemic can provide a sense of belonging, hope, and laughter.