There’s no denying the stress and uncertainty all of us have dealt with as a result of the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Restrictions have forced many of us to spend far more time at home and away from friends and family. Our efforts to isolate have helped to keep ourselves and others safe but the simple act of hanging out at home has proven to be  surprisingly difficult.

Even the most introverted among us are bound to eventually feel restless or lonely. When these emotions arise, clever strategies can strengthen our resolve. Sometimes, the simplest or silliest measures are also the most effective.

With the COVID-19 vaccine now widely available, it’s much safer for many of us to spend time with friends and family. Of course there is still a significant number of people who are unable to receive a vaccine and medical experts continue to recommend taking precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, which is why we’ve put together our own list of activities and ideas for making this tough time a little more enjoyable.

Activities and Online Games to Play With Friends

Watch Parties

Most of the major streaming services have a Watch Party feature, including Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and Disney+. The biggest hurdle here is that everyone needs to have a paid account on the same service. Or you can set up a Zoom meeting while one person shares their screen, although this can be buggy and have audio/video lag. Watch parties apps work by streaming a show or movie to everyone in the party at the same time, while everyone gets on Facetime or chats as the stream plays. You can have listening parties too! Podcast group discussions are the new book club.

Among Us

Among Us is an online multiplayer game that can be played online with 4-10 players. The game randomly places players into the role of a Crewmate or the role of an Imposter and both teams need to try to figure out who is who. You can play with strangers or with people you know. Among Us is one of the most popular free online games to play with friends on your phone or for a lower price on gaming platforms like the PC, Xbox, Playstation, and Switch.

Playingcards.io

This service is online and entirely free. There are currently 38 card games available to play and the ability to create a custom room to play any other 52-card game you want to play. They recommend setting up an external chat or voice call while you play with your friends.

Krunker.io

There are plenty of games to play with friends online but Krunker is unique in that it’s an online first person shooter that allows up to 10 people to play against each other. The graphics are boxy and terrible but the game is entirely browser-based and a ton of fun.

Psych!

The game gives everyone a real trivia question prompt which you will need to answer with a fake response designed to trick other players into thinking it’s true. If another player picks your response, you get points! This mobile game is available on the App Store or Google Play.

Catan

That’s right, one of the most famous strategy board games ever is also available online to play with friends at colonist.io. You can play with up to four players.

Scrabble

Scrabble is the game of choice for word nerds all over the world. Play this old school classic game with a friend or with a random player online here.

 

Social Distancing Activities and Games

If you’re looking for some safe social distancing activities to do with family or if you’re ready to get out of the house and see people in person, there are plenty of great activities that are considered low-risk.

Jumbo Game Boards

Take your favorite games to the next level with jumbo boards created from cardboard cutouts. These boards can be used to create life-sized versions of your favorite games, including everything from checkers to tic tac toe.

2 men play chess on a giant game board in a city park.

“Playing Giant Chess” by GoGap is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Bean Bag Toss & Cornhole

Cornhole may have once been a top outdoor activity at your favorite bar or restaurant’s patio. Now, however, it can bring a little liveliness to long days at home.

Depending on the weather, you can enjoy the ultimate game of cornhole in your backyard or on the deck. Otherwise, it’s possible to play safely in a large living room or open-concept space.

What better way to bring a little recreational fun to your household when you feel cooped up on a rainy day?

Scavenger Hunts

Scavenger hunts are great activities for those with kids. There are lots of free printouts online that you can print and have some fun around the home or take with you on a little outdoor adventure. You can search for things of a certain color, types of bugs, things that start with certain letters, and more. You can also search for objects to draw or to take pictures of, which can also be a lot of fun for adults, especially those who took up photography as a new skill during the pandemic.

Makeshift Pinata or Punching Bag

Pinatas aren’t just for parties — and they can be fun even when they aren’t filled with candy. In fact, they’re far more entertaining when they feature images of celebrities or important people in your life.

Better yet: if you’re sick and tired of your own company, follow the lead of Modern Family star Ariel Winter. She recently amused her Instagram followers with a video of her creative quarantine exploits: taking a bat to a cardboard cutout of her own face. Feel free to imitate her clever concept with a BigHead cutout.

Hiking

Hiking is one of the easiest outdoor social distancing activities that just about anyone can do. Remember, you don’t have to go to the mountains to hike. Pick a trail within driving distance and that counts! Hiking is a great way to get out of the house, get sunshine, and some much needed physical activity, which is great for your mental health as well. It’s something you can do with friends and family, and kids love it too.

Outdoor Fitness Classes

For lots of people, fitness is therapy. But the thought of heavy breathing, dripping sweat, and poor ventilation in an indoor gym hasn’t been a particularly attractive option during the pandemic. Hence the growing popularity of outdoor fitness classes. Plus, you get great scenery and vitamin D!

Golfing

Golfing is the perfect social distance sport. You’re outside and naturally at a safe distance from others at most times anyway. It’s also one of the best social distancing activities for seniors according to research from the University of Southern California. And now everyone has an excuse to get their own golf cart.

Water Sports

In the outdoors in warm weather, there’s nothing more refreshing than being in the water. Get some friends together and go swimming, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, boating, or fishing. These are great social distancing activities for kids. And if you have a National Park nearby, even better!

Winter Sports

Cold weather doesn’t mean you can’t have fun outside with with others. Winter is a great time for skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, snowshoeing, and sledding. 

BBQs and Backyard Gatherings

Backyard gatherings are back this year, though it’s recommended by the CDC that you keep gatherings small and everyone at a safe distance. You should also continue to be cautious, especially if any attendees are unvaccinated. Unvaccinated guests should also wear masks and limit the amount of time they spend indoors.

Social Distancing Team Building Activities

Wine Tasting

Virtual wine tasting classes have become very popular in the last year. There are many business that sell kits and then schedule a live meeting with your team to go over the wines in detail. It’s a great way to learn about wine with coworkers. Many of these classes require a large number of attendees, which is why they’re better targeted towards businesses.

Virtual Escape Rooms and Mystery Puzzles

There are different kinds of virtual escape rooms but all of them are a lot of fun. Some brick and mortar escape rooms have started to offer a version of service where players get on a video chat and guide an escape room employee around the room to interact with the puzzles. And some virtual escape rooms are entirely digital and more like a video game but with video chat so that everyone can work together to solve puzzles. Physical crime mystery games like Hunt a Killer are also great to play as a team. If everyone gets a set, you can also solve the puzzles together as a team.

Painting Classes

Many painting classes have transitioned to virtual classes. Before the pandemic, you would go with a friend, get a glass of wine, and paint a themed scene together at the direction of the instructor. It’s mostly the same in a virtual class but now it’s easier to get a larger group together and everyone can drink anything they want. You will need to buy the materials but most classes will sell you the kits you need for a small additional cost. If you buy from a local painting business, you can often get curbside pickup for materials too.

Pizza Party

If everyone is still working from home, you can still have a pizza party. There are services like Pizzatime.XYZ that will coordinate the ordering and delivery of pizza for you or you can simply send everyone on the team a DoorDash gift card to order pizza, or their food of choice, on their own.

Quiz-Based Party Games

Many of the games mentioned earlier are also great for playing with coworkers but you need to consider the many differences your coworkers have. That would probably rule out games that are violent or that could seem offensive. Some safe games that  everyone can play include games like Drawasaurus, Jackbox Games, Werewolf.

Virtual Jigsaw Puzzle

Jigsaw puzzles such as from Jigsawpuzzles.io (https://jigsawpuzzles.io/) are a fun way to get your whole team involved in a way that allows them to participate whenever they have time. 

Team Engagement Services

Services like Ten Spot are designed specifically to bring together a remote workforce and improve employees overall well-being. As a team, you can participate in webinars that cover a multitude of topics, such as craft popsicle making, yoga, meditation, strength training, wellness, leveling up in your career, building your company culture, developing habits, being more assertive, trivia and riddles.

Using Cardboard Cutouts When Social Distancing

Entertain the Kids

Struggling to keep your kids entertained without falling for the lure of extra screen time? Cardboard cutouts can help — especially if your children are too young to get involved with distance learning. They’re also ideal for small children who get anxious when their parents are away.

Look to a clever Japanese couple for the ultimate solution: calming young children with the comforting sight of lookalike cutouts. These parents discovered this ingenious solution after struggling to calm their son, who previously burst into tears the moment his mom left the room. His dad experimented with life-sized cardboard cutouts featuring his wife kneeling and standing. These were placed strategically to keep the child happy as his mom snuck away.

Grandmother with 2 cutouts of her granddaughters.

Send Grandma a cardboard cutout of the grand-kids.

This is by no means a permanent strategy, but it can provide a few moments of relief for struggling parents. Also helpful? Cutouts of animals or dolls, which kids can play with if they tire of their usual toys.

Bring Loved Ones Into Your Home with Cutouts of Your Favorite People

Cutouts can provide powerful reminders of loved ones when a small image on a cell phone screen just won’t do. From your best friend to your grandma, a variety of special people can take on a permanent spot within your home.

If your forced time with family members or roommates makes you long for the company of somebody else, you may prefer a cutout featuring one of your favorite celebrities.

You can stage photos in the goofy style of a Reddit user featured on BuzzFeed. This ingenious woman used a cardboard cutout of The Rock to live out a variety of puns in goofy pictures. Choose your favorite celebrity or some other character to create your own version. You’ll have as much fun brainstorming ideas as you will posing for photos.

Attend Gatherings As A Cutout

Man and woman cardboard cutouts together.

Surprise your friends and family with a cutout.

If you’re not able or not comfortable attending events in person, consider sending a cutout in your place. This could provide a wonderful surprise for loved ones who clearly miss your company. Send them cardboard cutouts of you and your immediate family members to provide a powerful reminder of your adoration. Ask everyone to take pictures and send them to you for some fun memories.

We’re thrilled to say that this idea gained traction with Good Morning America, which highlighted some of our favorite Instagram images in 2018. While the idea received plenty of praise at the time, we believe it’s an even better option now that coronavirus has so many people feeling lonely or nostalgic.

Start A Backyard Creative Project

As the weather grows warmer, the great outdoors provide the promise of escape from your cramped quarters. While some of your favorite parks, beaches, or other outdoor destinations may currently be off-limits, your backyard remains a true place of respite. After a day or two of lounging, however, you might be ready for a fun project.

Consider taking the lead of a creative man who spent a month living alone in Maine. He used a variety of cardboard cutouts to capture silhouette images at sunset. Don’t hesitate to put your own unique spin on this concept to capture the hidden beauty of your backyard.

Create Hole-In-Head Cutouts for Pet Photoshoots

Your pets are no doubt loving your increased presence at home. They provide the perfect source of distraction from the worrisome headlines — and a great opportunity for delighting loved ones via social media. All it takes is a well-timed cat or dog photo to snap your friends and family members out of their current state of stress.

If you’re on the hunt for something a little different than your usual Facebook or Instagram pet posts, look to hole-in-head cutouts for a hilarious photo opportunity. Select a cardboard cutout featuring one of your favorite celebrities, characters, or real-world friends — but replace the typical human face with the far more adorable visage of your cat or dog. If your pet is willing to cooperate, you can capture a variety of fun images as you play photographer.

This idea isn’t 100 percent original; a Japanese woman highlighted by BoredPanda attracted attention when she posed her adorable dog within a variety of cardboard designs. With our realistic BigHead cutouts, however, you can take this concept to the next level.

Cardboard Cutouts: Getting You Through the Coronavirus Quarantine

A little creativity can go a long way as you adapt to this new way of living in a social distancing world. We’re happy to help by providing options for entertainment or social interaction via our vast selection of BigHead and life-sized cardboard cutouts. Contact us for even more insight on the many strategies you can use to make the most of cardboard cutouts as you navigate the complications of the coronavirus outbreak.