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Family Tipsheet: Holiday Ideas for Connecting Virtually with Loved Ones

Please note: The information provided in this tipsheet is for reference only. It is not intended as a recommendation or endorsement of organizations, companies or as a comprehensive resource list. Resources can change quickly. The information in this tipsheet may not show the most up to date changes based on when you are viewing this information. Please refer to the date this tipsheet was last updated, at the end of the document.

Online Options

You may already be very familiar with Zoom, Facetime, What’s App, Facebook or Instagram for video calling or streaming. Here are some ideas you can use while you’re video chatting with friends or family.

Games you can play for free online by yourself or with a private group:

  • Playing Cards is a website that has a number of card game options like Crazy Eights, Match Up and Go Fish.
  • Scattergories is a game where you come up with words that relate to specific categories. You can make it as easy or as hard as you like!
  • Code Names is a team game where you have to link specific words together in a creative way. This is a board game that has been adapted online.
  • Scribblio is Pictionary, online! This is where you draw a picture and other people have to guess what it is.


Ideas for online parties:

  • Create a house scavenger hunt, where you look for common household items.
  • Have an ugly sweater contest where everyone has to showcase their sweater and you vote on your favourite. You can also make your own ugly sweater!
  • Have a dance contest where everyone picks their favourite song of 2020 to dance to.
  • Put on a Singalong or Holiday Concert where people take turns singing their favourite holiday song!
  • Netflix Party with Holiday Movie Bingo where you mark off the typical things you see in a holiday movie that you’re watching - it makes the movie funnier!


Video chatting options with game options:

  • House Party: chat and play games online in one window
  • Discord: an invite-only place with room to talk, stream, or chat and play games at the same time
  • Gather (free for up to 25 users): this simulates being in a house with ‘proximity chat’ which means you can hear and see conversations more clearly as you walk up to them.


Send a virtual holiday greeting

  • Send a video message to your friends and families instead of a card, or ask loved ones to send you video messages instead of cards.
  • Do TikTok challenges with your family and send them to your loved ones
  • Send a free e-card online
  • Say thanks or create a bulletin board of messages from multiple people with a Kudoboard
  • Connect with parent groups over the holidays

Offline Options

If you’re tired of being online, here are some ideas where you can connect in other ways!

Connecting with a loved one who is at the hospital:

  • Create a schedule of calls each day from a loved one, and ask someone you trust who can coordinate and arrange the calls
  • Ask hospital staff if there is a process for gifts or care kits to be left for patients
  • Be aware of gifts that might not be allowed at the hospital (ask for clarification)


Connecting with friends or neighbours at a distance:

  • Create Pen Pals where you write to each other and send it through the postal service
  • Set up a Neighbourly Scavenger Hunt Trade where you make each other scavenger hunts in your area
  • Make Snow Friends (snowmen or sculptures) for friends or neighbours on each other’s lawns or a designated space in the neighbourhood
  • Create a library swap where you leave books on each other’s doorsteps every month (or find Little Free Libraries in your neighbourhood)

Created by the Family Support Specialists and Family Leaders at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital on December 18, 2020. This tipsheet belongs to a set of specialized resources for the COVID-19 and Coronavirus outbreak period. If you are looking for other family resources that have to do with childhood disability, please visit www.hollandbloorview.ca/resourcecentre