Below are ideas that can be done remotely. For most, participants will need access to telephones with cameras. Some will require access to a computer and the internet. Activities can be modified depending on individuals’ independence. Some assistance may be required for some participants.
• Watch the same streaming movie then meet by phone or video to discuss. Facilitator can pose questions for the group to discuss. Free full-screen playlist of 10 popular short films, featuring people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, is available on:
• Have costume competitions. Everyone dresses up, takes pictures, and shares them with each other. Everyone votes on the silliest costume, the most glamorous, the most realistic, etc.
• Do a progressive story either written or verbally. One person starts. Each person afterwards adds a line or paragraph to a story. Combine it and share.
• Go on virtual tours “together” such as NatGeo, zoos (some are digital with webcams!), museums with online exhibitions, national parks, and tours (for example, The Louvre). USA Today has a listing of free virtual tours:
One example is the Cincinnati Zoo:
• Hold a Talent Show. Everyone records and shares their talent. Examples: painting, telling a joke, reciting a spoken word poem, singing, doing a magic trick, etc. Give recognition to the funniest, happiest, most creative, etc.
• Book Club-like activities: read the same book, article, etc. and send impressions to each other to discuss.
• Have a group scavenger hunt on specific themes. Examples: things you would need for a party, things you would need in case of an emergency, things you need if you were going to the beach, etc.
• Write jokes or short stories. Submit them all to each other, then vote on the funniest one, most creative, etc.
• Do tutorials on different topics and send them to each other. Everyone should choose something of their interest or strength. Examples: how to paint a shape or scenery image, how to make a certain meal, how to organize your clothes to maximize space, how to grow a plant or flower. The tutorial can be anything creative, similar to YouTube tutorials.
• Choose a movie everyone likes and have everyone reenact different scenes and parts. Staff can get the recordings, edit them, and send back to everyone.
• Choose a song. Each person creates choreography and teaches it to each other. Record and share.
• Play music together over the phone. You can sing as a group, have duets,
and/or solos.
• Group workout video created in each person’s home. Rotate who will coach so that their exercise routine is followed by the rest of the group. The next day the next person leads!
• Create a new game or modify an existing game that can be played by an online video conferencing platform such as Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, etc.
• Create tailor-made word searches and crossword puzzles and share them.