The impact of COVID-19 has been profound and nothing like anything we have experienced before. For the last few months many of us have been in lockdown, with strict restrictions enforced across the community.
With many countries now starting to loosen restrictions, social distancing measures are still in place. This makes it a little difficult when you visit friends and family that you haven’t seen in weeks.
It makes it harder for people to connect. We are required to learn new ways of interacting with our community, including not shaking hands and keeping our distance.
But it doesn’t mean that we still can’t have fun. There are plenty of activities and games available for you to enjoy with your friends, while keeping safe at the same time.
We take you through a few of our favourites that you can enjoy right now.
1. Ping Pong
The ultimate classic game room game. Ping pong allows up to 4 players to enjoy playing while still keeping a safe distance.
Your opponent will be standing at least 4 metres away and you can maintain a safe distance with your partner if playing doubles.
Ping pong in your game room keeps you safe away from the public and can be enjoyed without having to worry about the weather.
Another prime game room activity is Foosball. While it’s made for playing with up to four players, we recommend keeping it to two to abide by social distancing rules.
The distance between you and your opponent should be at least 5 feet, which meets the distancing rules.
Playing with just two players means you’ll need to focus and control the entire team on your own. This gives you a good chance to improve your reaction time and practice with all the various Foosman positions.
The best thing about playing Foosball with just two players is you can really develop useful build up plays from defence to attack.
Foosball tables range in price but like ping pong tables, you don’t need to spend thousands to enjoy it.
One of the popular bar games which everyone is missing at the moment is a game of darts. A normal game is played between two players, however there are some crafty variations of the game that allow team play of four to eight players.
Darts is perfect for social distancing, as it does not require players to interact at all. Once each player takes their shot, they can remove their darts before the next player approaches the throwing position.
A game of darts can last for many hours, so it has the potential of creating a full night of entertainment. It’s also inexpensive to get setup, with sets ranging from anywhere between $100 and $300.
The most popular bar and game room activity is undoubtedly pool. It’s a fantastic game that can be enjoyed by all ages and players of all levels.
We recommend up to four players at any one time, broken down into teams of two. Social distancing is quite easy to practice during a game of pool. Similar to a game of darts, there’s no need for players to interact during play.
Each player is able to take their turn away from the playing group. So if you have a large enough space, you could extend the number of teams to a few more if restrictions allow.
The one important point to remember while playing pool is to have some anti-bacterial wipes if you’re sharing the pool cues between teams. Otherwise, it’s always good to have a number of cues on hand to spread throughout the players.
The only downside is that pool tables can be expensive and usually cost in excess of $1,500 for a quality table. But if you can get your hands on one you’ll have friends lining up to come and play.
Image courtesy of Ikea.
For something a bit different if you’re venturing for an outside picnic, we can strongly recommend a game of Kubb.
Kubb’s origins stem from the Viking era and it has morphed into a popular Swedish lawn game. The objective of the game is to knock over wooden blocks (kubbs) by throwing wooden batons at them.
The game is played between two players, but you can always come up with a ‘winner stays on’ tournament for more players to enjoy.
Each player stands about 8 metres apart and there is no need for any close interaction during play. Each player stands about 8 metres apart and there is no need for any close interaction during play. What’s best is that you can pick up a Kubb set for as little as $50.
A game of Kubb is not only safe, it will give you some much needed fresh air after the isolation months.
6. Ball Games
For all those baseball and football fans, as long as you keep your distance there’s nothing stopping you from playing catch.
Having gloves on can provide more protection, but not necessary.
Another safe game that is relatively easy to play is kick to kick or keep it up with a soccer ball. Players can practice their long or shorter passing with basic drills, or for something more challenging they can try to keep the ball off the ground.
If you’re on your own, then a really effective way to get some exercise in is to shoot a few hoops. While one on ones, or five on five is not an option, practicing your free throws, dribbles and lay ups can be entertaining on its own.
Ball games are a simple, cheap and easy way to get your body moving and keeping safe.
It’s music to the ears of many, but a game of golf can be played while respecting social distancing measures.
On your own or with a group, a game of golf is a great way to stretch the legs and engage in social interaction with friends, all while staying at a safe distance.
Don’t go getting a buggy though, that might land you in hot water and will not add to your daily step count!
Another sport that you can still participate in is a game of tennis. Whether it’s a singles match or doubles, there’s nothing stopping you from sweating it out on the court.
Playing tennis requires a lot of short bursts of energy so you’ll definitely get your heart rate going.
Be sure not to interact with your partner or opponent if you do decide to play and be sure to keep a safe distance at all times.
There’s no problem with passing around the same tennis balls but it’s best to sanitise your hands before and after you play and try not touching your face.
During the lockdown periods you may have noticed an increased number of bikes on the road and paths. That’s because cycling is one of the best and safest activities for social distancing.
Whether it’s out on the road, on your own or with a group, or on your own on the bike trainer, jumping on a bike is an easy way to keep fit while keeping safe.
If you’re riding in a group, we suggest no more than four riders as there are more chances of riders in larger groups getting too close.
But if you decide that cycling indoor or in the garage is more suited to you, then get yourself a bike trainer, hook your bike up and get riding. There are also some interesting virtual applications like Zwift available today that really improve the solo stationary rider experience.
Finally, you’re likely going to need to stretch and unwind after all the activity and chaos in the world. So what better way to get some fresh air than Yoga.
All you need is a comfy mat (well you don’t even need that!), yourself and some instructions. You might find some Yoga instructors are still able to provide classes however if not there are lots of resources online, including this beginner yoga guide.
If you decide to partner up, it’s definitely an option. But just make sure you keep to a safe distance.
Remember to keep safe
While it’s ok to start socialising again and having a bit of fun with friends and family, it’s important to remain safe and cautious.
We recommend everyone obeys the rules set in their region or county and only participate if it’s ok to do so.
We hope you keep safe and wish you a happy summer of gaming!