In these times of physical distancing, we thought we should come together socially, and have some fun while we're at it. This is how the idea of the IH Lockdown group came about!
To help our International House teams across the world enjoy a well-deserved break from students and classes, especially at a time when many may have been on holiday over Easter, we organised some online social activities for teachers, DOSes and anyone else who is part of IH.
The idea behind this group and activities was to help and support our schools. Staff who are living alone might get a bit lonely, but logging on and feeling part of a bigger community of IH people might help some to feel that they are not alone really.
So we created a Facebook group called IH Lockdown Fun and organised quizzes, games, photo contests, all mixed with lots of fun!
We kicked off with our BIG IH Lockdown Quiz with quizmaster Glenn Standish from International House Torun in Poland. Participants from all over the world took part, from Jordan, Italy, Spain, Poland, Portugal, UK, and many more. We arranged two times to suit people in different time zones. Quiz Master Glenn commented, “The planning stage was fun, trying to conjure up different types of rounds to try and vary things a bit. It was also a great challenge trying to think how to adapt regular quizzes for the online environment. For example, how to make it as interactive as possible and how to get the team to submit their answers. It was also a lot of fun watching the participants enjoying themselves and having a whale of a time!”
We also had Lockdown adventures where participants had to recreate their favourite hobby in their home. We had people wild camping in the sitting room, rock climbing on the stairs, caving under the sofa, swimming in Bali in their bath tub, and travelling on a plane (well, looking out of a washing machine door actually!).
And what about poetry and rhymes? Sure, we had them too.
There were images from which you had to guess the rhyme, and also a poetry contest about lockdown! For example:
There once was a teacher from Blackpool,
Who wanted to work in a great school,
So she looked for a role,
And when reaching her goal
Shouted, 'A job with IH - that's just SO cool!'
And if there is poetry there must be music too! We had two brilliant performances: one from Paddy Greenleaf from IH Viseu, who wrote new pandemic lyrics to a famous tune, and Claire Ryan from IH Coimbra, who wrote and performed a catchy tune on self-isolation.
We also had a fun Taskmaster activity with Francesca Berlen from International House Reggio Calabria. She organised lots of activities as groups and individually and somehow one person ended up with foam all over their face! There was also an interesting attempt at making music with glasses filled with water.
One competition was about who has the Best Home Office Workstation, and winner Rayan Etier from IH Amman said, "Even through these hard times, I’m always glad to have a place where I can forget about everything and do what I love the most.... teaching ❤️ Thank you International House World Organisation."
What was really important about this group and activities was to be together and spend some fun time away from worries, and that even though we may be far apart, we can still feel close to each other.
And because we were having so much fun, participants in the group actually asked for 'IH Lockdown Fun’ to be extended! Since the official event, we have had two more quizzes with Glenn and with Quiz Master Tarek Al Daoudi from IH Amman. Tarek commented, "The challenges are fun and interesting. I'm really enjoying my time here in the activities and making new friends. I hope we can keep making challenges even after the lockdown!"
Have you ever seen Richard Osman's House of Games? Well, this Saturday we will have the IH version of it with Daniel Williams from IH Torun! And we'll see what more adventures we'll have during our IH Lockdown Fun!