With schools and summer camps cancelled, children are relying on online platforms like Zoom and FaceTime to stay connected with friends and family more than ever. From class lessons, to virtual playdates, to virtual birthday parties, parents and teachers are finding new and creative ways for kids to learn and socialize with their peers in a world of social distancing. I’ve been blow away with the different ways my 9-year-old has been able to stay connected with the ones she loves and misses most, and with summer camps cancelled and so many unknowns for the fall and winter months, I’ve been on the hunt for Zoom games for kids to ensure she can stay in touch with her peers in the months ahead. Keep reading for some of my favorites!
12 Zoom Games for Kids
While kids can’t play together as they normally would when using an online platform, you’ll be amazed at what a little planning and creativity can do. Here are some of our favorite Zoom games for kids to inspire you!
1. SIMON SAYS
My daughter’s class played this over Zoom last week and it was a real hit! Kids love this game, and it’s a great way to help them shed excess energy when they are cooped up inside. Have each child stand up in an area where they have room to move around, and then lead them through different gross motor movements: ‘Simon says stand on one leg’, ‘Simon says do 3 jumping jacks’, ‘Simon says hop like a bunny’, etc. At some point throughout the game, provide a command without saying ‘Simon says’ first, and whomever completes the movement is out. If you have multiple kids on the Zoom call, continue playing until you have a winner, and then appoint that person to become ‘Simon’ and play again!
2. MUSICAL STATUES
If you’re looking for mess-free Zoom games for kids that require no setup, this is a great one to consider. Pump some good tunes, let the kids dance off some energy, and periodically stop the music and yell ‘FREEZE!’ This is a great way for everyone to blow off some steam – parents included.
If you’re willing to do a bit of upfront planning, Smart Party Ideas has curated tons of free bingo printables. Send these to your child’s friends ahead of time so they can print off a copy (or print them yourself and drop them off in everyone’s mailbox) and see who gets the most BINGOs!
Charades is another great way to get kids laughing, and it’s one of the easiest Zoom games for kids. Send the prompts to each guest ahead of time so they have time to practice!
If you’re looking for Zoom games for kids who are a bit older, this is a great one to consider. Send them their clues ahead of time (or DM/text them in real time) and then set a timer for each guest to sketch out their clue before showing it to the rest of the guests to see if they can guess what they drew.
6. TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE
Ask each child to write down 2 personal truths and one lie about themselves, and then ask them to take turns sharing the items on their list while their friends determine which item is the lie. This is a quick and easy way to lighten the mood and get kids laughing while learning personal facts about one another.
7. NEVER HAVE I EVER
Did you ever play Never Have I Ever in college? It’s such a fun way to get to know people on a more personal level, and while you probably played an R-rated version with your college buddies, lol, you can create a G-rated version for your kids to enjoy with their friends. To play this via Zoom, write out a list of 10 child-friendly statements (examples: never have I ever eaten a bug, never have I ever eaten food off the floor, never have I ever been sent to the principal’s office) and ask everyone to hold their hands out in front of them, palms facing outwards. As you read off the items on your list, ask everyone to fold a finger down for each item they have experienced.
8. ORIGAMI CHALLENGE
If you’re looking for Zoom games for kids that promote a little creativity, origami is a fun idea to consider. Kids don’t need actual origami paper to participate – they can just cut a regular piece of paper into a square. Origami.me has tons of easy origami instructions available for free, which you can share in real time during a Zoom playdate by sharing your screen. Ask everyone to bring their favorite snack so they can eat, fold, giggle, and chat!
9. WOULD YOU RATHER
‘Would You Rather’ is one of my favorite Zoom games for kids because it’s easy to setup and suitable for every age. To play this game, all you need to do is write out a list of questions with 2 scenarios, and then read them off while kids take turns telling their friends which scenario they prefer. You can make this easy for younger kids (Would you rather it be summer or winter? Would you rather eat cookies or cupcakes?) and more thought-provoking for older kids (Would you rather be able to fly or be able to breathe under water? Would you rather travel back in time or visit the future?). Once kids get the hang of this game, they can take turns coming up with their own questions!
10. SCAVENGER HUNT
If you’re looking for Zoom games for kids, one of the easiest things you can do is create a scavenger hunt. Parents can collaborate together and hide specific items around their respective houses, or you can keep it simple and write out a list of generic items for kids to find during their virtual playdate. Send the list ahead of time (or share it via the screen sharing option on Zoom) and challenge the kids to see who can find all of the items the fastest!
11. 20 QUESTIONS
To play 20 Questions, one player thinks of a person, place, or thing, and the rest of the players ask 20 yes or no questions and attempt to figure out what it is. If a player guesses correctly after asking 20 questions, they earn a point and become ‘it’! If no one guesses, no one earns a point and someone else is randomly chosen to be ‘it’.
My final idea for those who are looking for Zoom games for kids is to play Boggle! There are lots of online versions of this game (boggle.online is a good one!), which you can share during a Zoom call using the screen sharing option. Start a game, set a timer for 3 minutes, and see who can find the most words!
I hope these Zoom games for kids inspire you to find new and creative ways to help your little ones enjoy virtual playdates with friends and family in the months ahead!