Ain’t no party like a Zoom party, because a Zoom party is social distanced!
(Hey, give us a break. We’re trying here!)
Obviously we’d love to give our children a regular 2019 style party, we’d even be more than happy to send them into the giant ball pit at the indoor play place if it was safe(ish) to do so. However, we’re clearly not there yet in the age of COVID and so the safest way for children to get together is digitally.
By now your children have gotten used to school and other activities done over Zoom, but they might be getting a little antsy. Or your little ones may still not be comfortable on screen and the idea of more social interactions over Zoom sounds awful. We promise you can make it fun though — really! Try out one of these Zoom friendly games at your children’s next virtual playdate or remote birthday party and enjoy seeing those big smiles spread out across the screen.
1. Freeze dance
Bump up the KIDZ BOP, it’s time to get down - Zoom style! With two or more children on the Zoom call you can have a fun game of freeze dance to their favorite pop hits with appropriately adjusted lyrics. When the music is on, the little ones get their groove on. When the music stops, they freeze.
Technically if someone moves they are out of the game, but hasn’t this year been hard enough? No winners and losers with this one, just good old fashioned fun.
Charades is a party game that can totally make an appearance at a Zoom party. To play, you can make a list of animals, objects, or songs for children to act out and email the list out to parents ahead of time. Then each child can take turns picking what they want to act out and trying to get their friends to guess.
Pro Tip: Everyone should “pin” the video of whoever is acting out the clue that round. It makes it much easier to see what they are doing.
3. 20 questions
This classic car ride game is perfect for Zoom. One child is “it” and thinks of a person, place, or thing. Then the rest of the players take turns asking yes or no questions to narrow down the options. Take turns up to 20 guesses and if the players are stumped, “it” reveals what they were thinking about. Then switch it up so someone else has a turn.
4. I’m going on a picnic
We love “I’m Going on a Picnic” because it’s an educational activity dressed up as a game. Sneaky, very, very sneaky!
To play, the first child says “I’m going on a picnic and I’m going to bring something that starts with the letter A.” Then they choose an item to bring that starts with A. Next, player two takes a turn and says, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m going to bring something that starts with the letter B.” Then they choose an item to bring that starts with B.
For younger children, just going down through the alphabet works. For children that are a little older, you can play with each player having to remember all the items that came before them. For example, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m going to bring something that starts with the letter C. Cantaloupe! Now we have an Apple, Banana, and Cantaloupe.” It gets tricky the further you go, and funnier if you have a class clown who wants to bring an Elephant, Kitchen Sink, or Monster Truck to the picnic.
5. Guess who
Guess Who was one of our favorite board games as children and it is still around, now new and improved! If both friends have the Guess Who game board you can play this over Zoom no problem. It can actually feel like two buddies are sitting right there across from each other, just without sharing snacks or germs.
Did you know that Zoom has a white board feature? That’s great for staff meetings, but it’s even better for online pictionary. One child takes a turn drawing an object while all other players try to guess, or you can split up into two teams. Set a timer on your phone or the computer, or break out the tiny hourglass that comes with the real board game.
Children can come up with their own ideas to draw or you can use the same list you came up with for charades. Reduce, reuse, recycle and then go get some rest. Pandemic parenting is exhausting!
Looking for more games to play this winter? Try these virtual learning recess breaks and interactive online classes for children.