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17 Best Fun Games to Play on Zoom With Kids

17 Best Fun Games to Play on Zoom With Kids

Tom Gerencer
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Whether you’re a teacher seeking online learning fun, or you just want some face time with friends and family, there are plenty of fun games to play on Zoom to keep you entertained and build social bonds.
Sometimes, you only need to repurpose an old favorite board game with tips for ultimate Zoom-friendliness. Or maybe a classic campfire or party game is more your style.
Here are our picks for the 17 best Zoom games for kids, including hangman, Pictionary, Mad Libs, I spy, heads-up, categories, charades, memory, 20 questions, and more!

Tips to play Zoom games with kids

Just about any board game, card game, campfire game, or car game works as a Zoom game for kids, with a few tips:
  1. Know how to screenshare in Zoom.
  2. Learn to use Zoom’s whiteboard feature.
  3. Choose an order of play. Open the Zoom meeting’s participants list, which is in alphabetical order. Everyone needs to stay unmuted, or the order in the list will change.
  4. For board games or bingo games, you’ll want a table-facing webcam mount, or an online version to screen share. Most board games have online versions these days. For instance, if you Google “Play Monopoly online,” you’ll find versions for iPhone and Android, and Monopoly Plus for PC.
If you’ve used Zoom for remote meetings, you likely have a handle on many of our tips.

1. Would you rather...

There’s a board-game/card-game version of this ice-breaking favorite, but this game to play on Zoom has been around for decades – if not centuries. To play it, stretch your creative skills and invent two scenarios: would you rather have 3 heads or 40 arms? Then the player who answers asks the next player in line.
This is just a chit-chat game, but you can make it competitive by setting a time limit on answers, and requiring a satisfying explanation for each. Here’s a great list of 250 would-you-rather questions to get started.

2. Mad Libs

This super fun and funny game has made thousands of kids laugh uncontrollably for decades. You start with a 1-paragraph story where several words are missing. An emcee asks players for random nouns, verbs, and adjectives. At the end, the emcee reads the often-sidesplitting result.
Play the Mad Libs online version in Zoom screen share mode to skip the emcee part. Or try one of the many good web-based bootleg versions. This is by far the funniest game to play with kids on Zoom.

3. 5-second rule

This isn’t the “I dropped it but I’ll still eat it” game you played as a kid. One player picks a category (cousins, apps, things that are funny) and another has 5 seconds to name 3 items in that category.
Then skip to the next player in line. Choose teams and keep score (1 strike for each miss) and play to 3 strikes, 10 strikes, or even 20 strikes. To play this game on a Zoom call, you’ll need to choose an order of play (like alphabetical, because “to the left” won’t work with online games).
There are web versions if you want help with the categories, as well as iPhone and Android apps.

4. Freeze dance

Skip the sedentary with the freeze dance game. This is a hilarious, Brady Bunch-style game where an emcee shares music from their computer. For example, you could load up your favorite tunes from YouTube or Spotify. Everyone dances while the music plays, and then the emcee stops it.
Whoever is still dancing when the music stops must freeze in that position, then do 10 jumping jacks when things start up again. This is one of the most active games to play on Zoom with kids.

5. I spy

Two Boys on HP Laptops
It’s fun and easy to play “I spy” on Zoom. Someone shares their screen (with a “busy” scene in view) and says, “I spy with my little eye, something blue” (or red or green). Players try to guess the item in the shot. Whoever guesses right gets the next turn.
For a more cerebral variation that keeps even pre-k kids engaged for hours, try screen sharing one of Walter Wick’s superb I Spy hunt books. You can also find some great Flash versions of the game on the web with no downloads required.

6. First letter, last letter

An age-old car trip game for two to many players, “first letter, last letter” is easy to play on a video call. The first player picks a category like “food,” and an item in the category like “sandwich.” The next player has to name an item in the category that starts with the last letter (like “honey”).
Play continues until someone gets stuck. Players who get stuck 3 times are “out.”

7. The matching game

You already know the matching game (aka memory game). You flip cards over and look for matches. If you want a more kid-friendly variant you can buy sets with baby animals or Disney characters, but a deck of playing cards will do. Just lay all the cards out in the shot. Players flip two at a time, trying to make pairs.
If you don’t have a table-facing webcam, don’t worry. There are dozens of free online matching games that you can screen share. This is one of the more engaging kids’ games to play on Zoom.

8. Two truths and a lie

In this fun Zoom game for kids, the first player tells two truths and a lie. For instance, “I broke my leg once, I have a friend named Greg, and I don’t know how to swim.” The other players take turns trying to guess the lie.
After all players have a turn, each correct guess earns a point. Play continues until someone reaches 10 points.

9. Scavenger hunt

For younger kids, a scavenger hunt is a fun way to spend time while reinforcing problem-solving skills. It also gets them up and moving, cutting down the screen time. You can have kids search for “3 things that start with S” to build language skills, or simply make a list of items.
If you choose to play with a list, you’ll want to keep score on a sheet of paper, like in these online scavenger hunt instructions.

10. 20 questions

In this popular 2-player game to play on Zoom, each player thinks of a person, place, or thing. Player one asks a question like, “is it a person, place, or thing,” or “is it animal, vegetable, or mineral?” The players take turns asking questions until a player guesses the answer.

11. Simon says

Younger children will appreciate this Zoom game. In this classic game, a leader (Simon) tells the players to do certain things (“touch your nose” or “hop on one leg”). But if the leader doesn’t first say “Simon says,” players must not do it or they’re out.
This game builds listening skills and generates a lot of laughs from younger children.

12. Charades

In this timeless virtual game to play on Zoom, the first player thinks of an action, person, place, or thing. They then act out their choice – no speaking or even sounds allowed! Set a timer, and give the other players 1 minute to guess. Then give the next player a turn. The first player with 3 correct guesses wins.

13. Categories

Boy and Girl Using HP Desktop Together
For this excellent 20-minute to 40-minute party game, you’ll need a timer, dice, pencils, and paper. Divide your group into teams of 1 to 5 players. Then draw a 3 x 3 grid with enough space in each box to write several words. Write a different category in each box, and have each team copy out the grid.
Next, choose a letter of the alphabet. Each team must write a word in every box. Once you fill a sheet, the team yells “stop!” and that team wins the round. If you’d rather not mess with paper, there’s a great online version of Scattergories. This is one of the most energetic games to play on Zoom.

14. Hangman

Hangman is a fun guessing game and an old favorite. A player thinks of a word, then shares their screen and draws a “gallows,” with a blank for each letter of the word. Each player takes turns guessing a letter of the alphabet. Fill in the blanks with correct guesses, and draw parts of the hanged man for wrong guesses (rope, head, neck, body, etc.).
The goal is to guess the word before the drawing is complete.

15. Heads up

This great online game to play on Zoom started with slips of paper passed around a circle. But there’s a just-for-Zoom app that swaps the paper for on-screen icons.
To play, install the app on Zoom. In the meeting, open the app. The first player in the lineup tries to guess the words the other players see on-screen. It may sound simple, but it leads to lots of laughs and fun.

16. Pictionary

In this classic game, a moderator uses Zoom’s whiteboard to type the names of all the players as a scoreboard. Player one screen shares next, using an online random word generator and sketches the word. The others have 60 seconds to guess the word. If they do, they score a point.
Play continues from one player to the next, until someone gets 10 points.

17. Taboo

The easiest way to play Taboo on Zoom is with an online card tool. Two teams each choose a “clue giver.” Start a 60-second timer, then Team A’s clue giver gives clues, without using any of the taboo words on the card.
If Team A guesses the word, they get a point. If not, Team B gets a point. Play continues to 10 points.

Summary

This list of the best games to play on Zoom with students or your own children serves up hours of rainy-day or classroom fun. With these games, you’ll help to build social skills, stretch creative thinking abilities, and challenge kids to broaden their language and math abilities. Choose a game, start a Zoom meeting, and start playing now!
About the Author: Tom Gerencer is a contributing writer for HP Tech Takes. Tom is an ASJA journalist, career expert at Zety.com, and a regular contributor to Boys' Life and Scouting magazines. His work is featured in Costco Connection, FastCompany, and many more.
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