With quarantine under way for much of the world, I thought I would come up with some fun games to play over Zoom or FaceTime. Grandparents, friends and family members are looking for ways to still stay connected. People are getting creative.
We absolutely love playing games of all sorts. I was inspired today as my daughter’s teacher gathered the class on Zoom for a fun, interactive way to enjoy one another online.
Fun Games to Play over Zoom or FaceTime
These games can be enjoyed by virtual interactions. We can still stay connected with our loved ones from a distance or while staying socially distanced.
After providing the list of games, I will expand on them below:
- Scavenger Hunt
- Heads Up!
- 5 Second Rule
- Last Word
- Guess Who
This is what my daughter’s teacher did with the class today.
There is one person telling the other participants what they need to collect. So, the caller might say, “Find a roll of toilet paper.” That’s pretty relevant in these times, right? The first person to return with the toilet paper first gets a point.
Grandparents could do this with siblings on the other end competing against one another to return to the screen first.
Alternatively, one caller would play with a number of participants on Zoom. Whoever returns to the Zoom and types in their name first wins.
Kids can compete for points or the last one or two people to return with the desired item are eliminated. Each round would eliminate more people until you are left with the winner.
Here were some of the scavenger hunt items my daughter’s teacher called for: a kitchen utensil, an item in the living room that starts with A, B or C, a salt and paper shaker, a roll of toilet paper, an instrument, an item that rhymes with spot, something that begins with X, Y or Z. Use your creativity to come up with any number of ideas.
Here’s a video of my daughter playing with her class:
The classic game of Pictionary can be played over Zoom or FaceTime. You will just need to set up your phone or camera so the person or the team on the other end can see your drawings. See how we set up Boggle below for one idea. You can also do it on an easel white board.
I haven’t played with it, but I understand Zoom even has a white board feature that you could use as well. .
For this game, each team will need one phone and two other devices – iPad, computer or phone.
On the phone, you will need to download the app Heads Up! The other device is for your Zoom or FaceTime live interaction.
The game is played where someone holds the phone to their head, and the Heads Up app reveals a word. The person you are Zooming or FaceTiming with will need to give you clues so that you can guess the word that’s on your forehead.
If you get it right, you put the phone down and back up, and a new word will be revealed.
Here’s a video of how to play given to you by none other than Ellen:
Set it up right, and it’s easy to play Boggle on FaceTime or Zoom. All you have to do is set your phone camera over the edge of something at the right height. I chose…you guessed it, two rolls of toilet paper stacked on top of one another.
Alternatively, on Zoom you could screen share using this web page: https://www.puzzle-words.com/boggle-4×4/
Just Zoom your friend and start the timer. When the timer is over start listing off the words you found off of the shared Boggle board.
Cross our words you have in common and then add up the unique words you get. For words of 4 or fewer letters, 1 point is awarded. 5-letter words are worth 2 points, 6-letter words are worth 3 points, 7-letter words are worth 5 points, and words longer than 7 letters are worth 11 points.
Charades is a classic game. If you don’t know the rules, here is a great description of the game. The only difference is you are performing for the camera.
As long as both people playing against each other own the game of Scattergories, this is a great game to play over a FaceTime or Zoom time. Here’s how to play:
I am a big fan of BINGO. No, that doesn’t make me 80 years old. Put together a Zoom Bingo night with friends. We have this great BINGO game from Amazon that wasn’t too much money. It even has the fun roller cage.
People can print their own cards here. The first 30 are free.
It would be fun, if you have a group, to do prizes. Either everyone can donate a virtual gift cards or contribute money – that doesn’t pass hands – through Venmo or PayPal.
Things is a funny game that is best played in a group zoom. The game made is for 4-15 people. The caller, which can rotate if you are creative enough to come up with your own Things prompts, starts by proposing a prompt such as:
- Things that are sticky.
- Things that you shouldn’t keep in your pocket.
- Things you could buy with $5.00.
- Things you shouldn’t chase.
Everyone would need to text in their answers to the reader, who would read them off without revealing who wrote each one. People take turns guessing to wrote what.
Points are rewarded for correct guesses. Read more thorough instructions here.
This game, Skribbi.io, is much like Pictionary, but it is all done virtually. I was just introduced to this game after playing with my youth group kids, and I fell in love with it.
As shown in the picture above, we split the screen between Skribbi.io and Zoom. We could interact with one another on Zoom while interacting with the game on Skribbi.
You will just need to share the Zoom meeting ID, get a Skribbi game link and then share that link with everyone in Zoom chat. People can click the link to join.
Taboo is another fun game to play on Facebook or Zoom. This is a game where one person is trying to get the other team to guess their word, but there are certain words that person must avoid using while giving clues.
For further instructions, watch the following YouTube video:
5 Second Rule
Either you could both own the game, one owns the game and is the caller or you can just make up your own topics.
Here are some examples:
- three ice cream flavors
- three pieces of clothing
- three vacation destinations
- three Italian food items
A friend recommended Last Word, but I have never played it. Looks like Amazon is in my future. I’m kind of addicted to games.
Here’s the description from Amazon:
“Players blurt out answers to ‘Subject’ and ‘Letter’ combinations (like “Snack Foods” that begin with “P”) in a race to beat other players and get the last word before the buzzer! Pretzles, pizza, peanuts. Think you could get the last word? Recommended for 2 to 8 players, ages 14+ – Great family game!”
Want to know more? Here’s a video tutorial:
Jackbox is a game platform we played with friends prior to this whole quarantine thing. They have loads of different party games to play virtually with friends. They are NOT typical video games. They are board-style games adapted for virtual play.
To play, someone you know will need to own a title in Jackbox games. They have party packs available for purchase at decent prices. The host shares their scene and Jackbox.TV code. Then you play. It’s that easy!
Want to understand more? Watch this:
Sidekick.TV at Download Youth Ministry
After playing on Sidekick.TV with my own youth group last night, I get a new fun option to add to the list. Here’s the link to all their activities.
Whoever is hosting will simply need to screen share with the game they choose. This site does require an $11.99 monthly membership, which then unlocks a variety of games available.
We played the Wheel of Destiny last night, which had kids competing to complete certain tasks. The kids who completed it and typed in their name the quickest received the point.
There are other games available, so you can explore more and try it for free for a week.
This is an idea I just came up with based off of my experience making DIY Personalized Guess Who? boards. The concept is to play guess who but with all of the people on Zoom as your faces.
What would this look like? Encourage everyone to bring props, like hats, glasses and fake mustaches. Need a template for DIY fake facial hair? Find it here.
Once everyone is in the Zoom meeting, you will need to write down everyone’s name on a sheet of paper and then the game begins.
You would have two players at a time and other people are the characters and get to observe the process. The players would need to write down one person in the room they are choosing to be their person. Then, the other player asks questions to narrow down who the other person chose.
Ask questions like:
- Is your person wearing a hat?
- Does your person have blonde hair?
- Does your person live in Seattle?
- Is your person a woman.
Any trait, feature or things you know about them will do. Narrow it down until you guess the right person.
Trivia is fun to play with friends, and you can find all you need at Random Trivia Generator for free. Simply share the screen. Have people write down their answers and reveal at the same time. Then, reveal the answer. Keep score as you play.
Virtual Games to Play During Quarantine
I hope these Fun Games to Play over Zoom or FaceTime inspire you to gather virtually with your friends, family or loved ones.
This is a time where we may be separated by distance, but we can always promote togetherness by connecting in new, unique and fun ways.
This is our time to shine as humanity – showing how we can make it work and overcome in hard circumstances.