Given the shelter-in-place orders for most of us, we have to get creative in order to stay connected with those outside our home. As a foster family, this is especially important to help the kids currently in our care stay engaged with their parents and siblings.
Here are a few ways we’ve found for them to do more than just “chat” on video calls, such as through FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Skype, or Zoom.
- Charades—take turns acting out a person, place, or thing.
- Bananagrams—if you each have a set of Bananagrams, you can play together, at the same time.
- Kahoot!—this is fun to play virtually, because all players—no matter their location—use a their own device (phone, tablet, or computer) to play a game together.
- Jackbox.tv—similar to Kahoot!, Jackbox.tv games are super fun to play with a group. One person needs to have a paid subscription, though, and can share their screen with the others (this is easy to do via Zoom). Everyone must then have a another device (phone, tablet, computer) to play.
- Caribu—paid subscription of games and activities for kids 2-8 to play on video calls (free until May 24!)
- Bingo—download and print some free Bingo cards (or use a virtual one), then access this random Bingo caller!
- Say the Same Word—count to three and then you both say a random word at the same time. The goal is to get you both to say the same word within a few turns. So for the second round, you do it again, only this time you try to say a word connected to the two words already spoken. Continue this process until you say the same word. (For example, supposed you each say “dinner” and “tree” during the first round, “garden” and “picnic” during the second, and then you each say “basket” on the third round.)
- Two Truths and One Lie—you each share two truths and one lie, while the other person tries to guess which one is the lie.
- Battleship—as long as you each have this popular game, it’s easy to play together, at the same time.
- Last Word—if you both have this board game, great. But if not, you can still play it over a video call. Simply show the other person their card on the camera, and move their piece along the path for them as they advance.
- Watch Ya! Mouth—this works best if you both have the game at home before you call each other. You guess what the other person is saying while wearing a hilarious contraption over their mouth.
- Read My Lips—if you don’t have the pieces to play Watch Ya! Mouth, just put yourself on mute and see if the other person can guess what you are saying by reading your lips.
- Tenzi—if you each have a set of 10 dice, you can play all sorts of games with them. For example, see who can be the first one to roll all of the same number, or pairs of two different numbers, or so on.
- Pictionary—regardless of whether you have the actual game, you can still take turns drawing things for the other person to guess.
- Hangman—this time-tested game is still relevant, and a great way to help students practice spelling.
- Sorry—board games like Sorry can be played over video chat as long as you each maintain the same board. So when it’s your opponent’s turn, make sure to move their piece on your board too!
- Yahtzee—if you each have the actual game, great! If at least one of you has the game, the other person only has to have 5 dice.
- I Spy!—this can be played by looking around your room, the room of the other person, or even in your device’s photo reel.
- Simon Says—this is another easy game to play on video chat.
What would you add to this list? We’d love to hear other suggestions!