*Written by both Sam from Adult Services and Noreen from Youth Services.
Now, more than ever, we are socializing with family and friends virtually in order to spend time together in a safe manner. However, there are only so many things we can talk about. Are you running out of conversation topics, or wishing you knew some more games all of you can play? We feel for you! We have compiled a list of some fun games for all ages that can be played on Zoom or other online platforms. It’s amazing what you can do online!
For the Family
Charades– Kids love to act and this is the perfect game for the whole family. Taking turns, one person will act out a book title (our favorite), a movie, a song title, or a famous person. The people guessing will enter their guesses into the Zoom chat room until someone guesses the correct answer.
Bingo– You can receive up to thirty free bingo cards and play three free games on My Free Bingo Cards. You can customize your cards any way that you like! One person is the Bingo caller and you can do this manually or the website will generate the numbers or words for you.
Guess the Animal– A simple game where one person will pick an animal and the other players ask questions to try and guess what the animal is. A great game for younger kids.
I Spy– Don’t play this, unless you want others to see your house! Taking turns, one person picks something in the background of their screen and the other players ask questions, trying to guess what the object is.
Code Names– This game takes two teams, red and blue. The team members do not have to be in the same room. Each team has a Spymaster and that person will feed their team member a one-word clue to their words. The objective is to guess all your words before the opposing team guesses theirs.
Scavenger Hunt– One person will have to make up the list for people to search for items within their household. You can make it fun by making it a shut-in scavenger hunt and have people searching for items such as toilet paper, gloves, masks, or anything that you would equate with this time in our lives. The first one back to the camera gets awarded three points, the second person back would get two points and everyone else zero points. At the end of the game, the person with the most points wins. When we played I awarded the grand prize winner a roll of toilet paper payable whenever I saw them next.
Chess or Checkers– Need a game for a playdate that takes only two players? These are the games to play! One person needs to have a chessboard. The Zoom camera will be pointed at the board and the person with the board will make the moves for both players. You can also have Zoom on and play chess on your phones at the app Chess.com.
Hangman– Not only is this fun, but it can be educational in boosting your child’s vocabulary. If you’re going to play with several people, one person will share their screen with Zoom’s Whiteboard. The person controlling the board will draw out the Hangman with the annotation tools. Everyone else then has to guess the word or phrase with each person taking a turn and guessing a vowel or consonant.
Pictionary– This game can be played with many players. It can be played either by propping up a large paper in front of the Zoom camera or by using the Zoom Whiteboard Feature and sharing the screen with the other players. Players take turns by picking an item to draw that the other players have to guess what is being drawn.
Boggle– In Boggle you can use Puzzle-Words and screenshare the board so you can see both the board and your opponents. You can choose easy, hard, or extreme games. The objective is to find as many words as possible on the board. The specific rules can be found to the left of the board on the website.
For the Adults
Create a PowerPoint Presentation on a topic of your choice- Educate your friends and family about your personal passions, topics of interest, or hobbies. Pick any topic under the sun that you know a lot of information about: from “Tiger King” on Netflix to the Architecture of New York City. The topics can range drastically. Prior to the Zoom event, participants should create a PowerPoint presentation that will last only 5 minutes per person. Be sure to designate a person to keep time and an emcee to help the event go smoothly.
Karaoke Nights with Friends- Grab a group of friends who like to sing. When someone wants to sing, make sure you share your Zoom screen with the option marked to “Share Computer’s Audio.” Pull up a karaoke video on YouTube and sing along. It works best if everyone is muted EXCEPT for the singer. When the song is over, everyone can unmute themselves to applaud the singer. Need help on which Karaoke song to sing? This Youtube channel has a ton of options to choose from. Note: the sound quality might not be the best for everyone, but it’s still fun to rock out and be with your friends.
All Bad Cards- ***Explicit Content*** Share a lot of laughs with friends as you play this outrageous game with raunchy humor and inappropriate content, similar to Cards Against Humanity. All Bad Cards requires a larger group of people. Every player has 7 cards with funny phrases and each round, one person in the group is the judge. The judge flips a black card that has a prompt on it. Every player puts down one card from their hand, and the judge reads each selection and chooses the most fitting card. This Business Insider article details instructions on how to set up.
Take a Virtual Museum Exhibit Tour Together- Travel + Leisure has compiled 12 different museums from around the world that have free virtual exhibits. Also, Google has compiled a list of over 2,000 renowned museums, famous landmarks, prestigious art exhibits, and national parks. Friends can view together over Zoom and talk about their thoughts about the different exhibits. You are able to travel to New York, the U.K., Paris, Seoul, and more just by the click of a mouse.
Psych! Game- Psych! is a game that’s perfect to play with a big group of friends. There are multiple types of games available. However, for all of the games, a prompt is sent to the individual players to create fake answers to real trivia questions. For each round, the correct answer, along with all the players’ “fake” answers, will appear on the screen for everyone to view. Everyone selects the answer from the selection that they believe is correct. Players get points if their friends select their fake answers.
Note: it is not required to Zoom call with this game, however, it is easier to coordinate the game as well as laugh along with each other when you play over zoom. Also, Psych! Is an app you download to your phone and is not played on the computer.
Netflix Party- This is a way to watch Netflix shows and movies together from separate homes. The movie/show plays at the same pace for everyone viewing, and there is a chat box where users can type in comments to express thoughts and feelings. To use, you must view on a computer and use the Google Chrome Browser. Netflix Party is an extension you download onto your computer. The instructions will guide you through how to set up your viewing party.
Scattergories- Do you enjoy playing Scattergories? You can play free online. All you have to do is fill out how many players you like, categories of the game, and more. The online website generates a link and all players will access the game via the unique link.
A Talent Show– Do you have a special talent? Show off your skills over zoom by hosting a talent show with you and your friends.
Trivia Night- Test your knowledge by hosting a trivia night with your friends and family over Zoom. This Random Trivia Generator will produce thousands of trivia questions to use as a source. You have many options to organize your teams: in groups or by yourself. Keep tally for points or play for fun; the options are endless.