Video calls have become an important part of staying in touch with family and friends – but quizzes are tricky for children to get involved with, and toddlers just don't like to sit still! Try these virtual games on your next video call to keep the whole family happy.
We’ve updated and reshaped these ideas for a virtual playdate. Even young children will love these easy activities and games you can play on FaceTime, Zoom or Skype. They’re also perfect for spending time with friends, cousins and grandparents when you can’t see them in person.
1 Children's TV quiz
Most quizzes are hard for children to join in with, but not when the subject is their favourite TV shows! Play this children's TV quiz and schedule a call with family or friends.
In this twist on the traditional game, you can only name objects or people that everyone can see on the screen. It’s a great way for reception and Year 1-aged children to practice (and show off) their phonics skills.
3 Show and tell
Children take it in turns to show and describe the thing they want to tell everyone about – it could be a toy, drawing, or craft. It helps to have one parent in charge of choosing who's next, and try muting everyone except the speaker for groups of young children.
4 Bug under the rug
Each child takes it in turns to hide a person (or an object) under a blanket. The children chant "Bug, bug, under the rug. Who's the bug under the rug?", and then start guessing. The hider can give clues – is it a person, a toy, or something else? What colour is it? What else can they say about it? This is a great activity for sneaking in educational questions and for encouraging kids to take turns.
5 Group craft session
6 Team scavenger hunt
Perfect if you want to include younger children in a family quiz. It's a great way to get family members old and young to interact together. The organiser is the quizmaster and prepares a list of items for everyone to look for. Scroll down for a few suggestions...
On the call: Challenge everyone to come up with team names. Do a practice round (with no points) to get everyone into the spirit of things. Call out each challenge – award 5 points for the first team back, 3 points to the second team, and extra points to any teams who show some creativity.
If you see a team flagging, freestyle a question that brings them back into the game. No-one wants your scavenger hunt to be the last time Auntie Betty came onto a video call!
- something that begins with a letter
- an object that is spotty, stripy or flowery
- something that is a certain colour
- a pair of things
- some pants and wear them for everyone to see
- a drinking vessel
- a potato-based product
- a fruit
- an item with a specific number on it
- something with a picture of the Queen
- a photo of someone in the game as a baby
- an item that keeps you warm
- something to make your hair nice
We've also created some free printable scavenger hunts that you can play at home – indoors and outdoors!
7 Virtual hide and seek
The hider names three rooms they might be hiding in before running off to hide. Their parent (or an older sibling) holds the phone while the finders count. "Coming, ready or not!". The finders choose which of the three rooms to start looking in and tell the person holding the phone where to look. Simple!
8 Virtual bedtime story
Start by deciding whether you want the camera to show the reader or the book. This idea is also brilliant for bringing together grandchildren in different locations – they can join for the same book. But keep the reader on the screen. You want it to be calming, not a pre-sleeptime riot!
9 Rainbow hunt
All the kids on the call run off to find rainbow coloured objects and compete to build the biggest floor rainbow that they can.
10 Colour in together
Did you know colouring in is calming? And sometimes colouring pens and paper are all you need to keep kids sitting still when calling friends and family. Print these Bluey colouring pages and pour yourself a cuppa.
11 Group yoga
Chilled and active at the same time – yoga is perfect for a video call. Children can take it in turns to show and copy different moves.
12 Puppet show
Challenge the children to prepare a show before the call and perform them for each other. Why not bring popcorn? You could even try making your own sock puppets together too!
Spotting games like hide and seek and I-Spy are fantastic at getting kids to think about shapes, colours and sizes. Plus, yoga is a great way to encourage them to get moving, and learn more about their bodies and the way they move.