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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Games to play on Zoom with your kids/youth group

Everyone is having to adjust to their new "temporary" normal.  One way we're adapting in the church is to have virtual meetings with our kids/youth.  I've seen a lot of threads looking for Zoom games (because I have as well!) so I decided to compile all the ideas I found and put together a list.  Here are around 20 ideas...if you have more, add them in the comments below!  If you are using some other form of media - like facebook live, instagram, etc - some of these may or may not work.  Maybe you can tweak them though.
A lot of these games have a clear winner.  My sister's youth director delivered a quarantine package to the winner.  If you're up for it, that's a cute idea :)  What would be in a quarantine package?  Why, TP of course ;) And maybe some chocolate, puzzle book or other book, and anything else you may have on hand!

1.  Famous for two minutes - our youth director found this game :)  Let each youth (or those that want to participate) be Famous for two minutes!  Go all out and have them pretend to be on the red carpet if you want ;) All of the youth send questions just to that person that they want them to answer (many youtubers are doing this with their followers).  Encourage totally random, funny questions!  For younger kids, you'll probably need to give ideas and suggestions to get them started.  A few questions our YD and kids asked..."What movie have you starred in (or what movie would you have liked to have starred in)", "Do you like camping?", "Do you like raisins", "Who are you wearing?", "hot dog - sandwich...yes or no?!", "Favorite game", etc.

2.  Emoji games! - My sister's YD did this with their youth group on facebook live.  Fun idea!  The leader typed in 5 random emojis and the first person to type in the same emojis in the same order wins!  For younger kids (like elem or young elem), you could just do words, phrases or number/letter combos.
    GUESS the Bible Story - Emoji game!  I wanted to play this with my kids because they love this game...but couldn't find a good Bible version.  So I made one!  $2.50 on my teacherspayteachers page.
  There are a LOT of other Guess the Emoji games on teachers pay teachers.  Here are a few that your kids would probably enjoy!
Various Guessing categories - movies, historical event, sayings, songs, etc. $1 - probably best for high school but possibly middle school.
Guess the movie - for middle and high school - FREEBIE

3.  Virtual Name ball - probably better with 12 or more participants - 
You've probably played this game in person - you sit in a circle, call someone's name and throw them the ball.  Then, you have them speed it up, change the order, reverse, etc.  I'm thinking we could adjust this for Zoom...once a person's name has been called, they mute themselves.  So the person has to scroll through and look for someone that isn't muted (?).  I'm still contemplating this, but I'm sure there's a way to do it :) 

4.  Scavenger hunt - This has been popular.  You can do it with any age group.   Set up some ground rules for safety though - no running through their houses :)  Send them on a hunt for random things that everyone would have in their house - milk, plate, toothbrush, blanket, etc.  As a parent, I think it'd be helpful (so that they don't have a pile of stuff to put up when they're done), to have them return the previous item before getting the new item.  

5.  I spy with peoples' backgrounds - this is probably self explanatory.  Scroll through the people in the group and whoever is "it" says they Spy something that can be found in the room behind someone.  After a few rounds, have everyone do a 180 if they can (if they're on a desktop they can't) so the background is different.

6.  Headbandz - This was suggested by a few people but I'm not sure how it would work.  You wouldn't want the person to see what is on their forehead.   If you've figured out how to do this, comment below :) 

7.  Bingo - email bingo cards beforehand (there are lots of free ones on the internet), or, make it simple and have them make their own 5 x 5 cards at home and then have them fill in the blanks with letters...or numbers 1-50...or give them a list of bible characters to choose from, etc.  I made a fun Quarantine Bingo game - keeping it light and silly.  What do you think of when you hear "Corona virus"?  toilet paper?  Zoom?  no hair cuts?  There are 28 cards for $2.50.

8. for 8-10 or less people.  I bought this and have played a few games with it.  My 4th/5th graders LOVE Fibbage.  We have also played Drawful but it's probably better for older kids - like middle or high school.  Make sure and select "family friendly" when playing or you may end up with sketchy/PG-13/R clues!  My daughter and I tried out Spud and Lie Swatter and weren't impressed.  We've also tried Survive the Internet and got mixed reviews.  I saw one YD recommend the game tee KO - you design your own tshirt - graphics and slogan and your friends vote (I think that's how it works).  At the end, the shirt that gets the most votes you could actually buy as a prize for the youth who made it.

9.  Charades - this one is pretty self explanatory I think.  We've all played this.  I suggest that the leader use the private chat feature and type what the youth has to enact so that they aren't on their own coming up with stuff (that could be dangerous! lol).
EDIT - someone suggested Reverse Charades which sounds even more fun!  Have one youth put down their head, show a word to everyone else and then THEY have to act it out and see if the youth can guess it!

10. - - My son suggested this because he had seen youtubers play it together online.  It's like win, lose or draw or pictionary.  You can create a private room for you youth to join.  Play around with it first as I believe there are some nuances that make it a little different.

11.  A Quarantine Would You Rather game :)
 Here is a Google Doc link that another youth director created with some questions as well as some objects for the scavenger hunt. (I think this was created by Matthew Benz-Whittington, if not, my apologies to whoever created it...I can't find it now!)

12.  Dissent is a board game recommended for older youth (maybe senior highs).  Someone suggested this as only the leader would need the game and then the youth could make their cards that go with it.

13.  2 truths and a lie - everyone is familiar with this one I believe :)  Each person thinks of 2 truths about themselves and a lie.  Everyone else has to figure out the lie.

14.  If you want to do more of an activity rather than a game, these sounded like fun from another YD on facebook.  My apologies again as now I can't find the post so I don't know her name!  
"With our high schoolers, we had a couple people teach the whole group a Tiktok dance (they were really excited about it!), recorded everyone doing it at the same time, and are going to splice them all together (we have a pretty small group so that’s not too overwhelming.) With middle school, we each got a roll of toilet paper and tried to “pass” it from one person to the next in the grids on Zoom. Also recorded it and hope to share with the congregation. It was fun!"

15.  Conference call bingo.  Ok, so this one probably wouldn't work, but it made me laugh 😂  Maybe an idea when you meet with staff or your committee??

16.  Read my lips - sounds fun and very simple!  Someone says something on mute and others have to guess what they're saying.  Again, I would have the leader send the phrase over chat otherwise things could spiral out of control ;) 

17.   Psychiatrist  - A popular game that many of us have probably played - I'm thinking there is a way you could play this on zoom as well.  

18.  Follow the leader -  adjust for zoom!  Is there a way to block someone from hearing what's going on?  If not, you'll have to ask someone to leave their room or plug their ears...somehow you need to pick a leader without "it" knowing:

From the website 
How to Play
Ask everyone to stand and arrange the group into a circle, facing inwards. Ask one person to leave the room for a minute. This person will be the guesser for the round. While he or she is gone, the group decides who should be the “leader.” The leader will be the one who sets the movements for that round. When this person is chosen, invite the guesser to come back. The guesser stands in the very center of the circle.
When the round begins, everyone starts swinging their arms up and down. The leader will eventually begin to do other movements, and everyone else mimics the leader’s actions, without being too obvious to reveal who the leader is.
19.  Rock, paper, scissors tourney - pick a partner - you could do this with actual physical movements or with emojis!  Whoever wins against their partner moves on to the next round and whoever they beat turns into their cheerleader.  Keep going until you have a winner - go all out and make brackets!

20.  Sherlock - seems easily adjusted for zoom!  Just have someone cover their eyes or put their heads down, then send one person something via chat they should change about their appearance or their background.  See if Sherlock can figure it out!
Participants needed: 5 or more.
Assemble students in a line and have one person be Sherlock. Sherlock leaves the room and the students remaining change one thing about their appearance. They can pull their hair up or down, put on a jacket or take one off, put a sticker on, and so forth. Sherlock reenters the room and tries to identify as many changes in the appearance as they can.

21.  With my little ones (prek-1st grade) we had a "color hunt".  We did it for Easter but you could do it anytime!  Read a book about colors or the rainbow (we read a story about the Easter story and spring) and then have them bring you something that color!  My littles loved it :)

22.  Another game I'm going to play with my littles is "FREEZE!".  Don't know why I didn't think about it before :)  There is a cute little book called "Go! Go! Go! Stop!" which talks about how the working trucks "go" and "stop".  I will probably read the Bible story from John 21: 1-14 to go with this since it's right after Easter.  The disciples fished all night (go! go! go!) and then had to rest (stop!).  Jesus stood on the shore and told them to fish again (go!).  Once they caught a lot of fish, Peter realized it was Jesus and swam to him (go!).  Jesus asked Peter if he loved him, Peter said yes and Jesus told them all to Go! and love his people :)

23.  Another game that I saw suggested was "5-second rule".  I hadn't thought of that, and it would be fun over zoom!  There is also a "5-second rule Jr".  You could also come up with your own.  You don't need the actual game.  If you would like a Bible version, I actually made one a few months back before all this happened.  It has 40 cards (all Bible related) and the cards that have a definite answer (like the 12 disciples), I also have an answer card so you can see if you can name them all :)  If you want to play it online, I also made it on powerpoint so you can see one card per slide. You can get it here ($3).

24.  if you're in your 40s then you probably played this game in school :)  "Good Morning, Mr. Judge".  Here are the rules...
How to Play: Have a student be the “judge” and put his or her head down on the table. Choose a student from the group to come up behind the judge and disguise his or her voice and say, “Good morning, Mr. (or Mrs., if it’s a Girl) Judge.” Then the student goes back and sits down in his or her original spot. Have the judge look up and try to guess, within three guesses, which student spoke. If the judge is right, the person he or she guessed will become the next judge. If the judge is wrong, he or she must do it again.

25.  Drawing on your head.  This is so simple and so funny :)  Have the kids put a piece of paper on their heads and then give them instructions on drawing something.  Then show the result to everyone.  You could make it more of a game by giving them a category and they pick something from the category to draw and everyone tries to guess (a farm animal, piece of clothing, something from nature, a fruit, etc).

26.  Kahoot!  All the kids have played this in school and have most likely made a game.  One of my kids actually made a kahoot game about himself and we played it :)  You could have them all type you something about themselves that no one else knows and then you make a kahoot game seeing if they can guess who said it!

27.  Family feud!

28.  Scattegories!  If you don't know this game, you pick a random letter, and then answer all the questions using that letter.  For example, if your letter is "h", and the clue is "piece of clothing", then you could write down "hat".  You can use the actual game, of here is one I made with Bible categories

29.  Talent show!  i LOVE this idea :)  And I'd love to see some recordings of your shows! lol.  Not sure my kids would be up for it but I may give it a try!

30.  Mad Libs!!  Look for some fun summer ones :)  Or, I made 3 you can get.  One is a silly one about being in quarantine - you can personalize it with 9 different names from your group.  $1 here. And another is "We aren't going to make it to your zoom class today and here's's true...I promise!" ;) lol.  $1 here.  "Grocery Shopping during Quarantine" $1 here.  Or get all 3 for $2.25.

31.  Virtual Escape room!  If you're on any of the facebook groups for educators, you can find a number of them - harry potter, disney and more - for free!  I've written many escape rooms but just attempted my first Virtual one!  It's a parable break out box on powerpoint.  details here.  $4

32.  Wheel of Fortune!  I'm sure you can find all kinds out there, but if you're interested in Bible versions, I made 6 Bible themed powerpoint games - each one has 10 puzzles.  $1.25 each or $6.25 for all 6 (buy 5 get one free ;) )
33.  Spot it is a fun game.  I saw one on teachers pay teachers and I thought it'd be a fun game to play on zoom!  This is a Bible themed one for $3.  My daughter helped me make a Disney theme one as well!  There are two "cards" on each slide and you have to find the image that is the same. (fire)

34.  20 Questions - an oldie but goodie :)   Or, if you want a visual, play it backwards and use my religious powerpoint version I made :)  One clue appears at a time.  See who can guess the person first!  Or, play a different version I suggest.  They are $2.50 each or buy all four for $8.50Two are easier, with more well-known names and two are harder - for youth/adults/staff/students

35.  Reveal the picture!  I thought my younger kids would like this so I made a few versions of different stories.  They answer a question correctly and you reveal a section of a picture.  Can they guess the picture before they remove all the sections??  So far, I've made a review of the 10 commandments, Beatitudes, Lord's Prayer, Joseph and King David.  Here's a short video on how to play...

36.  Word Search race.  My kids love word searches and so, for one of our lessons, they helped me come up with the words (our lesson was "what is joy?"), so they named things that give them joy.  I did this over zoom and shared my screen.  Once we had the word list, I assigned them each a color, and when they found a word on the screen, they marked it with their color and crossed out the word!  It was fun!  If you don't want to race, you can tell them they have to find them in a 5 minutes or something so it's a race against time instead of each other :)  I like using this site to make word searches because you can use lots of different shapes.  We used the smiley face!

37.  "Guess What?"  I read this on a site but it was more complicated...this is a simpler version.  Tell one person on your zoom call to turn off their screen, go to a specific room in the house (like the kitchen), and bring back an item from that room (maybe a whisk!).  Tell them to hold it below the camera so everyone else can't see it.  then, tell them to turn their screen back on and describe the item to the group.  The first person to guess the item gets to go next!

38.  Outburst - I don't know why, but I love this game :)  If you have the board game, you can simply give everyone the category and have them try and name all ten things in that category that are on your card (before time runs out).  If you don't have the game, you can make up your own, or I made a religious one that you can get here.

39.  A or B.  This is a game I made up that I thought would be quick paced, silly and maybe break the ice or start a conversation.  I found obscure, random facts in the Bible and compared them using comparison words (older, stronger, higher, lighter, etc)...for example - "Which is heavier...a.  the stone rolled away from Jesus' tomb or b.  a hippo" :)  Most are questions that no one will know but are fun to think about.  You can find the game here.
40.  Another good conversation starter or icebreaker is "would you rather?".  You can buy the actual game, look for free examples or buy some on TPT!  

You can also purchase ALL the games I made listed above in a bundle and save over $7.50 :) It's a growing bundle...which means if you buy it now and I add more to it later, you get those for free!
if you want to follow my blog or get updates, like my facebook page Laurie's little Monkeys :) 


  1. Brilliant!! You are awesome! Thank you.

    1. lol. thanks, but only a few of these were my ideas - just compiling great ideas from others!!

  2. Headbandz: we went old school and wrote the item they would normally have on their head on a whiteboard. "It" closed their eyes, everyone saw the word. The person then opened their eyes and went forward with the game. No cheating!

  3. Headbanz, play the opposite. They have to guess who/what you are. Everyone asks a yes or no question and then write their answer down (maybe 2 rounds of questions). If someone gets the answer, they receive 2 points, for every incorrect answer you get 1 point.

  4. With a smaller group of no more than 8, Quelf is a lot of fun. One member of the party needs to have the game and needs to control the play, rolling the dice for each person, picking and reading or showing the cards (when they are classified), and moving the pieces. This has been a blast to play with the right group of friends.

  5. In a group of four, to be able to enjoy the person should have the access to control the rolling ball to say which one have the seed,by picking there numbers.when it shows the best way for the first place and you can block it off.

  6. Combine Scatergories and a scavenger hunt for a new game. Everyone has a minute to find objects that start with a letter of the alphabet. Then come back and compare items. If you have the same item you have to eliminate it from your pile. The one with the most unique items left in their pile is the winner.

  7. Thank you so much for this. I work with a children outreach and we are still doing programs. I am running out of ideas that has been so helpful!

  8. Another great option for 8-13 yo kids is this interactive quest game the kids can play together:

  9. Thanks for the great ideas!
    For preschool-Kindergarten kids you could also play the "What's Missing" game:

  10. This is really helpful as I have been running out of ideas too. Thank you for sharing!

  11. Thank you so much - I am about to start a Zoom Confirmation Class with our church youth this weekend, and I wanted to take a few min at the start of each class to play a game to loosen everyone up. This is the best list out there!! I will probably use 20 of these ideas over the next few months! Thank you!

    1. That's awesome!! Glad it helped. My husband is currently teaching our confirmation class and I am emailing a few for him to use as well :) Good luck! Thanks for ministering to our youth!

  12. Headbandz, we either put 'it' into a breakout room for 30 seconds or private message everyone (except it)

  13. another idea: Post It notes with items on them ( you can write them on and drop them off or they can have a family member write a bunch of things on them). Make sure to have a blank one on top so they can’t see what it is and then they place the sticky side on their forehead and take top paper off to begin the game

  14. For Headbanz...I was thinking that you could put it in the chat box and "it" would not look.