In this time of social distancing, I know Bubba is missing his friends and family. We've been doing Zoom dates with our friends and have been doing play dates with his little class mates and friends. Here are some ideas for a fun virtual play date with friends, grandparents, classmates, etc! Some work well with larger groups too if you have multiple kiddos on!
Hide & Seek (2-3 players)
This works best with a small group. To explain this, we'll use the kiddos Bubba & Jose. Bubba counts to 20 while Jose hides. Then Jose's mom turns her phone camera around so it's view of what she's seeing and Bubba looks on his phone. Bubba then tells Jose's mom where to turn the camera / what room to look in - basically, Jose's mom is Bubba's eyes! Because Bubba is directing Jose's mom where to go, this works best with just a couple hiders (and go through them one by one).
We've played this game the most on our playdates - the kids always beg to keep playing (but the adults get a bit tired of it lol).
Scavenger Hunt (1+)
This one is great for either play dates with friends or a family playdate with grandparents. One adult gives the clues, and the kids go find the items in their house and bring them back! It's a fun way to do a game and show & tell at the same time! Here are some prompts to get you started. Super Secret Pro trip: Get crafts supplies out ahead of time and for the last clue - tell them to take 15 minutes to draw a picture or make something. Give you time to catch up with your friends as the kids draw!
Show & Tell (1+)
This one is great for teacher / class play dates - have each of the kids do virtual show & tell. The key is to mute the kids whose turn it's not!
Find the Dinosaur (2+) - Hotter / Colder
This is played similar to Hide & Seek above. Have one kiddo hide 4-5 dinosaurs ( or whatever toy you want to play with!). And then the other kiddo looks for the dinosaurs as an adult walks around the house. It helps to yell out Hotter (if they are getting close) or Colder (if they are going the wrong way)!
5) Freeze Dance (2+)
Dance parties are always fun! These are some great freeze dance songs to do - just have one adult play the song close to their speaker so everyone can hear it!
6) Read a book (1+)
Another great one for family to do with your kiddos. Or a great activity to wrap up a playdate and say bye to your friends! Make sure everyone can see the pictures through your camera as you read!
7) Simon Says (2+)
Simon Says works great as a playdate game! Keep the kiddos in full view and let them play with each other! Or have an adult play Simon Says songs near a speaker like this one!
8) I Spy (2-4)
This works best with small group of kiddos where you can see all the screens at the same time in a large enough format. The kids take turns saying what they Spy on the screen - can be in their own house or anyone's they see on the screen!
9) 2 person board games (2)
This one works for kids that are slightly older and know how to play 2 person board games like Battleship, Mastermind and Guess Who. Each person has to have the board game to play! I personally loved Mastermind as a kid - can't wait til Bubba is old enought to play this one!
10) Hands on Cheeks/Heads (2+)
This one I made up on Bubba's school playdate when the kiddos were starting to lose attention as everyone went around doing show & tell. This game works great with large groups as long as you can see everyone on screen. The kids start with their hands on their cheeks. And an adult says "Put your hands on your Head if xxx" (ate pizza this week, like playing construction trucks, etc.). You can also change up the instruction - instead of put your hands on your head, stick your tongue out or touch your nose. Keeps the kiddos engaged and you can see what everyone's been up to!
11) Rory's Story Cubes (2-5 players)
StoryCubes are a really fun way to tell a collaborative story. For younger kids (3-5 years old), I would recommend starting with just 3-4 cubes. Older kids can start adding more in. Just make sure all the kiddos can see which picture is up! They then take turns incorporating the picture into the story! Bubba is not so great with the idea of collaborative story telling - he wants to the story to go his way or not follow on the previous story, but we're working on it :-)
12) Charades (2+)
Classic game - here are some prompts that work well with limited movement for space (since you have to stay in the camera view) and for kids of all ages! If you want to make it a bit harder for older kids, add an animal to the action (like a Dog Sleeping or an Elephant Watering Plants).
13) 20 Questions (2-4 players)
Another good one for older kids. One kid thinks of a prompt, gives everyone a category clue (like animal, things to do outside, famous person, etc). The rest of the kids take turns asking Yes or No questions - 20 questions before everyone gets a guess!
Hope you guys enjoy your virtual play dates! One of the things that we talk about is how all this COVID quarantine will change how we interact with friends and family in the future, especially ones that don't live in the same city! Now that we know our kids can also build connections virtually, there is no reason to not continue even after COVID!