10 Games to Play on Video Calls
This whole social distancing thing has gotten tough. The first few weeks I was like, ok, sure, I can do this. But now, two months into it, even as an introvert, I am going a bit stir crazy. While I love hanging out with my husband and boys, I miss my girl time. I miss my family. I miss my friends.
The only remedy I have found for this is video conferencing with family and friends. I have been planning weekly video call dates with those I miss so much. I’ve tried different platforms, FaceTime, GoTo Meeting, Zoom, Houseparty, and each seems to have their own pros and cons, but all seem to work pretty well.
Normally, catching up with friends and family is pretty easy. We usually have a lot to discuss, like travel plans, new adventures, funny stories about the kids, and work. But lately, the conversation can get a little mundane because there is nothing new to talk about. “Oh, we’ve been home for 71 days now. We went for a drive around the neighborhood. Our groceries were delivered yesterday but we were missing a stir fry mix and three zucchinis.”
So, to keep things fun, I’ve been coming up with activities to spice up video chats. With a little help from my days as a college orientation leader and my love for games, I have come up with a list of ten games you can play with friends, family, and coworkers, to spice up your video calls.
Some of these games require a lead person to facilitate the game. So, to keep things simple, I am going to call the lead person of the activity, “the chief”.
Choose a chief for this activity. Each person sends the chief an “I…” statement. Then the chief reads each of the “I…” statements aloud and the group has to guess who said each statement.
This is a great way to get to know others. We did this on a recent family call and it was so fun to try to guess who said what. Some answers were serious, other answers were hilarious. Some answers were thoughtful, others were thought up on the fly and the variety made it even more fun.
On our recent family call, I requested statements that were more specific, using the phrase, ” I wish…”. But, if you want to leave the opportunity open for more creativity, just collect basic “I…” statements.
Some of my favorite examples were “I wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener”, “I wish I was on a beach right now “, and “I wish my baby would stay this little forever”.
Favorite & Least Favorite
Pick a theme (or a couple of different themes), and then each person goes around and says their favorite and least favorite related to the selected topic.
For example, if the topic/theme is “movie genres,” each person states their favorite movie genre and least favorite movie genre.
A couple of good topics/themes include food, subjects in school, places to visit, TV shows to watch, animals, past vacation experiences, celebrities, and stores to shop.
The conversation that evolves from this game can be quite entertaining.
Two Truths and a Lie
Each participant takes a turn to say three different statements about themselves aloud. Two of those statements are true and one of those statements is false. The group then has to guess which statement is false. Some people will really surprise the group.
It is easy to get creative with this one. Statements can really vary from simple, like “I love spaghetti” to a bit more wild and crazy, like “I was kissed by a famous singer at a concert”.
Who remembers “Show-And-Tell” from elementary school? Where you would bring in something to show to the class and then explain why it was important enough to present. Well, it’s easy to re-create Show-And-Tell on a video conference call.
Each person “shows” something to the group, explaining what it is and why it is important. Some examples include a piece of art created with the kids, or a special dessert baked earlier that day, a souvenir from a trip, or even a picture of someone important.
The Time Travel Machine
This one is pretty simple. Have each participant picks a time to travel back to and explain why. I love how open-ended this conversation can be.
Would You Rather
Who doesn’t love a game of Would You Rather? Each participant gets a piece of paper and writes A on one side and B on the other. Or, to save resources, you can have participants make hand signals, like one finger for option one and two fingers for option two.
The chief (remember, the person appointed the leader on the video call), asks would you rather questions to the group of participants, and the participants answer using their signals as fast as possible. I like adding speed to the game to introduce spontaneity.
Some of my favorite Would You Rather questions can be found on this website, HERE!
This one is similar to the Would You Rather Game, but answers are open-ended. The chief asks the participants a question, and each participant answers as quickly as possible, with the first thought that comes to mind.
This is a nice way to keep the conversation moving and fresh. It also can catch people off-guard and you can have some fun with it.
Click here for a great website to find some quick questions
I am a sucker for a good game of trivia. Participants on the video call can be separated into teams or they can plan individually. The chief will then read off trivia questions that he or she collected ahead of time.
Click here to access one of my favorite sites to get trivia questions and answers. I like it most because trivia is categorized.
What are you…?
This game is super simple. Pick a category, like eating, drinking, wearing, or cooking for dinner? After a category is chosen, each person goes around and answers the question, “What are you [category]? I like this game as an opener for a call. A good conversation can stem from what people are doing or consuming.
There is a great website that makes *free* customized bingo cards that you can email out to participants on a call. This does take a bit of planning, but it can be really fun. You can customize the design, the words, and the size of the bingo card.
When we played bingo on a family call, I had people send me statements and then I put the statements on the card. Then people had to guess who said the statement. So it was a two-for-one game.
Create your own bingo cards, HERE!
I hope you find these games and activities helpful for connecting with others during this time of separation. Are there any activities for video calls, not listed here, that you have found helpful?
30 thoughts on “10 Games to Play on Video Calls”
This is a great list and looks like fun even when we are not in quarantine!
Thanks, Tricia, I agree.
These sound like fun games to play
Thank you, Leeandra.
This is a great idea! I hadn’t thought about playing games, especially if you can get multiple people in a zoom room together and play!! Thank you!
Thank you, Holly. It definitely keeps things entertaining.
Fun list to have some fun with friends while staying safely apart!
These are fantastic! Lord knows we need some fun on all the Zooms, Google Meets, Teams, etc. Thanks!
Thank you. I agree, Danielle.
Great ideas. I know a lot of people are just now having to turn to video chats to communicate with friends and family, but I’m used to it because I left home when I graduated high school, so I’ve been having to video chat my family for about 10 years. Now that my sister has kids, they kinda run the show now when we do video chats. Some of them are getting to the age though where we could do some interactive games.
That’s so helpful to have experience. And kids are the best to video chat with. So entertaining.
You sound like you’re quite the creative personality! Good for you!
Thank you, Barbara.
These are great!
A group of my girlfriends did a ‘favorite things’ Zoom. We had all kinds of things from make-up to kitchen ideas and gardening.
That is a really great idea, Debbie! I am going to try that one too.
My kids have been playing games via FaceTime with Grandma since March, and we quickly ran out of game ideas. I can’t believe I never thought of Bingo! We are going to try that one next.
I hope Bingo was a big hit with the kids and Grandma!
I might try these games on our next road trip. I think they work for video calls and entertaining in the car!
That’s a good idea, Lisa!
These are all great ideas!!!
Thank you, Alice.
Cute ideas! nd. I have a weekly movie chat I attend. We vote on a movie to watch and then discuss it later in the week. It has been fun.
That is a really great idea too, Heather. I will try this one with my girlfriends.
This sounds so fun. I’ve always loved the two truths and a lie game!
Me too, Kendra 🙂
I am a teacher who was forced to teach via Zoom for the last quarter of the school year (thanks, COVID). Sometimes, we would just play games. My students liked playing a version of Beyond Balderdash where they would send me a private message of their answer to the category (word, person, initials, movie title or date), then I would read their answers aloud with the correct answer mixed in, and they would try to pick out the correct answer. We also like playing SET at setgame.com using the screenshare option with annotations.
Those are great ideas, Charlene. Bless you for teaching during this bizarre time.
These are fun ideas, for video chats or gatherings! I love learning more about people, even family.