Due to COVID-19, many people have started inviting family and friends to play virtual games. Technology has paved a new path to socializing, teaching, communicating, and learning. The ability to video chat on platforms like Zoom allows not only for family and friends to connect but the video chat function also allows teachers and students to transition from traditional classroom learning to remote learning from home as needed.
It is important to keep students engaged during virtual classroom sessions. Many teachers have discovered that taking a break from schoolwork and playing an interactive game supports and strengthens student engagement. The share screen function of the Zoom platform gives the option to teachers to enhance and simplify the learning experience too.
Here are some of our favorite warmup, active, cool down, and calm interactive games to play on Zoom that teachers can play with students. Our Zoom game suggestions are fun, brainy, and have the ability to sharpen kids’ physical and mental skills.
Best Warmup Games to Play on Zoom
FOLLOW THE LEADER
Choose a student to be the leader. Have the leader model their favorite warm-up activities that will get the class moving. Students will copy the leader until it’s the next leader’s turn.
RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT
Choose an action for students to copy. When the teacher says “green,” students should repeat the action as fast as they can. When the teacher says, “yellow,” slow the action down. On red, stop. Mix up the colors and actions as much as you’d like.
Instruct students to create a simple obstacle course, either indoors or out. Ideas include zigzagging between furniture, hopping over imaginary lines, etc. Invite them to share their obstacles with the class, demonstrating how to complete the course.
Best Active Games to Play on Zoom with Kids
Let your students stretch their legs and dance to some fun, upbeat tunes. Encourage students to show off their dance moves. When the music stops, everyone has to stop dancing.
At-home scavenger hunts are fun! Here’s how they work. The teacher will announce a household item that the students need to find. Give the students a goal time limit to find their item and return to show the class. Here are a few items we suggest: TV remote, spoon, something blue, something soft, pair of socks, etc.
Rock, Paper, Scissors
Classic game, but with a twist! The object of this version is not to win, but to see how many rounds students can stay in the game versus the teacher. To get kids moving, assign an action to the winner of each round. For example, if you win, the class “gets” to do ten jumping jacks!
Best Cool-Down Games to Play on Zoom
Pretend to be trees in a windstorm, with wind blowing arms as branches. Start while the windstorm is strong and blowing hard, and finish as the wind calms and blows softer.
SHARKS AND FISH
One student is the shark and the rest are fish. Sharks demonstrate their favorite cool-down activities while the group copies their actions. Whatever the shark does, the fish have to copy. Remember to stretch gently and slowly (like fish swimming).
Like Twister, but standing up. The teacher or leader calls out to body parts to touch together. For example, elbow to knee or hand to foot. Continue the game until the class has settled and is ready to focus on a calm game.
Best Calm, Interactive Games to Play on Zoom with Kids
I Spy is a classic game, but also a great one to play to work on adjectives and to test your students’ observation skills. Students can take turns guessing what the object is that you describe. As the teacher, you say: “I spy something *insert adjective*.” Play as many rounds as you see fit.
A short game of trivia can be a great way to start the day. Each week you can identify a theme or a category to challenge your students to trivia questions. We recommend using the “raise my hand” function on Zoom to allow for fair play. Throughout the semester you can keep a tally and leaderboard for the students.
Show and Tell
Give your students the opportunity to share something from home. Show and Tell could be a fun way to end the school week. You can pick one student for each week. The game Show and Tell could be a good way for students to develop and improve their social and speaking skills.
Give your students one clue about what you put in a bag. For instance, “The object is *insert adjective.*” You can give a couple of students the chance to guess. If no one gets it correct, give another clue. It could be interesting to choose the item based on a topic or lesson you are reviewing that day or week.
All young students need a good read-aloud every single day. Zoom makes it easy. Make yourself, as the host, take up the full screen so the students can see the pictures easily. Note: The words will appear backward on your side but rest assured they are not backward from your students’ screens.
Kids love directed drawings. Art Hub for Kids on YouTube is a great option. Share your screen while the students make their own drawing. When the drawing is finished, each student can take turns showing their drawing to the class. Extend this project by assigning it as a writing activity to complete at home and bring back to the next Zoom call to read aloud.
Looking for a drawing activity that is a faster pace than Directed Drawing? Quick Draw could be your answer! Quick Draw is a Pictionary style game, but the timer for making a drawing is very short, only 10 seconds. This would help the students to sharpen their brain as they need to think about the perfect hint to draw so that the teammate can guess the clue. The questions can be related to studies as well.
Think of an object. Let students ask a YES or NO question. Students will have to continue asking these types of questions. A student may guess at any time by clicking on the “raise my hand” button in the Zoom settings.
Would You Rather
Ask your students a “would you rather” question with two choices and kids must choose between the options. Pick two students to share the reasoning behind their preference. The game, Would You Rather, will be a good game to show kids that their peers might not like the same things, and it is okay to have your own opinion.
This will be a good game to play with older students. To play the Guess Where game, teachers will have to utilize the screen share function of Zoom. On your screen, pull up geoguesser.com. GeoGuesser is a geography game that takes you on a journey around the world and challenges your ability to recognize your surroundings. This is a fun game to challenge your students’ geography knowledge.
Logo quiz is a fun game which can be played with older students. It is a trivia game on different kinds of common logos. The teacher shares their screen to pull up multiple logos to quiz their students. The student who guesses the maximum number of correct logos wins. You can show the answers by writing them in a notepad and then all can show the notebook together towards the screen.
Are you smarter than a 5th grader?
This is a type of game that the kids love to play. Type, “are you smarter than a 5th grader questions” on Google and find random questions. Write the answers on a notepad and give your students 10 seconds to write their answers. When time is called have all your students show what they wrote to the screen.
For older and younger students, crossword puzzles make for a brilliant mind game. Share your screen and pull up a crossword puzzle. You can set a timer for so many minutes and each student can write on a notepad the words that stand out to them. When time is over, the teacher can call on different students to solve.
About Marathon Kids
At Marathon Kids, we offer free physical activity programming, resources, and hands-free technology to support educators as they strive to keep students active in school and at home. Learn more about getting kids moving during the school day with Marathon Kids Connect—it’s free!