With so many options to engage with your loved ones these days, there’s never been a better time to download the latest interactive platforms and inject a little bit more fun to an otherwise normal phone conversation. And sometimes, it’s not possible to physically spend time with your nearest and dearest, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still play a game or two, especially over the festive period.
With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of interactive games you can play over FaceTime, Skype, Zoom – and any other video app – with your Grandkids to keep the fun going. From classic question activities to board games with an online spin, read on to find out our top pick of exciting games you can play from screen to screen.
A classic party game, Charades has been around for a long time, but it never gets old. One of the great things about this game is the fact that you can play it in person or in the virtual world and the rules are the same.
To play Charades over a Zoom call, all you need is a computer or mobile device. You can either come up with the ideas on your own or visit one of many websites out there dedicated to the game. Try getcharadesideas.com for some inspiration, from here you can select the ‘charades for kids’ option and get going with your imagination.
Another classic game to play with your loved ones, Pictionary is one that involves mental stimulation, creative skills and a quick hand. It’s also a whole host of fun. It’s a great game to play in person, but if you can’t see your Grandkids over the holidays, that’s no problem, you can also easily play it virtually.
If not using FaceTime or Skype, it’s probably best to utilise Zoom or Microsoft Teams as your virtual platform due to the screen size and the fact you’ll need a digital whiteboard so that all participants can join in the fun. It’s super simple to set up, as both Zoom and Microsoft have a whiteboard feature – you can integrate the latter with Teams. Then, once you’re set-up, you’ll just need to follow the below steps and voila, let the drawing commence:
- Find a word generator website – this one has varying levels to make it Grandkid-friendly (or, of course, you can think of some yourself)
- Taking it in turns, one person from each team draws a picture of the generated word.
- Set a timer to 60 seconds
- If the opposing team correctly guesses the answer within the time, they win a point.
- Keep switching sides, and you can go on for as long as you feel like. The team that ends up with the most points is crowned the virtual winner.
- I Spy
This one is really simple to play over Facetime or another virtual platform – all you need is yourself, your eager Grandkids and your imagination. Due to interacting from behind a screen, you just might be lacking a little in space, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing, it only adds to the challenge.
Starting with one side of the screen, one player picks an object in the background of their area, and the other player or team tries to guess the item using a series of questions. Easy peasy and endless fun from one home to another.
- Guess Who
Another family favourite that’s easy enough to transition from reality to the virtual world is Guess Who. You’ll need to ensure that all players have an official board – or if you’re feeling extra creative, you can create your own and send an identical board to your Grandkids ahead of time.
Once you have your board, each player will pick out a card of someone on their board, and the other players have to guess who they’ve picked by asking a series of questions, such as ‘“are they wearing glasses’’ or “do they have brown hair?” When you successfully Guess Who it is, you win.
If it’s just you or one other player, or you fancy joining up as one team on each side of the screen, Battleship is an ideal game to play virtually because it really doesn’t need to be any different than in real life. If anything, it’s even better to play online because you’ll want to hide your board from your opponent.
Each player will need a Battleship game, and once all set up, you can go from there. Once you’ve placed your ships on the board, you take turns to guess the coordinates in order to sink the other player’s ships. The first one to sink all the opponent’s ships is the winner.
- Scattergories Online
If your Grandkids are of a slightly older age and looking for a way to really challenge themselves while keeping their finger firmly on the fun button, why not give Scattergories Online a go? With a few different variations online, it works in pretty much the same way as the main board game.
You roll a dice with letters instead of numbers, and each player completes a list with random categories. Whichever letter the dice lands on is the letter the answer needs to start with. Points reign supreme for each original answer, but if someone else has the same word as you, neither of you gets the point. Cue squabbles and sneaky shortcuts all around – it’s all part of the fun.
And if you don’t want to share your screen, you can head to Scattergories Online and play the game using a shareable link. All you need to do is set up the Scattergories room and select which game categories you want to include from a list.
- Dance Party
Keeping both your mind and your body active, this is a great game to play to inject a little activity into your schedule – perfect for the festive season after one too many mince pies. First things first, make sure you pick a great playlist. YouTube offers some great examples of dance playlists for kids of any age.
And if you want to make it seem like a proper party? You can schedule a meeting on Zoom. Start by going to the “Meetings” tab located on the left side of your screen – the same on both your desktop or the home screen of your smartphone app if using a mobile phone. You can then select “Schedule A Meeting” and set all details, from the date and time to participants.
When you type in your Grandkids emails – if they don’t have one, you can ask the parents or guardians – they’ll get their own invitation to “party”. When the date comes around, all everyone has to do is join the meeting. You can then pop on your chosen playlist and even change your Zoom virtual background for extra atmosphere. Then the only things left to do is get your groove on.
- 20 Questions
20 questions is a fantastic way of getting your mind working and having a lot of fun in the process. This classic game is as simple to play as it sounds. You ask each person 20 creative questions and, much like the game of Guess Who, you have to work out what the object is through the process of elimination.
The best part is, it can be anything you like, but you must state if it is an animal, vegetable or mineral and questions can only have yes or no answers. If your Grandkids get it right within 20 questions, they win. Here are some fun ideas to get the game going:
- Is it something that’s living or if it has lived?
- Is it bigger than a house?
- Does it have a tail?
- Is it a specific colour?
- Can you give it as a gift?
- Can it count?
You can have your Grandchild go first, so they understand how the game works and then take it in turns over Skype or FaceTime.
- The Memory Game
You may remember this from your own childhood but a really creative game to play is the classic memory game, this time with a twist, since you’ll be playing from behind a screen. All you need to do is grab a tray and gather a number of objects – try to limit these to a maximum of eight or ten to keep things simple.
Once your Grandkids have dialled in on the Skype or Zoom call and memorised what’s on the tray in front of them, just pop a tea towel in front of the camera, take one of the objects away and get the kids to remember what was there. Pick some interesting things to make the game even more fun. You can then switch it up by asking them to do the same activity back to you once they’ve had their turn. Fun and brain training all around.
- Treasure Hunt
A super appealing game to kids no matter their age, organising a virtual treasure hunt could be just the thing you need to really liven things up without being able to see your Grandkids in the real world. All you need is a little bit of organisation and once set up, let the fun commence.
If the idea of organising a treasure hunt is at the top of your virtual list, you’ll need to start by creating a small physical list of items that can be easily found in your Grandkids house – or wherever they might be staying. Once you’ve got your list organised and have ensured the items can be found at the other end, it’s time to get dialling by way of FaceTime or Zoom call.
After you’ve explained the rules, you can set them off to find the items you’ve specified. Set them a time limit for each item to make things really fun and at the end, you can present them with a virtual trophy that they can pick up next time you meet, and if not, you could have one ready and waiting at their end.
Once you’ve settled on your chosen game or games you’re ready to play; you’ll want to make sure your home is comfortable and ready for you to settle down. The more comfortable you are, the more fun you can have. This is where we can help by providing you with the necessary adjustments for your home, from your kitchen to your bathroom.
At Mobility Plus, we’re specialists in creating accessible bathrooms for people who have limited mobility. Take a look at out our range of Walk-in Baths and Walk-in Showers to make sure you’re home, and game ready.