We've all been getting used to communicating with people over Facetime (or Zoom, or Skype) these days. Whether you're trying to keep your kids occupied through a lockdown, or you're attempting to connect with grandparents who live far away, video calls can really help.
After you've caught up on the gossip, what can you do to keep the conversation going? Why not give one of these games a go? We've got 33 different fun and exciting games that you can play over Facetime with the whole family! Take your pick of board games, conversation games, digital games, and some other great option.
- Would you rather?
- Guess Who?
- Extreme spoons
- Hilarious mouth game
- Shout it!
- Imaginary Traveler
- Clap the song
- Two truths and a lie
- Never have I ever
- Find me something
- Last letter
- Just a minute
- Zoomed in
- Photo scavenger hunt
- Draw something
- Heads Up!
- 30 day lego challenge
- Simon Says
- Dance Party
- Indoor scavenger hunt
- Drawing game
- Memory game
- Origami challenge
- Just talk!
While you might be used to playing board games in person, there are some that really lend themselves to playing over a video call. Battleships is one of these, as you don't want the other player to see your board anyway! Get ready to sink some ships!
Would you rather?
This is another board game that you can play via Facetime as long as both sides of the call have a copy of the board. You can download the printables here, and find the instructions for this fun question game.
If choosing between mugshots is more your kind of thing than sinking plastic boats, then you'll need two copies of this game. Why not ship a copy to the grandparents as a surprise for them to play with the grandkids on the next call?
Do you have a friend who's good at spinning tall tales? Then why not break out Balderdash at your next video chat date? Your perfect party game, get ready to try and convince your buddies of completely made-up things about you!
Pictionary is quintessential family game night fun! The great thing is that it's pretty easy to play over Facetime, too! You can either make your own version with Game on Family's instructions, or you can buy it ready-made.
This classic word game works well over a video call. Fire up Skype or Facetime, share the screen of whoever has the Boggle board, and get your timer ready. Boggle is a brilliant word game for all ages, as it also helps younger players with their spelling skills.
Learning chess is a life skill, that you can use to make friends and build relationships for years. Chess is the perfect game to play over Facetime. You can challenge the grandparents or hone your skills with your friends.
Technically a card game rather than a board game, Extreme spoons is a really fun game that you can adapt to play over a Facetime call. Each player needs a spoon and their own deck of cards. You can find the detailed instructions from Mary Hanna Wilson.
Hilarious mouth game
This family game from 2016 is still one of the funniest games you can play in person or via Facetime. All you'll need is a mouth retractor for each player and these phrases cards for a lot of laughs!
Another of our favourites, this game is rarely sitting in our cupboard on game night! The bonus? It also works pretty well over a video call. You can find all of the printables you need here, as well as the simple rules.
A classic for a reason, charades isn't the boring game you might remember from holiday celebrations as a kid. With the right selection of movies or books to guess and just enough enthusiasm, this party game is a great way to connect with friends and family who are far away.
Simple enough for even the youngest family member to join in, hangman is a great long-distance game to play. Simply take it in turns to think of a word and get the rest of the team to guess it before you've drawn all of the hanging man.
This fun word game encourages creativity and often ends up with everyone in fits of giggles! Take it in turns to go through the alphabet picking somewhere to travel and something to take. For example "I am going to Antarctica and I'm taking an apple".
Clap the song
Great for music buffs, clap the song needs no prep, no resources, just some willing participants. Simply clap the tune of a song and get the rest of the group to guess what it is. You can stick to clapping, or branch out into humming if you're feeling like mixing it up!
Two truths and a lie
This is a really good game for teenagers, but also for your grandpa who thinks he can fool everyone. Everyone picks 2 truths and a lie about themselves and the rest of the group have to guess which is which. There are loads of ideas here to help with your inspiration.
Fancy a game that challenges your brain cells? Scattegories is a great option to play in a group over Facetime. Free Home School Deals has some printable sheets for a whole evening of category fun!
Never have I ever
While you might be more used to playing this game with your friends as a drinking game, or with your mates as a teenager, Never have I ever can also be a great family game to play over your Zoom call. Just keep the categories clean and you can find out loads about your relatives.
Find me something
If you're struggling to try and find ways for your younger children to engage via a Zoom call, then this simple game might help. Get the grown up on the other end of the call to challenge the child to go searching their house for something. For example: "Find me...something blue", or "find me a red piece of clothing".
Another simple conversation game, Last Letter is easy to play over a video call. Think of a category and say a word that falls into that category. The next person has to come up with a word from the same category that starts with the last letter of that word, and so on until someone gets stuck.
Just a minute
Do you think you know your stuff? Can you ramble on about any old subject? Then you'll be ace at Just a Minute where you have to talk for 60 seconds without hesitation, repetition or "umm-ing and ahh-ing". Find some great ideas for topics here.
This game is perfect for the beady-eyed, observant family members in your midst. Zoomed in is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, involving sharing your screen within a zoom call to guess what a picture is. Find out more at Nerds Chalk.
Photo scavenger hunt
Having digital devices at our fingertips can be great for gaming too. If you're keen to get your kids out and about in a safe way, but you still want to connect with long-distance family, then why not try a photo scavenger hunt? These kind of activities are perfect for a zoom call, as you can send photos to each other and chat as you search. Find out how to run an ace scavenger hunt here.
If you're looking for an app-based game to play over Zoom then Draw Something is a great choice. A sort of online Pictionary, you choose a word to draw for your friends and they see it appear on their screen as you draw.
Another ingenious app, Caribu was developed to help make video calls more interactive. You can read, play games and draw together while on a call. This is particularly great for younger family members, to help keep them engaged.
The last app on our list, Heads Up from Warner Bros is a hilarious guessing game that even Ellen DeGeneres is playing! Download it onto your phone and try to guess the word on your head from your friends' clues. With all sorts of categories, it'll keep you entertained for hours!
30 day lego challenge
If you're anything like me then you probably have at least 47 different lego sets laying around the house. The Shirley Journey has a 30-day lego challenge printable that can keep you and your kids' friends busy on your next Zoom call. You might even get to drink a cup of tea!
If you're looking for something that requires absolutely no prep, or even advance thought, then this is for you. Simon Says simply involves one person giving an instruction and the others following it. The catch? You only follow the instruction if it's prefaced by "Simon Says...", otherwise you ignore it. See who gets caught out first!
Do you need to blow out those cobwebs, but also get on a Zoom call with Nanna? Then why not have a Zoom dance party? Put on some lively tracks, and enjoy throwing your coolest shapes, or your silliest moves! It will be almost as good as being in the same room.
Indoor scavenger hunt
As much as we'd all love to be outside, sometimes the weather doesn't play ball. On those occasions, an indoor scavenger hunt, like this one from About A Mom, is a perfect choice.
If you love to draw, but you'd rather keep things app-free, then we have the perfect idea. Well, Adventure in a Box does. You can find 52 ideas for a DIY Zoom call drawing game there for you to enjoy!
If you've ever seen The Generation Game, then you'll be familiar with this concept. Fill a tray with random items and see who can remember the most in 60 seconds. It's great to play over a Zoom call because it doesn't matter if you're not in the same room. Find out more here.
Origami animals and shapes are great fun to make, and you can hype up the fun by racing to make the same design against your buddy on the other end of the Zoom call. Find inspiration for different designs here.
It's great to have lots of options to make Zoom calls a little more interactive But sometimes the best thing you can do to build relationships over a long distance is just to talk. Catch up on the gossip, or have some interesting questions ready to go. Why not find out a little about your Grandad's college life or Auntie Sarah's first job? Who knows what you might discover?