Zoom is a great tool for educators, and our preferred platform for online teaching, It allows you to connect with students from all over the world and it’s a lot of fun. Of course, not everything can just be about work so we have compiled this list of 50 games that are perfect for playing on Zoom with your students or friends. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
How to play games on Zoom:
Some games requirement more preparation than others upfront, others have a bit of a longer learning process to get the hang of. We suggest picking 5-8 games your students like and to the rotate through them as needed. From a technical standpoint you’ll need the following:
- Select a game to play
- Have a Zoom account
- Have a PC/laptop (Windows/Mac/Linux)
- Install the Zoom app (The one hosting the game needs to have a PC app, while the others can use a PC/mobile app for Zoom)
Skribbl.io is a charades style game where you get a word and then have to draw it out without writing the word. The other players have to type in the correct word and those who get it the fastest get a tiered set of points. This game is hilarious and educational as it requires users to think, write, laugh and draw.
Codenames is a beautifully designed, fun 2-8 person game in which two teams compete against each other while the Spymaster for each team attempts to keep their codewords secret. It’s part strategy, part vocabulary game.
Blooket is a question and answer website with a ton of free content available for use. In our how to play Blooket tutorial we break down all the game modes you can leverage in class. What’s also great about this website apart from being free is that you can build your own stack of questions from scratch and you can assign question stacks for homework. Last, students don’t need to create an account which is very useful when dealing with young learners.
A classic choice, Bingo requires some preparation but it’s worth it. You’ll need to obtain a class set of Bingo cards. After you’ve collected your set, send each student a unique card via email. When it’s time to play, have each student pull out their card and then go play bingo. The first person to get Bingo wins some type of reward.
Not heard of Kahoot yet? You’ll want to get your hands on it as soon as possible. This is a free, entertaining game that you and your students may play together. Kids will join the game using a code, and you can play Kahoot with premade questions or ones you create yourself.
6) I Spy
I Spy is an easy game is excellent for enhancing vocabulary and observation skills. The children take turns saying I spy something, and then the first letter or the color of a random thing. The other pupils then try to guess what it is, with the first person to correctly identify the object winning and getting to go again.
7) Story Chain
Story Chain, previously called telephone is perfect for students learning a foreign language and a lot of fun as kids can help create a new story together. To play Story Chain is as easy; start with a hilarious first sentence. It may be as basic as “I woke up and rolled out of bed, only to discover that…” but lead off with something the students can work with. After that, each student gets to take control of the progression of the story.
You could switch this up too and use a complex sentence generator as a way to get the game started or to use such a tool to keep expanding the story chain as needed.
8) Logo Quiz
This is a trivia game based on various corporate logos and questions related to each company. Play this game with older students during fun breaks in class. It’s possible that kids would be encouraged to search for unfamiliar logos on their phones.
You’ll need to source the logos yourself or you can use this helpful website.
9) Simon Says
Kids adore Simon Says. Even though the game has been around for decades, it translates well online. Everyone should stand in front of their computer and begin the game by shouting out instructions. Have students sit down until there is only one student remaining standing as they get up.
A great website we’ve used in the past with our online students was Drawasaurus. It’s a simple, free website where you create a room that your friends can join, then you play Pictionary. As there is no need to create an account, it’s ideal as a warmer for students because everyone can join a room without too much technical difficulty.
More ideal for younger learners, tic-tac-toe is fun, classic game that works great in the online space. Students compete to make a vertical, diagonal, or horizontal row of their assigned symbol. The winner keeps his or her spots and gets to play against the new opponent. Students can draw the layout online or you can use a tic-tac-toe online.
12) Show and tell
Don’t think for a second that you must forgo “show and tell” just because you’re doing online classes. Organize a fantastic show and tell day for your young students. Have them be prepared with their item so they only have to pick it up and display the class when it is their turn.
13) Hang Man
Let’s not forget about the tried and true game called “Hangman.” Here is how it works: One player thinks of a word and specifies how many letters it has, while the other player or players guesses the letters in an attempt to make up the word. Every incorrect guess leads to one step closer to losing by revealing one section of the hanging man each time a wrong letter. The team that guess the word first wins!
14) Rock paper scissors online
Everyone is familiar with this classic child game, now you can use an online version that fits great with your online class. The way it works is that you can invite your student or students to play a few rounds. They each independently pick rock, paper or scissors on their screen so there is no cheating. A great way to spend a few minutes as a warm up.
15) Odd one out
Odd one out is a great way to get your students thinking creatively depending on their age. While you can keep things simple like having a fruit amongst vegetables, you can get more complicated. For example countries can have different political structures, climates, language families and so forth.
Odd one out takes a bit of work to get setup but it’s an adaptable warm up for any age group and complexity level.
16) Scavenger hunt
One of the most fun and easiest to play games is a simple scavenger hunt. You as the teacher can plan out something complicated that students can complete before class or you can keep things simple and simply request students to find “something red” or perhaps an everyday item around the house.
Again, like all Zoom games you can make things simple and fast or you can put a lot of effort in and make them a bit more complicated.
17) Blind drawing
Another hilarious game to play using Drawasaurus, is “blind drawing.” Simply break up your students into teams and give them each a vocabulary word that one person needs to draw and the other students need to guess. Except the student drawing is blind folded. We suggest using vocabulary or lesson concepts the students are already familiar with as it allows for students to guess correctly, earn points and have a good laugh.
18) Guess the song (or sound)
Guess the song plays a few quick sound clips of songs where the students have to guess the song. If you have younger students you may simply want to prepare your own sound clips and if you have older students you can always customize the song clips yourself.
But we really liked the user experience of using Song Trivia as it provides a fun, interactive experience for yourself and your students.
19) Charades online
Charades is another classic, simple game that has been moved online for a better overall user experience. We personally like Charades Online as they have two different segments for both adults and children so no matter the age group you’re teaching, you have an appropriate level activity to engage in.
Best online games for Zoom
So that’s it for our round up of all the different types of games you can play with your students. While there a plenty more games that simply 18, we found this selection to be our go to games.
In particular we love Codenames and Skribble which is why they are number 1 and 2 respectively. Both these two games are fun, engaging and your students will have a wonderful time. However, as they are quite engaging they may not be the best choice if you’re in need of a 5 minute warm up game.
If you want to dive deeper into this topic we suggest checking out “Technology for Teaching” – a highly rated, low cost course over on Udemy. We found it helpful for new teachers. Maybe you will to?
From teaching abroad, online or in the classroom, we have the tools and resources you need. Master your craft with these exceptional online courses for teacher development:LEARN MORE
David UnwinHi, I'm David Unwin. I've taught as an ESL teacher in Thailand for 5+ years at all levels of education, from elementary to University. I was also one of the first 1000 VIPKID teachers. I now share my extensive experience as a teacher here at Teach and GO. Learn more about me.
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