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Five fun family game ideas you can play virtually

Keeping in touch with loved ones is vital to wellbeing and maintaining close bonds, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic when we can’t freely meet up with family and friends. That’s why video calls are wonderful; no matter the distance, you can see the smiling faces of your favourite people and feel like they’re in the room with you. It’s no match for a cuddle, but a temporary fix that allows you to make special memories.

While we’re in our homes for the foreseeable, you may be looking for new ways to liven up your video calls and give your family a virtual occasion to look forward to.

Luckily, even the technophobes among us have become dab-hands at Zoom, and there are a host of online games available for the whole family to enjoy. We have created a list of the top ‘hybrid’ games that can be played both online (or in person with your household or bubble) to keep morale high and have fun within the restrictions.

1. For the traditionalists – Pictionary

As long as everyone has a pen and paper, the family favourite Pictionary is easy to extend to virtual participants, thanks to tools such as random word generators available online. Select words that range from ‘easy’ to ‘really hard’, to hopefully give everyone a chance of winning at least one round!

2. For the Quizmasters – Brainteasers

Even if you weren’t one for a quiz before 2020, it’s likely you’ve taken part in at least one virtually this year – and don’t think that because they’ve been so popular means the usual Quizmasters will take time off this year!

Try different picture rounds, with the questions shared before the video call, so you can start with some healthy competitive banter about how many each team thinks they have right. If you’re in charge of organising a quiz round, download our brainteasers here and put your friends and family to the test.

3. For the whole family – Bingo

Everyone loves a good game of bingo, which even the youngest members of the family can join in with (even if they need a little help).

Try mixing it up with a few rounds of numbers and a few with words. You can make your own cards from scratch which you can email to everyone beforehand (or post, if they don’t have a printer), or use an online bingo card generator.

4. For team rivalry – Codenames

Codenames is played in two teams, so ideal for playing across two separate households via video call. A bit like Battleships but with words, the aim of the game is to guess codenames which are related to each other using hints given by another player. It’s sure to bring out the competitive side in everyone!

5. For the break from reality with a classic – Monopoly

We all like to dream that Monopoly money is real, and we could really afford a house on Park Lane. Luckily you can still do this, as there are a number of ways you can play Monopoly virtually. Set up a video call so you can talk and see each other’s’ reactions as you play. You can also set a time limit so that, for example, once the call has been running for two hours, the game ends.

Playing games virtually means you can still experience a bit of normality in challenging times. Logging online instead will mean you don’t have to miss out on the questionable drawings in Pictionary or the guaranteed (mostly friendly) arguments over Monopoly, and you’ll be sure to still have fun together!

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