I don’t know about you, but this COVID-19 pandemic has brought some major changes to our family. We’re practicing social distancing, seriously cutting down on our social time with friends and trips out of the house. My husband, three kids, and I are going to be spending a LOT more time at home (meaning…practically all our of time at home).

There have been a few times during this pandemic already that games have helped us out, providing a chance to laugh and play together, to do more than chores or jobs or worrying.

I want to do a roundup post on games of all sorts that could be good to play during this time. If any of you have games you’re playing or want to see posted, let me know! I’d love to hear about them! For now, here’s a giant list of games that might see you through COVID-19…

For so many of these games, a word list would come in super handy! My word generator has TONS! You could create whole new games with some of the word lists on the page. Check it out!

Games to play socially distanced outside

If you’re careful, you should be able to play these games with people outside your home if you stay far apart.

  • Invisible frisbee – A physically active game where players can stand super, super far apart and don’t need to touch the same frisbee!
  • Red light, green light – Good for little kids
  • Animal signs – Very funny and kind of silly game; good for older kids and up; not physically active
  • Monkey see, monkey do – Good for little kids and up
  • Simon says – Good for little kids
  • Photo scavenger hunt – This could spread over a large area. Use a list of photography subjects that don’t involve getting close to other people
  • Charades – Play spaced apart appropriately
  • Signs – Not very physically active; good for older kids and up
  • Where’s Waldo? IRL – Played walking around in a big area
  • Kick the can – This involves tagging players, but if you replace the tagging with “I see ____!” it could work
  • Hit the dirt – A super physically active outdoor game for older kids or teens

Games to play with friends or family virtually

You could of course also play any of these games with people in your home.

Games you could play over video message (or Zoom or Google Meet or FaceTime or any video call)

Games you could play over phone calls

(or over video message)

Games you could play over text message

These are games that would also make great talking games, in person or over the phone.

Games to play with family members at home

Paper games

Talking games

Active games

Other games to play at home

And finally, games NOT to play right now 😉


  1. I would say the majority of these games do not keep people 6 feet apart. In addition, all the items you are using, can not be sanitized or should not be touched by different people. Not a very helpful article.

    1. Hi Carolyn, sorry you misunderstood. The games I list that require close contact or physical items are all under the “Games to play with family members at home” heading–in other words, with people you live with in your own home. In these cases, keeping 6 feet apart/sanitizing items doesn’t apply. The games I list that are appropriate to play with people outside your home are under the “Games to play with friends or family virtually” heading and those games, as described, can all be played by players in different homes or locations. Sorry if that was confusing. I created the first list because even small families at home need games to play together. 🙂

    2. I agree with Carolyn to a certain extent. It is the title that led us here that is misleading. I am searching for games that you can play outside WITH social distancing, not games you can play in lockdown with your household or can use with others via social media. Good ideas though, I think if people bring their own paper and pencils, things like pictionary can work.

      1. I guess that this post is just outdated. When I first posted it, lockdown had just started and things weren’t open enough for people to gather and play games even outside. But things have changed and I can definitely add a list of some outdoor games that can be played during social distancing. There aren’t a whole lot of games that involve no physical contact, nothing players touch, and only standing six feet apart. But I found a few and I’ll add them to make the post more useful. Thanks for the feedback!

  2. Thanks, I found many of your game suggestions helpful for the covid environment I am working in now and will be able to use many of them (some with a few modifications) in my current ministry.

  3. The older teens and early 20s group like to play Hide and Seek with their cars. They go out late at night and hide their cars throughout the neighborhood and try to find each other, safely, following traffic rules. Passenger deals with the phone, so driver can concentrate on driving. They go to major parking lots like walmart, malls, mcdonalds, 711 and there is no chasing involved. It’s more like a counter surveillance detective game. Just park and tag each other.

    The cops thought they were up to no good until I explained it is a safe alternative to street racing in the boring prairies.

  4. for those families looking to extend play, when our 4 kids were young we made a bingo sheet. with 24 games and activities on it and a free spot. (printable blank bingo sheets on the web).
    The activities could be anything.
    these games above mixed with brush your teeth. fold laundry for 2 minutes(any chores) skip rope for 3 minutes, do 20 jumping Jack’s.etc.

    you get the idea

    it could take hours to fill or one line wins. our kids usually wanted to fill the card
    parents and older siblings can help younger kiddies read their bingo card and help them.

    teaches reading skills too.

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