Just because you’re not physically close, doesn’t mean you can’t whoop their butts on game night! Here are some creative and out of the box ways of hosting a Social Distancing Game Night during a pandemic.
How to Plan a Social Distancing Game Night
Step 1: The Technology
You’ll need to make sure all of the players and teams are fluent in technology, or at a minimum, comfortable. Our three favourite ways of connecting for social distancing game nights are FaceTime (with iPhone/iPads), Zoom video chatting, and the kids have started using Facebook Messanger Kids to video connect.
Zoom is the “all-encompassing” favourite for our house because it doesn’t require a certain phone type or social media account. Just an internet connection and a screen.
Step 2: Get Yourself Some Refreshments
Game night needs snacks! And here is what love to pair with a little family game night fun.
Christy’s Gourmet Gifts has game night snacking down pat! I love the candy tray filled with all the essentials, and you’ll love the chocolate caramel pretzel puddle!
The Sweetest Thing is located in Kerr Village and is home to some of the yummiest baked goods ever. You absolutely must have the Crispy Chewy cookies and the lemon loaf. They offer curbside pick up or delivery to Oakville and Burlington with a minimum order.
Donut Monster makes my fave donuts and they’re open! Pre-order a day or two before and game night will be your new favourite night of the week! Highly recommend the classic apple fritter and the double coconut!
Film.ca delivers fresh, movie theatre popcorn and snacks through delivery apps like Skip the Dishes, or you can pick up at the Oakville theatre.
Step 3: Choose Your Social Distancing Games
We polled our community and boy did they deliver! We asked what they are playing right now and we never expected so many answers. We’ve broken them down into categories based on the age and demographic of your Game Night friends.
Social Distancing Games for Kids
These games are so simple that they don’t require a whole lot of parental involvement (assuming you don’t want to be involved!) for kids ages 8+ I’d say.
Bingo! – If you have a Bingo set at home, you can drop off some Bingo cards if your friends are local (stay 6 feet back!) and one person can be the caller. Don’t already own Bingo? You can download bingo cards from the net or buy your own set here.
Charades is an easy one, and so much fun to watch! The kids act out movies, TV shows, books, songs and anything else they can come up with. And when you run out of ideas, we looooove this board game version of Kids Charades.
Scultp-It is like charades, but with play dough. Kids do their best to replicate something (anything) and their friend needs to guess what they’re creating. You can either freehand this one or get yourself the official Sculpt-It board game.
Battleship doesn’t need any modifications for distance playing because it’s already the game where you can’t look at your opponent’s board!
Guess Who? is the ideal way for kids to play solo with their friends online. The game is simple, and if both friends have it, they can easily play with little help needed. Or drop a board off to the friend/family member if they don’t have it.
Pictionary is another one that is just as fun to play as it is to spectate – especially with kids as the artist! Grandparents will get tons of laughs out of this one for sure. Buy it here.
Social Distancing Game Night for The Whole Family
In addition to all of the games listed above, we’ve got some more that you’ll enjoy with the whole family.
Scattergories is a new fave, and our kids are just starting to get fast at it. It’s basically a “things that begin with the letter ___” game, so everyone can play, and all you need is quick thinking and fast writing! You can buy the original game here, or try the card game. For zero cost, you can also find the Scattergories categories here, and a very decent online version here. Plus, you can also download the app for iOS and Android for free and play your family online.
Yahtzee is a classic for almost 50 years now for its simplicity and mild-mannered competition (unless you’re my family). You can find the original Yahtzee scorecard here, and as long as everyone has dice – game on!
Farkle is new to our family, but we recommend it already. It’s another dice game, but your challenge is to be the first to get to 10,000 points. All you need is a pen and paper to keep score, and everyone needs their own dice. And we needed this cheat sheet. Easy-peasy!
Kahoot! Your kids may already be playing Kahoot in the classroom. “Kahoots” are user-generated multiple-choice quizzes that can be accessed via a web browser or the Kahoot app. This is a great way for a kiddo to get their friends guessing, or to make up a quiz for the grandparents. Who can name the pups from Paw Patrol? Or “Can you name all of my favourite things?” The ideas are endless.
PlayingCards – PlayingCards.io lets you play any tabletop game, in your browser, multiplayer with your friends, for free! Card games like Poker and Crazy Eights, and board games like Checkers, Chess and Backgammon. You play online with a partner, and the screens are synchronized so your partner sees your moves as they happen. This is another great one to play with the grandparents or friends.
Games For Grownups
These games are a little more risque so make sure you do you research if you’re going to propose one for family game night.
Jackbox Games has been a fun one for our Ladies’ Zoom Nights. You need to pay for Jackbox Games, about $13 to buy, but it’s already paid for itself. One of us loads it on their computer and shares the screen with everyone else via Zoom. It was trivia, drawing games, word games, and more. Plus, they have additional party packs, so the fun never has to stop.
Evil Apples is new to me, but it looks great! If you’ve played Cards Against Humanity, the Evil Apples app seems to be very similar. “Evil Apples is a filthy & hilarious card & party game for adults looking for dirty humor and fun times!” Be prepared for some colourful language and topics!
Picolo – If the kids are in bed, and you’re not having to wake up early with them, Picolo was recommended but many of you as a fun way to connect with your friends and a few “beverages” if you get my drift. This app, available for both Android and iOS, is easy to play and only (thankfully) lasts about 15 minutes. But feel free to keep going if you can handle it!
House Party App – I’ve used House Party a few times already, and while it was decent enough to break up the day, it’s not something I recommend for gaming. The chat options are great, but the gameplay is slow. The app is free, and comes with a few games for free, so give it a go, but don’t expect fireworks and hilarity.
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