My kids are clamoring for playdates with their friends, but with the COVID-19 pandemic that is not possible. For a while, it was okay but with the coronavirus just not going anywhere, having virtual playdates is almost necessary for kids’ social and emotional well-being.
Whether you use Zoom or some other platform, here some toys, games, and ideas for virtual playdates. It may require some pre-planning and coordinating, but it may be worth the effort and cost to keep our kids connected to family and friends.
Lego Dots are a must-have in my opinion. There are many themed sets so depending on if the Zoom get-together is between eight-year-olds or 14-year-olds, you can find one kit that will work! If you buy a bigger set, it will cost about $15 per child. Alternatively, you can get mini-packs for around $5 each. Either way, kids can make something unique and can chat about design over the screen.
Robox is an online gaming platform that many kids love. On platforms like Zoom, kids can talk to each other while sharing a screen as they play one of the many Roblox games/worlds together. If you want to take it one step further, send a Roblox mini-figure from Jazwares along with a thank you note after the playdate. Alternatively, send one in advance so they can reveal them together and see what they got! Plus, they can both redeem a virtual item that they have to use/wear for their Roblox characters during the playdate as a fun twist! For a total of $8 (one for each child), it is cheaper than a movie ticket.
Glitter Dots (Crayola)
Crayola has great mini-craft kits. One in particular that I love is the Glitter Dots. Send a glitter dot kit in advance and let the kids make their own key chains or bookmarks while they chat and share their creations! At around $20 dollars total, it can be a fun hour between friends!
Jackbox Games makes online party games designed to appeal to everyone in the Zoom room. In their party packs, you’ll find different games that can accommodate from 1-8 players with others being in the audience and watching the fun. People can rotate in and out as needed. It is a fun way to play trivia and games. There are different ‘modes’ so it can appeal to playdates or late-night online parties for 20-year olds.
Incohearent Family (What Do You Meme)
This is a hilarious game where you have to guess the gibberish and the first person to decode the nonsensical phrase wins! For adapting the game to online play – one person is the host and the other person is the player. If both have the game, then they can alternate. Otherwise, it is a one-sided game, but it is fun to entertain the kids even if there is no game/winning element.
Basic Legos can also be a fun virtual playdate opportunity with some pre-planning. Either send a baggie of Legos over to the invitee or send a list of needs to the parent to pull from their Lego stash in advance. Then task the kids to meet Lego challenges. Some ideas include only using 10 pieces – what new animal can you make. Give them five minutes to make it and then they have to reveal and share details about their animal. As they make it, they can each be giving clues! Then have then do it again, but this time, they have to make a new food!
Do you have other ideas? Share below and help out other families with your comment!