Winter weather and COVID concerns may be forcing us to stay put at home much more than we would like. While it’s relaxing to get lost in a book or binge-watch your favorite shows, establishing a game night with your family, roommates, or with a group by videoconferencing is a great alternative to unwind, challenge your brain, and forget about the seriousness of life for a few hours. Playing games is not only entertaining and stress-reducing, but it gives your brain a little exercise in the form of decision making, strategic thinking, and problem-solving. So, order a pizza, prepare your favorite beverage, and get the kids on popcorn duty—it’s time for game night!
Games for All Ages
Telestrations—You don’t have to be Picasso to play this sketching game, but it might help! Everyone gets to be an active participant in the game, so it’s perfect for all ages. It’s a modern version of the Telephone game you played as a kid. Simply draw and guess words and phrases using dry erase markers and erasable sketchbooks. Stick figures welcome!
Battleship—Prepare to be hit with nostalgia as you introduce this classic to your kids. Sure, it’s only a two-person game, but it’s perfect for one-on-one time with your child, kid-against-kid, or adult-to-adult. Combining strategy and pure luck, it’s fun for everyone.
Jenga—Although it’s pretty straightforward to play, the suspense and excitement are what keep you coming back to this family-favorite game. It also teaches patience, concentration, and fine motor skills. Game time can go fast or slow depending on how cautious the other players are, so it’s the perfect backdrop to enjoy conversation throughout the game.
Games You Can Play Over Zoom
It’s hard to imagine life without Zoom—the hugely-popular video chatting service used for work, school, and happy hour with friends and family that keeps us safe and sane during quarantine. And game nights are no exception! Check out these games that are easily played over Zoom that allow you to talk, laugh, and compete with your friends.
Pictionary—This classic game is probably already in your closet, and it’s easy to play using Zoom’s whiteboard feature, or you can simply hold up your drawings for the other team. Either way, you’ll quickly find yourself immersed in the interaction and excitement.
5 Second Rule—The host or game-owner picks a card, reads the topic, and starts the timer. The players then have five seconds to say three things that relate to the topic. It’s a fast-moving game for three or more players. Just try not to get tongue-tied on this one as you blurt out the answers!
Trivia Games—If you don’t want to purchase a game, you can make up your own trivia game for free. Simply choose a category such as 1990s TV Shows. Then come up with ten trivia questions (and the answers) for that category. In advance, have your Zoom invitees do the same. Then, when you get together for your Zoom game night, take turns asking each other the questions and score a point for each correct answer. You’ll be amazed at how many stories and memories get shared as you challenge your brain to come up with the answers!