We are living through history right now. We are all socially distancing and doing our part to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic. My inbox is overflowing with questions from new gameschoolers who are looking for tips to get started, and also from existing gameschoolers who are missing their friends desperately. I’ve received heaps of questions about virtual gameschooling and how to play games using video chat.
The questions are timely, as we have played a few games with friends online this week. Today, I’d like to share tips and resources for virtual gameschooling so that our family can stay connected with others and add more play to the day!
Virtual Gameschooling: How to Play Games with Video Chat
Before we dive into virtual gameschooling, here are some helpful resources for homeschooling through the COVID-19 pandemic
If you’re looking for resources to get you through the next several weeks, I’ve got you covered. My husband is on the front lines and that leaves me with just a teensy bit of nervous energy, and so I’ve been channeling it to write posts based on the questions I’m receiving in my inbox.
Check out My Little Poppies Course Offerings:
- The Lazy Homeschooler’s Guide to Unit Studies
- How to Rock THE MOST IMPORTANT PART of Your Homeschool Day
- Gameschooling 101: How to Add More Play to Your Homeschool Day
If you’re new to homeschooling and you’re looking for a realistic homeschool schedule, or if you are currently homeschooling but need to lighten the load due to the current situation, I have a schedule and resources for you here:
Looking for super simple and affordable at-home learning activities? Check this out:
Want to escape with a book? I have four incredible booklists for you here:
Would you rather escape via podcast? Kara and I recorded a bonus episode on social distancing and how it feels to be a homeschooler – and human- right now:
Anxious kiddos? Please know you aren’t alone! Here are some resources:
- Navigating Worry at Home: How to Make A Worry Basket
- Worry is Like a Car Alarm: Homeschooling Worriers | The Homeschool Sisters Podcast
Need a distraction? Here is a post loaded with gameschool challenges, including one I created for the next thirty days:
Kids bouncing off the walls?
- How to Keep Kids Busy!
- How to Fight Nature-Deficit Disorder
- GIANT Bubbles for GIANT Smiles
- How to Make Bird Cookies: A Super Simple Homeschool Activity
- 5 Simple Spring Homeschool Projects
- How to Make Playdough
Virtual gameschooling: chat options
If you guys have been following me for any length of time, you already know that #Caitcanttech, so I am certain there are many more options out there than the three I’m going to list. That said if I can navigate these resources, so can you!
- Google Hangouts (I haven’t used this one yet, but plan to try it out in the next couple of weeks)
This past week, we played games with two different groups of friends. One day we used Skype and the other day we tried Zoom. Both worked wonderfully.
Virtual gameschooling: games to play
If you don’t have games handy, please know that you can play many old-school games and your kids will love them! Just think of the games you used to play in waiting rooms and restaurants when you were little.
Here are some ideas:
- 20 Questions
- Two Truths and a Lie
- Never Have I Ever
- Truth or Dare
- I Spy
- Make your own Jeopardy
- Name that Tune
- Simon Says
- Alphabet Game (pick a category and take turns naming an item in the category starting with A, all the way to Z)
- Make up your own game!
My children and I went through our game closet today and picked a bunch of games that we think would work via online chat. I also posted to Facebook and also the My Little Poppies Gameschooling Community on Facebook. If you have more ideas, please leave them in the comments below and I will add them to this list. If there is a silver lining to this situation we are in, it is that people are being so kind to each other. We are better together, homeschoolers!
You can play virtually any role play game via video chat. You can also play many board games online with friends with planning and modification, but my goal here is to share games that make for easy play and minimal modification. (If it’s easier for you, these resources and games can also be found in the My Little Poppies Amazon Storefront.)
Virtual gameschooling: countless online gaming options
I was primarily focusing on the face-to-face video chat options for this post because I know that is what my kids are asking for right now. That said, many of your favorite games now have apps including Risk, Scrabble, Catan, Ticket to Ride, Splendor, Yahtzee, Pandemic, 7 Wonders, and many, many more! And don’t forget Minecraft and Roblox for the kiddos. That is a great way for them to interact with friends.
Members of the My Little Poppies Gameschool Community recommended the following resources:
For more information on the above, a reader shared this helpful post.
Love the idea of virtual gameschooling? Here are some gameschool basics:
- Gameschool Basics: How to Get Started with Gameschooling
- Gameschooling on a Budget: How to Play More without Breaking the Bank!
- Gameschooling: The Ultimate Resource Page
More ways to connect virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic
Here are a few more ideas for making connections with friends while we all adhere to social distancing guidelines:
- Virtual Book Clubs via video chat
- Movie Club (watch the same movie separately and then meet via video to discuss)
- Nature groups via chat (go for a hike with your family and then chat with friends over your findings)
- Pen pals (either snail mail or email)
The sky is the limit. Homeschoolers are creative and we need to continue to think outside the box. Thank goodness for technology!
More gameschooling resources
- Gameschooling by Age: How to Homeschool with Fantastic Educational Games
- Gameschooling by Subject: The Best Games for Your Homeschool
- Academic Gameschooling: How to Homeschool with Amazing Games
- How to Gameschool Elective Subjects in Your Homeschool
Related posts on virtual gameschooling:
- The Best Games You Can Easily Play Over Video Chat | Mary Hanna Wilson
- Gameschooling: Virtually | The Waldock Way
Now, it’s your turn. Tell me: How are you connecting with others right now? Have you tried virtual gameschooling? Share here!
- The Best Early Math Games for Your Homeschool - January 24, 2021
- Homeschooling Reflection: Loss of the Big Yellow Bus - January 21, 2021
- How to Make Read-Alouds Memorable in Your Homeschool - January 17, 2021