Looking for quick ways to bring your video calls to life?
These new ideas will make you laugh and help you connect in your video calls.
We know that meeting over video just isn't the same as meeting people face-to-face. But our virtual games should get you giggling and add some virtual fun to your next video call.
All the ideas are written for young people - so why not ask them to pick their favourite and share it with everyone on the call?
Ladders and snakes
Have you ever played virtual snakes and ladders? Your leader’s going to roll a dice. If you think it’s going to land on an even number, place your hands on top of your head. If you think it’s going to be an odd number, place your hands behind your back. Did anyone get it right? When you get it wrong, this going to be the same as going down a snake, and when you get it right, it’s like going up a ladder.
Before you start, you need to think about how people can fight off the snake if they get it wrong to be able to stay in the same place. Come up with a list of forfeits. Ask your leader to jot these down. For example, if you get caught by the snake, you can only stay in the same place if you do ten star jumps in 20 seconds.
Your goal is to make it to the top of the ladder without getting caught by a snake. Everyone, take four big steps away from your camera. You need to guess if the dice will land on an odd or even number. Don’t forget to place your hands on your head or behind your back! Your leader’s going to roll the dice and call out the result. If you get it right, you get to take a step up the ladder - towards your camera. If you get it wrong, take a big step back as a snake got in your way! Unless you can complete a forfeit…which means you can stay in the same place. Your leader will pick a forfeit at random from the list.
Keep going and see who’s first to make it to the top of the ladder (back in front of their camera). What other rules could you add to the game?
Try it this way
Ready to up the pressure? In one round, you could try and guess what number the dice will land on. Get it right and you can move forward two steps. Get it wrong, go back to the start of the ladder.
Gone in a flash
Have you got great attention to detail? Could you tell me the colour of the last car you saw? It’s time to test your skills. Your leader’s going to show you something on their screen, you’ve got ten seconds to take a really good look at it. Now you’ve got 30 seconds to find the closest match in your space.
On the count of three, everyone hold up your items – apart from your leader. Look at everything everyone’s holding. In their head, your leader’s going to pick who has the most similar item. Everyone apart from your leader, vote on who you think has the most similar item.
Your leader’s going to hold up their item and call out who they picked. If you voted the same item as your leader – you get the point. Different? Then your leader gets the point. First to five points wins.
Try it this way
Too easy or too hard? Change the amount of time you can see the item for!
How long can you keep a story going without hesitating?
Altogether, you’re going to tell a story but only one word at a time. Decide what order you’re going to tell the story in and write the list of names in order in the chat box. This will let you know whose turn it is.
Pick a forfeit for story tellers who hesitate. It could be they have to stand up and dance until their next turn or they can only use emojis to speak for the next ten minutes.
Start telling your story, word by word. The story can be anything you want and take any twists and turns you think. You can’t stop telling the story until your leader says so. If you hesitate, don’t forget you have to do a forfeit.
The last twist in your tale telling adventure - if your leader calls out ‘story time!’ at the start of your turn, you have to continue telling the story until they call out ‘story’s over!’. Then it will go back to everyone only adding one word. Do you have a budding creative story writer among you?
Random dance shakeup!
It’s time to channel your inner dancing pro. Whoever has a dice needs to grab one – don’t worry if you don’t have one, buddy up with someone who does and they can roll for you.
For every number on the dice, as a unit choose a dance move (six in total). Make sure everyone knows all the moves.
Ready to bust some moves? Choose someone to go first and roll the dice and call out what number it lands on. Everyone needs to start doing that dance move. Keep going taking turns to roll the dice and see your random dance come to life.
Time to shake it up! Everyone with a dice can roll it whenever they want this time and call out the number. See how many times your dance moves can change in a minute.
You can add music but make sure everyone can still hear the number on the dice being called out. You could also use virtual dice for this game.
Last voice standing
Think you've got the fastest reaction speed in your unit? Time to test it out. Pick someone to be the game leader. We're going to start easy. The game leader is going to raise their hand. As soon as they do, put your hand up as quick as possible. When they lower their hand, do the same. Who was the last person to put their hand up and down?
That was easy peasy, right? Let's take it up a challenge level. We're going to do the exact same thing but this time with our voices. When your game leader starts to say out loud "lalalalalalala", everyone else needs to start doing the same and keep going until the game leader stops. Everyone has three lives and whoever was last to stop loses a life.
Try not to shout or yell into the microphone. We don't want to give your leaders a headache!
If you're finding it hard to figure out who was last, try using hand movements at the same time.
Time's up, stand up!
You're going to need a timer for this one, make sure your leader has one that only they can see. We all know there are 60 seconds in a minute, but could you perfectly count up to it? Let's test. Together, try to guess when 20 seconds has passed. Your leader will time you. Did you get it right?
It can be quite hard to guess how much time has passed without looking at a clock. Your leader's going to pick a time between 5 and 100 seconds. Close your eyes and in your head, count up to the number. When you think the time's up, stand up! Your leader will time you and let you know who was closest.
Can anyone share a tip on how to make it easier to count up? Play another round and the winner of this round will become the distractor.
In the next round, the distractor's goal is to disrupts everyone's counting up. They can do this however they want – by telling jokes, calling out random numbers or performing a one-Guide version of a musical. Whoever wins this round becomes the next distractor. Play a few rounds more.
Follow the Guide
Can you outsmart the guesser and work as a team to win this game?
Your leader’s going to pick someone to be the first guesser. The guesser needs to turn away from the screen and close their eyes. Your leader’s going to pick the first Guide captain by writing their name on a piece of paper and holding it up so everyone can see. Don’t say the name out loud! You don’t want the guesser to hear. If you’re the Guide captain put up your hand.
If on your device you can’t see everyone, switch pages until you can see the Guide captain.
When you’re ready get the guesser to turn around. Everyone else, you need to pick a subtle action and start moving. You could cover your mouth, wink a lot, or stand perfectly still. As soon as you see the Guide captain’s action, change to copy it. Guide captain – you can change the action you’re doing and everyone else has to copy. But be careful that the guesser can’t tell!
Try it this way
Pick more energetic actions or dance move instead if you want to get your heart racing.
Guesser, can you guess who the Guide captain is? Keep your eyes peeled. If they get it wrong, everyone stop! On the count of three start again with new actions. The guesser gets three chances before it’s game over. Reveal the Guide captain to the guesser at the end. Pick a new guesser and Guide captain and play again.
Guides game off
Missing some of your favourite games that you play at Guides? Meeting virtually doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. Discover how to play ladders online with a twist!
First, your leader will number everyone in pairs. In order, call out your number and wave to your partner. Now, your leader’s going to call out a random number. If it’s yours, quickly stand up and play rock, paper, scissors against your partner. Did you win? Give yourself a point! Keep playing, remembering to keep score of how many times you won.
It’s time to turn up the challenge. This time, listen carefully as your leader calls out a maths sum - for example, six plus five (6+5). If your number’s called out in the sum or is the answer (for example, for 11, number one’s will need to go twice), get up and challenge your partner to a game. If your leader calls out ‘Guides’, everyone needs to challenge their partner at the same time.
Can you get your friends to guess the right thing whilst only telling them what it’s not? Choose someone to go first. Find something in your room and hold it just off screen so no one else can see. Describe the opposite of what you’re holding. Make sure to not say what it is! For example, if you were holding a plate you could say it’s ball shaped, heavy, slimy, and wobbly.
If you think you know what they’re holding - call it out. If you get it right, you go next, or if you’ve been before you can choose the next item holder.
Baffled your friends? Give them a little help. Give them one clue about something that it is and one clue about something it’s not. You could say that it couldn’t be used to throw in the air but it does it live in your kitchen.
Scrunch, bang, pop
Crash, bang, whizz, pop! What was that?
Can you guess what noise is being made without seeing it? Close your eyes and click your fingers - does it sound how you imagined?
Now take turns switching off your cameras. Find something around you to make a noise. You might choose to open a soda bottle cap and let out a fizzing noise, play a musical instrument or scrunch up a piece of paper. You could even try to use a body part, like clapping – think outside the box!
Try it this way
If you can’t turn your camera off, move away from the screen or tilt your camera upwards so nobody can see you.
Once the noise has been made a few times, take turns guessing what you think it could be. Once everyone’s guessed – turn your camera back on and show them. Did anyone guess correctly?
Make your noise close to the microphone so everyone can hear you.
Keep playing, taking turns to make your funny noises. Give yourself a point for every correct answer. Who’ll get the most right?
Why not add in some rules the next time you play – for example, you can only use natural materials or something you can find outside.
Show and tell
It’s adventure time! Before you set off, you’ll need to think about what’s important for your journey.
Your leader will say a category such as ‘show me something that will keep you dry’. Quickly look around your space and find something that fits the description.
Once you have your item, show everyone on your screen. Take turns telling everyone how you’d use this item on your adventure. You can think outside of the box. Why not award a point for the most inventive idea too? For example, maybe you couldn’t leave the country without taking your favourite cheese in case you can’t get it elsewhere, and you have it with every meal.
You get one point for bringing the item back first, and one point for the most inventive item. Your leader will keep score. Who’ll have the most by the end and be the top adventurer?
Note to leader
Here are some examples to get you started. Add as many rounds as you’d like to keep the game going.
Show me something…
- That would keep you safe
- That would start a fire
- You could trade for something you’d need
- You could eat your food with
- You can use to keep you dry
- You can’t leave the country without
- You could play sport with
- You’d take on water
- You’d wear for an outdoor activity
Take it further
Look at all the items you gathered. What kind of adventure could you go on with them? Can you come up with a 30 second story on how you’ll use each item?
Just a minute!
Before you start, your leader will write a list of the Guides in your unit using the whiteboard function on Zoom. This will be the order for your game.
Your leader will choose a topic, for example chocolate or space, and pick a Guide to start. You have one minute to talk all about that topic. Your leader will time you. But, if you pause, hesitate, or bumble your words, everyone else can shout ‘Buzz!’ to stop you.
If you get buzzed, the next Guide on the list must keep the conversation going. How long can you keep chatting about that topic without being buzzed out? To make it harder, you can’t say the same thing anyone’s said before. Who’ll be the first to make it to one minute? They’re the winner!
Give it a go, changing what you talk about every time you play.
You’ll each need a balloon for this game. If you don’t have a balloon you could use a ball instead. Your leader will need a music player and some music too.
Oh no - asteroids incoming! It’s time to band together to save planet Earth. Everyone grab your balloon or ball. When the music starts playing, try to keep it in the air but you can’t keep hold of it (so either use your hands to push the balloon up, or keep throwing and catching your ball).
When the music stops, listen to your leader as they tell you your missions. Keep playing until you’ve completed all the missions.
- Take turns to sing a part of your favourite song in a funny voice.
- Quickly find something in your room for each colour of the Rainbow.
- Do something silly to make everyone laugh.
- Do a moon walk across your room.
- Say the alphabet backwards without making a mistake (every time you do, go back to the beginning – or end - of the alphabet).
You’re going to need paper and a pencil for this game.
Before you start, draw out on pieces of paper a 3x3 grid, so you have nine squares. Use a pencil for this game so that you can rub out between the rounds. You could use felt pens or colouring pencils too if you wanted, but you’ll need to have more than one grid if you want to play different rounds.
Decide as a unit how you’d like each round to be completed – will you go for lines or a full house?
Choose someone to be the first alphabet caller – this could be your leader. Everyone else, fill your grid with letters of the alphabet. Make sure to not have the same letter more than once. Ready? Let’s play bingo lingo!
Play the game as you would normally with bingo, colouring in or crossing out each letter when it’s said by the alphabet caller. Who’ll win the first round?
Now you’ve mastered the game, let’s make it more fun. In bingo, the caller will often say funny phrases such as ‘clickety click’, or ‘garden gate’ to represent different numbers. Can you think of phrases for the letters you want to call out? For example, you might say ‘all the apples’ for A, or ‘enormous elephants’ for E.
Keep playing, taking turns to be the alphabet caller and creating new phrases or rules each time you play.
Try it this way
To save paper, use a drawing application on your computer or tablet to play along with, and rub out the letters between rounds.
It’s time to put on your problem-solving hat and solve your leader’s mysteries. Before you start, find five objects around your home that you think could help solve problems. Perhaps you’ll grab a plant, toothbrush or a cup?
Got all your items? Listen to your leader as they tell you a problem they have. Look at your items and choose one you think could help solve that problem. Be careful, once you’ve chosen that item, you can’t choose it again. Think strategically!
Once you’ve picked your item, tell everyone how you can solve the problem with it. For example, your leader might have a hole in their tent and you’ve chosen your umbrella. You might put the umbrella up over where the hole is so no water comes through the tent. Plus as an extra – it’s now easier to know which tent is yours if you’re camping at a festival like Wellies and Wristbands! How inventive can you be?
When everyone has said their ideas, vote together on which one you think best solves the problem – they win that round. Keep playing for as long as you want, changing problems and items to solve it.
- It’s raining and you don’t have an umbrella.
- I’ve cut my knee.
- I’m bored and need something to entertain me.
- I’m hungry but don’t have any cooking equipment.
- I need something to help me reach something in the kitchen.
The alphabet game
You’ll need a pen and paper for this game.
Choose someone to be the first alphabet picker. Your job is to silently go through the alphabet until someone tells you to stop. Say the letter you stopped on out loud.
Everyone grab your pen and paper. Your leader will give you different themes and ask you to think of things that begin with the letter and fit in the themes. There’ll be four rounds, so get thinking. When you have an idea, jot it down on the paper.
Now take turns saying your answer to each theme. If no one’s said the same thing as you, you get one point.
Keep playing, changing the alphabet picker and themes. Once you’ve finished playing, count up your scores and see who has the most – you’re the winner!
- Something you’d find in your fridge or freezer
- Something you can see in your room
- A reason to text a friend
- A famous person
- (Capital) cities
- Things found in a souvenir shop
- Fancy dress costumes
- Song titles
- Something you store items in
- Four letter words
Can you guess what someone’s thinking of in just 20 questions?
Choose someone to think of an object. Remember to keep it a secret!
Everyone else, it’s time to get your questioning caps on. Take turns asking ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions about the object. For example, ‘Is it something you can eat?’, or ‘Is it larger than a football?’. Your leader will keep count of how many questions are asked.
When you get to 20 questions, each take turns saying out loud what you think the object might be. Once everyone’s made their guess, reveal the object. Did anyone get it right? What question gave it away?
Keep playing, taking turns to come up with new objects and thinking of new questions that will help you guess what it could be.
What's in my bag?
Note to leader: Come up with ten random items to call out to the girls. For example, cloud, zebra, plate, owl, dinosaur, mobile.
Before your next meeting, grab a bag or empty pillowcase and put in ten random items that you find around your house. You could grab things like a piece of fruit, giant sunglasses, a schoolbook, a tie or your favourite fridge magnet.
Make sure you have your bag near you when you join your next Guides meeting. And don’t tell anyone what’s inside – it’s a secret!
Your leader’s going to call out ten things, one by one. After each word, look in your bag and see what you have that resembles that thing. For example, if they say ‘cloud’, see if you have something fluffy or white. If you find something that looks like the object, you get one point. Keep going, you can only use each item once. Who has the most points at the end? You’re the winner!
Play again, taking turns to call out different things that you could have found. Perhaps you could decide on your own scoring system or add some extra rules in – for example, each round you might have the same list but you can’t use the same object as the round before?
You’ll each need a pencil and one sheet of paper per drawing for this game. Decide as a unit how many drawings you’d like to do before starting, three or more would work well.
Can you tell your Picasso from your Pollock? It’s time to put your artistic skills to the test!
Your leader will share their screen with you of a picture of a famous painting. Without looking down at your sheet of paper, can you draw what you see? You’ll have one minute for each drawing. Keep your eyes looking at the camera - don’t peak.
When the time’s up, show off your masterpieces with each other. Vote on whose drawing looks most like the original. Your leader will share why the painting is famous.
Try it this way
Why not come up with your own artistic scoring criteria?
Before your meeting: can you bring any fun accessories to wear – for example, you might have goggles, helmets, silly hats or giant sunglasses!
How well do you know your leader? Well enough to read her mind? Can you find out who your leader’s thinking about, with only a few questions!
To start, everyone raise your hand. Your leader’s going to choose one Guide in your unit, but won’t say her name out loud. Together, take turns asking your leader a question to try and find out who they are.
Play as many times as you like, taking turns to choose someone in your unit. For example, you could ask, ‘Does she have brown hair?’. If your leader answers ‘no’, then all the Guides with brown hair must put their hand down. This is to show that they are not the chosen Guide. Keep going, asking lots of different questions until you find the Guide your leader chose! They’ll be the last one with their hand up.
Now you’ve mastered the game, you could create some new rules to play. For example, you’re not allowed to ask the same questions as the previous rounds.
Why not add in some fun accessories to make it more difficult to guess?
Sounds in the round
Warm up your vocal chords, bang those pots and transform together into an online sound orchestra!
As a unit, decide what sounds you can all make. Can you make the same sounds together, at different times, or different sounds all together?
Why not try out some of these together: clicking, clapping or whistling. Have a look around your room to see if there’s anything you could use to make your sound. Perhaps you could hit a pan with a wooden spoon, make a drumkit with spoons or you might have an instrument of your own to play. Once you’ve got something, bring it back to make a sound for your unit.
Take turns trying out your sounds until you’re ready to come together as an orchestra!
Now, try and find a beat. Choose someone to be the unit’s drummer, so everyone can keep to the beat. It might help slowly counting to four so you’re all in sync.
When you’re ready, choose an order and see if you can keep the beat going with your different sounds. Each Guide will make a sound for four beats before it passes to the next Guide. Can you keep your sounds going until you’re all making music together?
Wow! We bet that was a great sound. When you’re back meeting face to face with your units, why not play this game again, but try adding in singing too!
Try it this way
Too easy? Every time you make a mistake, go back to the start and try again!
Pass the pen
Work together to get a pen passed around your whole unit and back to your leader!
Everyone grab a pen. Your leader will start. They’ll move their pen across the screen and call the name of the Guide they’re going to pass the pen to.
When they move their pen off screen, the Guide’s name who was called then moves her pen across the screen and calls the name of another Guide.
Keep going, passing the pen to everyone in your unit in a big circle back to your leader.
If you call someone who’s already had the pen, stop and start again! Perhaps you could do actions to show you have or haven’t had the pen yet to help. How long will it take you?
Now you’re warmed up, why not try adding some new instructions like, ‘fast’, or ‘slow’, or how they move their pen like, ‘across’, or ‘down’. Add new rules every time you play!
Check out how Girlguiding volunteers and staff tackled this game:
Are you up for the challenge?
Challengers assemble! It’s time to put your master virtual Guide skills to the test.
Your leader is the task master and they have a list of challenges for you to complete. Decide together if you want to compete on your own or in teams. Every time you complete a challenge, give yourself a point.
- Can you bring back a fork, butter knife and spoon in 15 seconds?
- Can you make someone else laugh in 20 seconds?
- Can you balance a pen on your head for 10 seconds whilst standing up and sitting down?
- Can you say the alphabet quickly without making a mistake?
- Can you find something that begins with the first letter of your name? (Bonus point if no one else had the same thing!)
- Can you name all the Patrols in your unit in 10 seconds?
- Can you draw (something your unit chooses) with your eyes closed in 20 seconds?
Try it this way: If you decide to do the challenges individually, before each challenge, you could vote if you think someone is going to complete it – if you guess right, you get an extra point! You can also come up with your own challenges.
Strike a pose! Together, choose a song that makes you think of your Guide unit – it might be your unit’s favourite song, something that reminds you of camp, or a Promise party.
Come up with some crazy dance moves that you all must do whenever you hear that song.
Once you’ve mastered the dance move, choose one Guide to play the song at a random time during your next virtual meeting. When you hear it, everyone do your crazy dance moves together!
Keep playing it at every virtual meeting, changing the Guide who plays it each time.
Knife, fork and spoon game
Everyone grab a fork, butter knife and spoon. Place them down in front of you, making sure the handles are closest to you, and the knife is facing away.
Your leader says ‘Go!’, lift one item of cutlery. If it’s the same item as your leader, you get a point!
The first Guide to get five points wins and becomes the next caller.
Too easy? Why not speed it up and see who can get the most points in 30 seconds!
Make sure not to use sharp objects, you can use plastic cutlery if you have this available. Instead of cutlery, you could also use different coloured pieces of paper or objects that everyone would have at home.
Before your next virtual meeting, stage a scene with household items and take a snap or draw a picture and send it to your leader.
It could be something that’s inspired you or get creative and create an abstract piece of art using your childhood toys!
In your next meeting, your leader will show everyone your photos or pictures.
Take turns making up captions for the scenes and see what stories you can create. Who knows, perhaps you’ll come up with the next big Guide story!
Do not share any personal information in your photos, and if you’re using photos of anyone else, make sure to ask their permission before sharing.