Christmas games that can be played on Zoom

Jo Thacker
·6-min read
Photo credit: Anna Pilch / EyeEm
Photo credit: Anna Pilch / EyeEm

From Red Online

Christmas games have been a huge part of my Christmas ever since I was young and we were banned from watching TV on Christmas day.

It is a tradition that has grown over the years, and it’s now part of my role at Christmas to plan the after lunch entertainment.

As time has passed, and my friendship group has extended with many children, I am now known as the party organiser, making sure all ages are included in playing games – not just at Christmas, but for Easter, birthdays, Halloween, and other special occasions.

Since the first Lockdown, I’ve continued to provide fun and games for my friends and family but virtually via Zoom, instead of in person.

This Christmas, I have tried to think of games we have all enjoyed in the past and how to transfer them to Zoom games that will be enjoyed by all.

Being a primary school teacher for over 15 years, I feel strongly about families sharing the fun and laughter together and the skills that are learnt through playing traditional games are valuable to all children and even adults too!

Here's my pick of favourite games to play over Zoom this Christmas.

Categories

A simple yet frustratingly fun game

Think of 10 categories, for example Film, Vegetable, Country, Food, TV Shows etc, then randomly pick a letter from the alphabet. (We usually choose a letter by opening a magazine, pointing at a page without looking and then seeing what letter our finger has landed on.)

In one minute, try to think of things to fit as many of the categories as you can, with all the answers beginning with the letter selected. For example, if the letter is 'C', and the categories included TV Shows, Food and Colours, you could write down 'Countryfile', 'Crisps' and 'Cyan'.

When the minute is up, give yourself a point for each one you get correct. But, if someone else has the same answer, you don’t get a point.

Add up the amount you got correct to give your score.

Switcharoo

Hilarious tongue twister style game

You’ll need someone to be quizmaster for this one and prepare, in advance, some simple questions (which people are likely to know the answers to) that have someone's name as the answer.

For example, who is married to David Beckham?

The aim of the game is to answer but by switching the first letter of the forename and surname.

So, who is married to David Beckham? Bictoria Veckham.

Keep track of how many you get right during the one-minute timer.

Memory match

Challenge your memory!

Someone will need to take charge of this game and prepare, in advance, a simple, silent video of 20 items relating to Christmas. This can be filmed on your phone camera.

When it comes to filming, think of the conveyor belt in the TV classic, The Generation Game and don’t forget to include ‘a cuddly toy’.

Then, on the big day, share your screen and let the guests watch the video. Give them two minutes to write down as many items as they can remember. The winner is the team who remembered the most correct objects.

If you’re the organiser, remember to have a written list of all the items to hand, too – as it's then easier when teams total up their correct answers.

Christmas scavenger hunt

Classic Zoom game

This much loved game is a firm favourite with all the kids in our circle of friends and family. The organiser will need to come up with a list of 10 Christmas related items that your guests have to run off and find. Call the items out, one at a time: first back gets a point. It’s as simple as that.

But, make it a little bit more interesting by asking your guests to do more complicated things, for example, dress up as Santa or wrap a present up.

Don’t show your teeth!

Hysterical word association game

Have fun with this word association game, which everyone can join in with. Pick a topic and take it in turns to each think of a word related to the theme – the catch, you must not show your teeth!

(If you were playing altogether in the same room, you’d go round in a circle with everyone taking it in turns to say a word – on Zoom, you’ll need to agree on an order before you start.)

The point of the game is your lips must cover your teeth during the whole game – you’re not allowed to cover your mouth with your hand either – and also… no hesitation. The faster the game is played, the funnier. You are out if you show your teeth.

Winner is last one to have their teeth still covered.

After Eight

Messy but fun after dinner game

The classic After Eight mint game can still be loved and enjoyed via Zoom.

Balance an After Eight mint on the top of your forehead and without using anything but your face, try to manoeuvre the mint into your mouth. First one to get the mint to their mouth wins.

You may want to play this in teams so you can keep an eye on the entertaining faces that are being pulled.

5 second rule

A quick thinking game

Five second rule is just that – you have five seconds to answer!

Ask your guests to name three things within a five second time frame, for example, name three Christmas carols, three Christmas films etc.

Sounds easy, but when your mind goes blank it’s tricky.

One point for answering within the time frame.

Paper plate drawing

A simple but fun game

You need one host for this game, someone who is in charge of the instructions. Each guest holds a paper plate on top of their head, a pen for drawing and listens carefully to the instructions given. The paper plate must not come off your head until the host says they are finished.

Try to draw a Christmas scene, using the five commands given by your host, for example:

  1. Draw a Christmas tree.

  2. Now draw a star on the top.

  3. Next draw tinsel on the tree.

  4. Then draw three gifts under the tree.

  5. Finally draw some baubles on the tree.

When finished, show your picture and the host decides a winner.

Pipe cleaner game

Crafty and relaxing game

This is an old family favourite. Creating objects using only crafting pipe cleaners – set the teams a task to make a Christmas decoration.

Teams have five minutes to create something. Share the end results and everyone can vote on favourite creation.

Just for fun activities:

Getting to know you

This is good to play if you need a relaxed activity. Have a list of questions, answer the questions and learn about your guests. No winners – just for fun!

Would you rather?

Ask your guests some 'would you rather?' questions… the more random the better.

Try and make it Christmas related, for example, would you rather have reindeer hooves for feet or elves ears?

Christmas sing-a-long

Sing along to your favourite Christmas tunes and carols – find some videos with lyrics and share the screen on Zoom so you all have the same timings. Then sing along together.

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