Today we've put together 30 Zoom activities for preschoolers. In recent years, and the opportunities to keep our children entertained and educated while still maintaining that all-important social interaction have never been higher.
But even though we have the technology to connect children, that doesn't mean that children are actually connecting with each other. Many parents struggle to keep their preschooler engaged via video conferencing. Granted, it is a tool never designed for children.
Zoom is an application officially intended as a tool for enterprise video conferencing, the recent pandemic has seen it find widespread use by friends, family, and schools as well.
It has provided a way for people to stay in touch, play games, and generally stave off the isolation and boredom of being trapped in their homes.And with the right activities Zoom can be an excellent tool for young children. From educational to fun, there is a multitude of activities to keep our youngsters busy.
Zoom Games for Preschoolers
One of the classics; Simon Says is a game that can be played over Zoom with little or no variation to account for not being in the same room. The rules are simple; you give instructions to the children such as "clap", "jump", "stick your tongue out", etc. The children must carry out the activity, but only if you say "Simon says" before the instruction.
Any child who does an activity that Simon didn't say to do, or doesn't do an activity that Simon asked them to do, is out until the next round. The last child left is the winner of that round.
The Rhyming Game
The Rhyming Game is a nice and simple game that helps children build phonological awareness while also being fun. To play, you will say a word, and the children have to come up with a word that rhymes with it. For example, you might say "Sky", and the child could reply "Fly".
Remember your audience, however. It is important to make sure the words are simple as young children will get very easily frustrated if they can't think of a rhyme. Stick to single-syllable words like cat, hat, bat, sat, etc.
The Clapping Game
This game can help children shore up their grasp of numbers and counting. In the Clapping Game, you tell the children that they need to listen carefully to how many times you clap. Then, when you are done clapping, they must clap the same number of times.
Make your claps clear enough to be easily counted, don't clap too fast. Be sure to vary the number of claps, but keep the number under ten. Not just because some younger children may struggle with higher numbers, but also it can be very easy to lose a young child's attention span if they spend too much time waiting for you to finish clapping.
I Spy With My Little Eye
Another classic game that easily translates to Zoom. In this game, you will say "I spy with my little eye; something beginning with..." followed by the first letter of the thing you are spying. The beauty of playing this on Zoom is that all the children on the call can see everyone else. That means that the item you are spying can be in any of the children's backgrounds, not just your own.
Try to keep the objects simple and obvious. For example, a preschooler should be able to guess "O" for "Orange" relatively easily but might struggle with "T" for "Tangerine". If you let the children take on the role of the spy, make it clear that they must pick something that can be seen on the screen by everyone.
Scavenger hunts are always fun for young children and don't necessarily need a lot of planning. Ask the children to find an item and bring it back to the Zoom call. The item should be something small enough for the children to carry safely and common enough that there will be one in each child's home.
An example of such an item might be a book or a toy. Avoid anything that could potentially be dangerous, such as a fork, or anything electrical. You can also add a little variety by telling the children to find an item with particular attributes. For example, "something blue", or, "something that sounds like..."
Guess the Wrong Word
Guess the wrong word is a simple game in which you will say a sentence where one of the words is wrong, and the children have to guess which word is it is.
This game works especially well with nursery rhymes, but in general, should be something that the children will be able to recognize easily. This can be a regular sentence in which the "wrong" word is obvious, such as "On rainy days, I like to wear my favorite kettle". A game like this is great for preschoolers as sentences like the example just given are often very amusing to them. And who doesn't love to see a child having a good chuckle?
Guess the Shape
Guess the shape, as well as being fun, is an excellent way to reinforce children's understanding of shapes. In this game, you will list a few things and then pass it over to the children to name the shape that all of those things are. An example of this might be; ball, Orange, Moon, Frisbee, which are all circles (preschool is a bit soon for 3D shapes like spheres).
It can help to make the game more interesting if you have items on hand to hold up and show the children.
Similar to a scavenger hunt, a color hunt is where you ask the children to go and find something of a specific color and bring it back to the Zoom call. Make it clear to the children that they should only select items that are small enough to carry and safe to take. Be sure to set a time limit to avoid the game being held up by children taking too long to come back to the call.
I Am Thinking Of
This is a game in which you will describe something; a place, an item, an activity, and the children have to guess what you are thinking of based on your description.
As a round progresses, you can add more detail to the description of the thing you are thinking of until one of the children correctly guesses what it is. One example of how you might start would be, if you were thinking of a grocery store, "I am thinking of a place where I can go to buy food."
The Statue Game
If you've ever played Sleeping Logs, this is very similar but standing up. In this game, you tell the children that, when you are looking, they have to be as still as statues. Have them strike a pose to give the game a little more flavor.
You will then turn around to face away from the children, allowing them to change their pose, and turn back quickly to try and catch one of the children moving.
Big or Little
In Big or Little, you will call out the name of a thing, and the children have to say whether it is big or little. For example, you might say "A golf ball", and the children would say that it is little. Alternatively, you might say "Elephant!" and the children would say big. Make sure the things you choose fit clearly into the big or little categories to avoid confusion or disagreement.
Animal Sounds is a pretty self-explanatory game. In this game, you will call out an animal, and the children have to make the sound of that animal.
Of course, you should stick to animals that the children are familiar with. Cows and dogs and cats, etc., are fine. For a variation on this game, if you are good at animal sounds or have the ability to play animal sounds, you could make the sound and have the children state what the animal is.
Guess the Color
You could think of this as a variation of Guess the Shape. In this version, you will call out several things that are the same color. The children then must call out what that color is.
For example, you might list off; peas, grass, frogs, and the children would call out "green".
The fun factor of a good old fashioned quiz should not be underestimated. If the children can write, or have someone around who could write for them, you could make it a traditional quiz in which the children write their answers down. If not, consider tackling the quiz a question at a time, and you keep track of each child's responses.
It should go without saying that the questions should be tailored to your very young audience. An example of a preschooler quiz questions might be, "What colour is the sky?". Of course, every child is different, so try to make a judgement call on the difficulty of the questions based on the children you are quizzing.
Possibly one of the most creative activities you can arrange over Zoom. In collaborative storytelling, one person (it would probably be easiest if you kicked things off) will start the story off with a sentence. The children will then take it in turns to add a sentence to the story.
Telling stories does not always come intuitively, so you may need to prompt some children to help them along.
15 More Zoom Activities for Preschoolers
Our last batch of crafts and activities includes free printables. Plus fun activities like ballopn stamping and a few fingerprint and hand print art projects. Take a look at them. If your little one create something your proud of, be sure to share with it with other parent's on our facebook page to inspire them.
One Last Tip
For many Zoom activities for preschoolers, it can help to mute children until it is their turn to answer. This avoids the possibility of them talking over each other, or accidentally giving the answers to a question away. That being said, a significant aspect of these activities is the social interaction, so allow time for them to chatter away with each other as well.