There are many times when you might have a large group on Zoom, and it might seem quite tricky to think of games that would work well for this number of people.
I’ve been a teacher for the last 12 years, and recently I’ve had to adapt some classic face-to-face games that have always worked really well in the real world and get them working effectively in the virtual world.
Luckily, it can definitely be done!
There are loads of fantastic games that work brilliantly for large groups on Zoom.
In this guide, I’m going to show you the ultimate 18 games for large groups on Zoom.
All these games:
- Are good for all ages. They can be played by young kids, but also teens and adults will like them too
- Boost teamwork, cooperation skills, and a sense of team bonding
- Can be used by teachers, families, club leaders, and anyone else looking for games on Zoom
- Are great for breaks in between learning, or ways of teaching certain skills
- Are excellent for wellbeing, mental health, and mindfulness
So, let’s dive into the ultimate 18 Zoom games for large groups.
1. Extra Sensory Perception (ESP)
This is all about teamwork, movement, and having fun.
Invent three movements and demonstrate these to everyone on the Zoom call.
For example, the three moves might be:
- Doing a star jump
- Doing the crane balance from Karate Kid
- Doing a Usain Bolt lightning arms victory move
Then get everyone on the Zoom call into partners. They could partner up themselves, or you could help them partner up if you prefer (especially with younger ones this is the way to go).
On the count of three, everyone shows one of the three movements that you have shown.
But don’t do it at random! The idea is to really think which one your partner will do, and try to do the same one.
If you get it right – whoopee! You’ve activated your ESP (your extra-sensory perception).
Have a few goes of this, before swapping partners.
You can mix things up by:
- Letting the players invent their own three moves
- Increasing it to five moves
ESP is a great way of getting everyone moving and interacting.
2. 1, 2, 3, Look! Faces
This is another really quite funny game, that is good for teaching younger kids about emotions, and teens and adults can just play it for fun.
The idea is that one person is going to be the ‘leader’. Everyone else has their mute button on, and you can just hear the leader.
Everyone, including the leader, is going to close their eyes.
When they do this, everyone is going to do an emotion-face. Start easy, with just two emotions.
So everyone can do either a ‘sad’ face or a ‘happy’ face (just take your pick)
Do your face, and then the leader is going to say, ‘1, 2, 3, Look!’
Everyone opens their eyes. If you are doing the same emotion-face as the leader then you have won!
You can do the version where everyone gets knocked out that got it wrong, and you go into round two.
Or you can just keep going, with everyone back in the game.
You can extend this game by adding more emotion-faces.
Another good one to add is ‘cross’. You can also add ‘shocked’ as well. This makes the odds of victory much smaller.
3. Rock Paper Scissors Olympics
One person is the ‘leader’ in this game, and everyone else is going to be copying them.
Basically, everyone on the Zoom call is going to be playing rock paper scissors against the ‘leader’.
Rock, paper, scissors, shoot!
The ‘leader’ will be knocking people out of the game.
So, for example, if the ‘leader’ shows ‘rock’, then anyone showing ‘scissors’ is out for the next round.
Everyone that showed ‘rock’ themselves will survive. Also, if they showed ‘paper’ they will survive as well. If you beat or draw with the leader, you basically survive – that’s how it works!
In the end, there may be a head-to-head with the leader against one other person. If it gets to this point, then the leader can lose, and the other person is the champion.
The champion then becomes the leader of the next round, and you start over again.
4. Joey Tribbiani
This is a really funny Zoom game that would be good in a range of contexts.
It is all about enjoyment, team-building, and just having a laugh together.
There is an episode in Friends where Joey (Matt Le Blanc’s character) has a bit of a spat with his housemate Chandler, and this ends up with Joey putting on every single one of Chandler’s clothes.
That’s the basic idea of the Joey Tribbiani game.
To play it, everyone that is on the Zoom call has to have access to lots of clothes.
Have some kind of a time limit, like three minutes for example.
Ready, steady, go!
Everyone puts on as many clothes as they possibly can within the time limit. Then, when the game is over, take a look at what everyone looks like.
It makes it quite a bit funnier if some people have access to all sorts of silly clothes – hats, scarves, pantaloons – whatever you can find.
Apologies in advance for this picture, but here’s me after we’d played this game:
5. Can’t Laugh Challenge
This is a massive game on Youtube and Tik-Tok, and most kids will have played this.
Probably the simplest way to do it with a large group is that one person is the ‘leader’.
This person is going to be unmuted, and everyone else will be muted.
The ‘leader’ is going to try their hardest to make everyone else laugh. If you laugh, then you are out!
Some great strategies for making everyone else laugh include:
- Silly faces
- Telling jokes
- Making funny noises
- Telling funny stories
- Doing impressions
Of course, the age of the other players will have a big impact on the strategies you use to make other players laugh. For young kids, often just a few silly faces will be enough.
Once again, you could do the competitive version, where the people that don’t laugh the longest are the champions.
6. 1, 2, 3, Look! Numbers
This is the math version of the 1, 2, 3, Look! game from earlier on.
This is especially good for younger kids, but older ones might well like it too.
One person is the ‘leader’ and is unmuted. Everyone else has their mutes on.
Everyone closes their eyes. The players that are not the leader will put a number up on their fingers – from 1 to 3. They hold it up towards their camera.
The leader will also put up a number from 1 to 3 up, and then they will say, ‘1, 2, 3, Look!’
Everyone looks and sees if they have the same number.
If they have the same one, then they are still in. If not, they are out!
You can extend this game to numbers 0 to 5 if you want to do the harder version.
There are also some mathematical versions you can play, which include:
- Creating number bonds to 5. (So if the leader shows 3, you have to show 2.)
- Extend the game to 10
- Creating number bonds to 10. (This would be using both hands)
7. Wink Murder
This is another classic real-world game, that works brilliantly on Zoom. It is also another good one that can be played by kids of all ages and even adults.
One person is chosen to be the detective. They will be unmuted, and they close their eyes.
Next, you have to silently choose a ‘murderer.’
One way of doing this would be to hold up the name of someone, so they know it is them. You need to do this is in a way that is not seen or heard by the detective.
Now the detective opens their eyes.
The idea now is that every few moments the ‘murderer’ is going to wink.
When that happens someone is going to pretend to die! What happens over Zoom is that a few people will often die at the same time. This is fine – because it is impossible to know who the murderer is winking at over the screen (as you can in real life).
So as long as a few people die each wink that is fine.
The detective has to try to work out who the murderer is when they spot them winking.
8. Thumbs Up Thumbs Down
This is a simple warm-up game. It is good for:
- Assessing everyone’s opinion on a topic
- Getting everyone to explore each other’s likes and dislikes
- Having votes
The simple way of doing it is, the ‘leader’ is going to ask a question.
It might be ‘Do you like spaghetti?’
Everyone puts their thumbs up or their thumbs down. Simple as that!
Other good questions might be things like:
Do you like baseball?
Do you like the color green?
And so on and so on.
9. Mystery Leader
This is another game that requires one person to be the ‘detective’. They close their eyes.
Silently assign one person to be the ‘leader’ (perhaps by holding up their name).
The ‘leader’ is going to be leading some simple actions, and everyone is going to be copying.
For example, the leader might start by clapping their hands – everyone copies. A few moments later, they might change to patting their head and everyone copies that.
The detective is going to open their eyes, and their job is to work out who the leader is!
Keep going with the changing actions, until the detective works out who it is.
10. No Spin Twister
This is one of my favorite Zoom games and is great for all ages.
It is based on the game Twister, but you play without a mat or a board. In fact, no resources are required, which is pretty much the case for all of these Zoom games.
One person is the leader, and they will be unmuted.
They are going to tell everyone else what to do, giving one instruction at a time.
Same as in normal twister, it is all about creating actions for different legs, hands, and arms.
So you might say:
Put one arm in the air.
Put your other hand on the floor.
Put one foot in the air.
Hold your foot in the air with your hand.
And so on and so on. The players will be getting more and more tangled up with every move.
Great for balance, and just great fun as well.
11. Do As I Say, Not As I Do
This is another classic kid’s game, that works really well on Zoom.
One player is going to be the ‘leader’.
Their job is to do some kind of action, but at the same time give an instruction that doesn’t match.
So, they might say, ‘Pat your head,’ while at the same time they clap their hands.
Everyone else has to try to do what they say (‘pat your head’), and not do what they are doing (‘clapping their hands’).
The leader will change up what they are doing about every ten or twenty seconds.
Keep concentrating, and doing what they say not what they do.
12. Mouthing Games
This is a great game to play when everyone’s mute button is on.
One person is the ‘leader’. Everyone else is going to have something to write on.
The simple idea is the ‘leader’ is going to mouth a word. Everyone else is going to try to guess what word it is, and write it down.
For younger kids, it works well to have some kind of theme. Some good themes could be:
So, if the theme was vehicles, then the ‘leader’ might mouth ‘tractor’. Everyone tries to write down that!
If they are really good at this, then you can extend it to writing down a whole sentence, or secret message!
13. Lizard Game
This is a game that everyone really finds really amusing. It is another good team-builder.
One person is the ‘detective’ again. They are going to close their eyes.
Select one person to be the ‘lizard’. For example, show their name on a card.
The detective will then open their eyes.
The lizard’s job is once every ten seconds roughly, to stick their tongue out and back in very quickly (like a lizard!). Then they wait and do the same again about ten seconds later, and keep going.
The detective has got to spot who is doing this, and so who is the lizard!
14. Simple Yoga
Yoga is another activity that is great for all ages, and there are lots of yoga positions that are very simple to start with.
These are great for mindfulness, and getting some relaxation into your sessions.
Some very simple yoga-style moves to try include:
The Alphabet Stretch
The idea of this is to stretch and create each letter of the alphabet. Start with ‘a’ and then smoothly flow into ‘b’, and keep going.
It is best to do lower case letters. They have more fluidity and roundness than capitals.
Smoothly flow from ‘a’ to ‘z’, using all the creativity that you can.
Household yoga involves doing positions that look like simple household tasks.
Some examples might be:
- Stirring a pot of soup
- Washing a window
- Reaching up high to lift something off a shelf
- Sweeping the floor
Perform all of these moves really slowly, and fluidly.
Some proper yoga positions are similar to animals, and I find these are the best to try with young children.
The giraffe pose involves standing with one foot in front of the other. Put one hand high up into the air. This is the giraffe’s neck and head.
Then slowly move this extended arm downwards until you reach your leading foot. Hold the foot and stay in this position for a few moments, before bending back up, and extending the arm above your head again.
Lie on your back for the turtle pose. Lift your knees into your belly and hold them there. Gently rock backward and forwards like a turtle in its shell.
This pose stretches out the muscles in the legs and back, and also is a kind of gentle back massage.
Lie face down on your belly for the seal pose. Put your hands under your shoulders and then push upwards until your arms are straight.
This will curve your back. Remain in this pose for a few moments.
Stand with one foot in front of the other. Reach up high with one arm above you (this is the giraffe’s neck). Then bend slowly down, touching your front foot with the arm that had been high up, before rising again to the original position.
15. HIIT Session
This is a great activity for all ages; young kids will be able to have a go of this, but so will teens and adults.
One person is going to be the leader, and they are basically going to lead an in-place training circuit.
Pick some moves that will work well for whatever age group you are working with.
For older kids and adults, you can try things like:
- Star jumps
For younger ones, you can have a go of moves like:
- Jumping in place
- Reach up, reach down
- Jumping like a frog
- Star jumps
- Reach to one side, reach to other
For younger children, just one repetition of every move is usually enough.
But for older kids and adults, doing a few sets of each move is the way to go.
16. Figures Of Eight
This is another game that gets everyone moving. It’s also a great team-builder and gets everyone laughing.
The basic idea of the game is to draw a figure of eight with different parts of your body.
Start simply with a finger, and try to draw a figure of eight.
But then move on to more challenging body parts, such as your elbow, or your knee.
Some even trickier body parts, that get everyone laughing, include:
- Your foot
If everyone becomes a master of this activity, you can make it trickier. Ways of extending this game include:
- Try different numbers
- Try writing your name with different body parts
- Try writing a secret message and other try to guess what you wrote
17. Simple Charades
I have called this game ‘simple’ charades because that is the best way to play it for younger kids. However, older ones could just use the usual rules.
The idea of simple charades is to have some kind of theme.
So, it might be animals as a theme. Or vehicles.
Let’s just imagine that the theme is ‘vehicles.’
One person is the ‘leader’. They are going to basically act as a kind of vehicle. Everyone else is going to try to guess what it is.
So, for example, if you were a helicopter, you might have whirring rota blades.
Of course, for older kids or adults, just stick to the normal game of charades, where you are guessing films, TV shows, and all the rest of it.
18. Copy Cat Freeze
This is a funny and quite silly game.
One person is the ‘leader’. They are going to act like an animal of some kind.
Everyone else is going to copy.
So, if it was a monkey, they might be doing ‘monkey arms’, while hooting, and swinging from vines. Everyone else is going to copy.
Everyone will be muted, apart from the ‘leader’. At any given moment, the leader is going to shout ‘Freeze’.
Everyone will freeze in their best monkey pose.
The leader can try a range of different animals, and everyone keeps copying.
So many of the classic games of the past can be played really simply and effectively on Zoom.
These games are fantastic for getting everyone interacting and enjoying the Zoom experience.
Good luck if you try out any of these Zoom games for large groups!