Parents and sitters everywhere are adapting to the new normals of the COVID-19 pandemic—including through virtual sitting. But as a caregiver, what games are there to play with kids that can work through a video call? We’ve rounded up a few of the free (!!) sites and apps that both you and the kids could enjoy.

What is Virtual Sitting?

To be clear: a virtual sitting is not the same thing as in-person babysitting. A virtual sitting is hiring a professional to engage children digitally for a short period of time. The sessions can be used to assist kids with schoolwork or facilitate an interactive game—like charades. It’s not a replacement for physical care. Families and sitters considering a virtual sitting during this time should continue to view safety as their top priority.

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Sitters Should Keep in Mind

Building Trust is Still Important

Even though you aren’t physically in their house, you’re still spending time with their child.

Parents Shouldn’t Leave Their Child Unattended

You aren’t able to physically supervise or control the child when connected only by video.

Review Planned Activities

Always work with the parents to determine what’s appropriate for their child.

Free Online Virtual Sitting Games for Kids

Caribu

Caribu is a video-calling app that allows kids to read, draw, and play games with someone, like a sitter, while in separate physical locations. AT&T is funding 60 days of free access and unlimited usage March 24-May 24, 2020. You can download Caribu in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and use it on most phones and tablets. Early learning – 2nd Grade.

Skribbl

Like Pictionary in real life, Skribbl is a free multiplayer drawing and guessing game that you can play in your own private online room. Connect by video chat to hear everyone’s guesses and giggles while you see the drawings being made right in front of you! Play for points or just for fun. Ages 6+

Card Games

Miss playing card games? Create your own private room to play go fish, crazy eights, or any other 52-card deck game. Use your video chat platform of choice to talk while you play. Ages 4+

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Psych!

Choose from a variety of categories in which each player makes up fake answers to real trivia questions. Try to stump everyone else without getting stumped yourself. Get it in the Apple Store or Google Play Store. Ages 4+

Heads Up! Kids

You can now play the game created by Ellen DeGeneres with kids, no matter their reading level. From animals to actions to items around the house—give clues to help your teammate guess the picture that’s on their head before time runs out! Get it in the Apple Store. (The app is $0.99, so not technically free, but pretty close!) Ages 4+

Codenames

Whether or not you know and love the competitive board game, you can play with a virtual board through video chat. Spymasters can only give one-word clues in order to get their team to guess all of their team words. First team to guess all their words correctly wins! Ages 10+

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