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Three active games you can play virtually or with safe social distancing

Whether you’re in a state that is still closed or planning reopening, summer programming and youth physical activity opportunities are looking quite different these days. Here are three physical activity games that you can play virtually or with safe physical distancing.

Rock, Paper, Scissors

fun for all ages, best for ages 6yrs+

Have you ever played rock, paper, scissors? Try this physically active twist on an old favorite, instead of using our hands, we’ll use our bodies!

If virtual, all participants can play against the instructor.

In-person, all participants can play against an instructor or partner up (with 6ft in between).

If you want to play rock, you’ll get in a squat position, for scissors do a jumping jack, and for paper, get into a plank. Start with backs facing each other, count 1, 2, 3, go! Then turn around and make your move!

Rock (squat) beats scissors (jumping jack), scissors beats paper (plank), plank (paper) beats rock (squat).

Alphabet Relay

Scalable for all ages, best for ages 4yrs+

This relay-style race can be played as a virtual race among multiple teams A to Z or round-robin A to Z to engage and get input from all participants. In-person, this can still be played as a running relay as safe distancing spacing can be enforced between team members. Not sure if you can guarantee safe distancing? Play the virtual version in person and everyone stays in their own space.

Virtual version: Do three jumping jacks then say the letter A, three more jumping jacks, then the letter B, repeat that pattern from A to Z.

In-person version: Form relay teams - the first team member runs to a stopping point shouts out the letter A, then runs back to their team, and gets at the end of the line. The next team member runs to the stopping point and shouts out the letter B, continue through team members from A to Z. The first team to Z wins!

Adjust for different grade levels:

  • PK-1: Letters, A to Z

  • 2nd-5th: Words that start with A to Z

  • 6th-12th: Categories - fruits and vegetables A to Z, states and capitals A to Z, elements on the periodic table, etc.

Exercise Shipwreck

Fun for all ages, best for ages 6yrs+

Everyone’s on a ship out in the middle of the ocean, different queues require different actions! The last to perform the action does jogs in place for next “call” or (full elimination version) sits through remaining round until a single player is standing.

Virtual version: all activities can be performed in a small space, instructor watches for elimination.

In-person: All participants should be safely spaced. Elimination optional as in the virtual version.

  • Front of the boat, take one or two hops forward.

  • Back of the boat, take one or two hops backward.

  • Sides of the boat hop on one leg.

  • Deadbug, lay on your back with your hands and feet up in the air.

  • Swab the deck, get into a squat position and pretend like your mopping the deck.

  • Man overboard – plank!


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