9 Free Online Games For Kids to Play Together

Screentime doesn't have to be a solo activity with these fun, free online games for kids to play with friends.
Screentime doesn't have to be a solo activity with these fun, free online games for kids to play with friends.

Sitting down to eat snacks and play a potentially friendship-ruining round of Uno is an essential part of any good summer vacation, and social distancing doesn't necessarily need to get in the way. Even when they're miles apart, these online games for kids make it easy to play some of our favorite board games even when we're not gathered around the same table.

We've found the best free online games for kids who want to meet up virtually and play the classics, from Pictionary to Mancala. While we've written about games you can play over Zoom before, but these websites make it even easier to connect. These online games for kids don't require subscriptions, payment, or downloads; just click the link, and you're good to go. Pair the game with a Zoom call and a bowl of popcorn for the full quarantine summer experience.

One important note: Many of these websites have public and private gameplay options. The public games often have unmoderated chat rooms, so use caution or stick to private online games for kids. Private games can only be joined by using a custom link, so there's no way for strangers to pop in.

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Get your drawing skills ready and play Pictionary online.

1. Pictionary

Skribbl.io allows groups of up to 12 kids to play together in private rooms shareable with a link. Just click "Create Private Room" and send the invite link to your friends. Players take turns drawing a word with their mouse or guessing what is being drawn by typing in the chat. The site automatically times each round and offers words to draw and guess, but you can choose to customize the time and words to make the game your own.

Battleship goes high-tech with this online game for kids.

2. Battleship

Play a few rounds of the classic game Battleship with a friend using this simple website. Click the "friend" option under "opponent" and send out your custom link to start the game. The site offers "Russian" and "Classic" modes, so you can experiment with fleet composition and placement to stump your foes.

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The only thing missing from the free online version of Mancala is the familiar clink when you shift stones around the board.

3. Mancala

Though the satisfying clink of Mancala stones can't be replicated long distance, this website is a welcome diversion. Mancala is played by moving stones around a board until all stones are in either your "store" or your opponent's. On this website, you can create a free account or play as a guest. Create a private game to invite a friend via a link, and try to outwit them and get all the stones.

No table space is necessary for this free online version of dominoes.

4. Dominoes

Gather a group to play a round (or seven!) of the classic game of dominoes. Dominoes is played by matching the number of dots on the tiles on the table to the dots on a tile in your hands, creating long chains of tiles. You can play online easily with up to four people by creating a free account or playing as a guest, then making a new private game.

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Paper.io offers free online games for kids ranging from Connect 4 to tic-tac-toe.

5. Connect 4

Though simple, a quick game of Connect 4 can quickly turn into a fierce competition. Play as a guest and invite a friend via a link, or create an account to organize an online tournament for multiple friends. This website also offers tic-tac-toe, Battleship, and Gomoku, a game similar to tic-tac-toe, which is played on a gridded board.

Deal an online game of Set.

6. Set

This student-designed website makes it simple to play the card game Set online with friends or strangers. The goal of the game is to make three-card sets based on the color, shape, and fill of each card before the other players. You can create a private game and invite a group of friends, or play alone and take your time.

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Play Uno online with friends or versus bots to perfect your strategy.

7. Uno

There's nothing that brings people together more than fighting over the rules of Uno. This website makes it easy to play from a distance. Just create a room (you can add a password if you want), choose your rules (you can allow card stacking, doubles, or neither), and share the room link provided at the bottom of the screen. You can also play against bots to hone your skills before facing your friends.

Dots and Boxes is a simple online game for kids.

8. Dots and Boxes

This simple pen and paper game is played by connecting dots to make as many boxes as possible and beat your opponent. You can play against the computer or a friend by selecting a private game and sharing the custom link. You can also customize the grid size to adjust the game length. Up to four people can join a game, so get the squad together for a quick match!

Playingcards.io offers online gameplay of any card game you can dream up, plus some preset classics like checkers.

9. Chess, Checkers, and Card Games

Playingcards.io has 12 premade gaming options, including backgammon, cribbage, chess, checkers, crazy eights, hearts, and more. It also has a custom setting that allows you to play any game you can play with a deck of cards. The possibilities are almost endless! Just start a game and share the link provided to invite friends.

All screenshots courtesy of the respective websites.

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