When kids live far away from their friends or cousins, FaceTime, Zoom, and other video-chat tools are a great way for them to stay connected. But sometimes they end up awkwardly staring at the screen, wondering what to talk about. That's when they can play some fun and free online games for kids. These games make it easy for kids to play some of their favorite board games and video games together even when they're not gathered around the same table or screen.
We've found the best free online games for kids who want to meet up virtually and play games even when they're miles apart. These free 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 and kids will feel like they're in the same room!
Looking for more online fun? Check out 7 games like Wordle for kids and so much more in our Virtual and Online Guide for Family Fun.
20 Free Online Games for Kids to Play Together
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.
Perfect for the under-8 set, this game is exactly like playing Memory in your living room with cards, but without the mess. Invite friends to play and select the theme of the cards—my kids love the ‘80s set—and pick two at a time. You even get an accounting of your accuracy so that you can see how many pairs you picked correctly (to see how badly mom brain has affected your memory).
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Battleship goes high-tech with this free online game for kids.
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.
While Buddy Board Games has lots of free online games for kids, we like Yahtzee the best. The screen displays a scorecard and five dice below it. Once you roll the dice, a score displays on each line that will earn you points. The game is fun for kids ages 7 and up, with some math skill involved. Yahtzee is a great intro to statistics for late elementary and middle-school kids.
Like an all-ages Cards Against Humanity, this game asks a question and then lets kids type in an answer. The answers are displayed anonymously and everyone votes for the "best" one. For young humorists, this game can be quite raucous, but watch to make sure it stays appropriate.
The only thing missing from the free online version of Mancala is the familiar clink when you shift stones around the board.
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.
Middle-school kids and above can play this classic game online. Each disc is black on one side and white on the other. The 64-square board starts with four discs in a square in the middle, alternating black and white sides up. Each player chooses a color, and when you surround discs of the opposite color with discs of your color, you can flip over all the discs in between. The stakes get higher as the game goes on, and it becomes both addictive and exciting.
Related: These Free Interactive Typing Games Help Teach Kids To Touch Type
No table space is necessary for this free online version of 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.
Challenge friends to find more words than you in the five-by-five grid that you both see on your own screen. Words must snake into adjacent squares. This is a great game for future Scrabble nerds and helps kids with reading and spatial reasoning.
Paper.io offers free online games for kids ranging from Connect 4 to tic-tac-toe.
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 other free online games for kids and adults, including tic-tac-toe, Battleship, and Gomoku, a game similar to tic-tac-toe, which is played on a gridded board.
At least three players can get together and find out who can think of items in specific categories beginning with a certain letter. Kids can select their own categories or choose to leave out certain letters. You get 60 seconds for each round, and all players must agree that the answers are valid to move on. Again, this can go either way with potty-mouthed kids, so keep an ear out if you're teaching kids to avoid certain words (and maybe discourage the "Things That Smell Bad" category).
Related: 25 Alexa Games to Keep Bored Kids Busy
Deal an online game of 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.
Big kids can play this game through Facebook or on the iPad app to increase their vocabulary and spelling skills. The in-app chat is a great way to stay in touch with friends, and you don't have to play in real time, so you can take a break if needed.
Related: 25 Card Games Every Kid Should Know
Play Uno online with friends or versus bots to perfect your strategy.
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.
Started in 2016, this online game has recently made a comeback as it continues to improve. Kids play the game on a mobile device and take it outside to find other Pokemon that players have left behind and battle them in virtual gyms. Kids can play together by comparing stats or by actually going outside in groups to play.
You'll need to have or create a Nintendo account to play this classic cartoon car-racing game. Download the app on a mobile device or play online. Kids can pick a character and race their friends around a track while gathering goodies and avoiding pitfalls on the way to the finish line.
Dots and Boxes is one of the most simple free online games for kids.
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!
Pick a room or create a private room, then draw a picture based on the word provided. The game provides hints, like how many letters the word is or what the first letter is, at various points throughout the 60-second time interval. The game is played in three rounds with up to 12 players in a room.
Playingcards.io offers online game play of any card game you can dream up, plus some preset classics like checkers.
Playingcards.io has 12 free online games for kids and adults, 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.
Create a private room on this super-basic Tetris game, then invite friends to play. Make sure you go into settings so that the keys are set up in an intuitive way for you to flip, shift, and drop your various-shaped blocks into place. This game teaches spatial reasoning and creates a fun and friendly competition for both kids and nostalgic adults.
All screenshots courtesy of the respective websites.