Top 6 Games to Play Physically Distant with No Equipment

  1. Updates
As more and more schools transition back to in-person learning, we know educators are looking for games that are physically-distant and don’t require equipment. The need for play is more important than ever due to the isolation that our kids have endured during COVID-19. Play encourages creativity, flexibility, teamwork, and other critical social skills.

We’ve applied our 25 years of experience to adapting some of our favorite games to the current context. See our pro-tips below to understand how to easily transition these games to fit your needs today.

1) SWITCH

Pro Tip: At each corner of the square, have two cones placed 6 feet apart. Whichever student reaches a cone first, wins that corner!

2) RO-SHAM-BO RELAY

Pro Tip: Remind students to stay six feet apart even when they are playing Rock, Paper, Scissors. Use this game as a tool to teach conflict resolution to your students!

3) ANIMAL KINGDOM

Pro Tip: This game can also be played virtually or with students sitting at their desks. Rather than tapping on the yardstick, either chat with the student who should make the sound or point to the student!

4) ZIP ZAP ZOP

Pro Tip: Set cones out six feet apart where you want kids to stand so the play space is large enough to have students physically distanced from each other.

5) DETECTIVE FROG

Pro Tip: Detective Frog is a version of Poison Dart Frog and can be played virtually or physically distanced in person. 

Variation for playing with masks:

  • Instead of sticking out their tongue, the poison dart frog uses a different motion agreed upon by the group, such as pointing.

Virtual: 

The poison dart frog uses private chat to “attack” the other players by sending a private message that says, “nom nom.”

If the player is attacked, they must do a dramatic “You got me!” and duck down.

The detective has 2 guesses to find out who is the poison dart frog.

6) JOURNEY AROUND THE WORLD

Pro Tip: Have the students have to travel from one end of a space to the other in order to promote a lot of movement. 


Interested in more games and Brain Breaks that work with virtual delivery? Subscribe to Keep Playing and receive weekly emails with curated content to help incorporate play in your school days. 

More Updates


top rated nonprofit logo
top rated nonprofit logo

October 27, 2022

Playworks earns 2022 Top-Rated Nonprofit Award ›

Playworks is proud to receive the 2022 Top-Rated Award by GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews about nonprofit organizations. Playworks was honored with this award based on the large number of positive reviews written by our schools, supporters, and parents. “Our work is not possible without our school partners, board members, volunteers, and all…

three people with Playworks shirts
three people with Playworks shirts

July 28, 2022

A year of social and emotional learning ›

“You can’t do SEL, trauma, or equity work without each other,” Jennette Claassen, Head of Evaluation, Playworks. As Playworks continued to progress on our equity journey, we explored a critical question: what are the intersections between play, social and emotional learning, physical activity, and trauma? A working group focused on this question decided, among other…

children holding hands in circle
children holding hands in circle

June 21, 2022

Playworks Pilot Program Spotlight: TagTeam ›

Playworks launched a pilot of TagTeam in partnership with Boys and Girls Club of America in cities across the country, beginning in 2019. This pilot expansion has been supported by The Allstate Foundation. Read about Playworks Indiana’s experience implementing TagTeam with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Indianapolis and Liberty Park Elementary School in Metropolitan…