As a teacher, you know better than anyone how much the past year has transformed learning. And although our circumstances will continue to change, virtual learning is still a reality for many students and teachers.
No matter what teaching looks like this year, building a sense of community is so important for you and your students, especially if they’re learning at home.
But with hundreds of virtual teaching platforms to choose from, how do you make sure your students are getting the best resources to learn and grow — and have fun while doing it?
We’ll help you narrow it down with a complete list of 30 virtual school activities for students of all ages. Whether you teach elementary school, middle school or high school, this list has your remote learning needs covered!
Try these virtual learning games & apps for online learning
Learning outside of the classroom can be easy and fun with these virtual school must-haves. Use these free virtual resources to engage students online and make your virtual classroom feel like home.
1. Prodigy Math Game
Price: Free. The optional Premium Membership provides extra in-game features for students and additional tools for parents, starting at $4.99 USD per student, per month.
In or out of the classroom, math games are a great way to keep students excited about learning math — even when it comes down to tricky concepts.
With Prodigy Math Game, you can keep math class fun wherever students are!
As your students create unique characters, explore virtual worlds, collect pets and enjoy all the fun in-game adventures Prodigy offers, they’ll also answer curriculum-aligned math questions. Plus, Prodigy’s adaptive algorithm is built to meet students where they are, so they’ll receive questions that match their progress level.
Use your free teacher account to create a classroom and:
- View in-depth data on student and class progress
- Create Assessments that align with your lesson plans
- Differentiate in-game content based on individual student needs
Parents can also sign up for their own account to view and support their child’s progress and motivate them even more!
Ready to make math an adventure this year?
P.S. Check out these free resources to help you use Prodigy in your virtual classroom!
- How to use Prodigy to fight summer learning loss
- How to use Prodigy in your everyday virtual teaching strategies
- How to benchmark student progress with Prodigy’s Test Prep tool
Price: Free or paid versions, with education plans for schools and classrooms.
In the past year, Zoom has become a close friend to many of us. And it’s no wonder!
Zoom is a reliable and accessible way to engage your class with virtual teaching. Use it to:
- Host online classes with video and screen sharing
- Engage your classroom with online polls, breakout rooms and virtual chats
- Host zoom games where students can join the fun from home or at school!
P.S. Want to add some pizzazz to your next online lesson? Try one of these custom Prodigy Zoom backgrounds!
Come up with discussions that really get your class talking! Flipgrid offers over 35,000 conversation starters to spark student creativity. Students can respond to each prompt with their own videos, which are displayed on the response board for the rest of the class to see.
The best part? It’s filled with fun editing resources so students can add animations, emojis and text to create fun videos they can be proud of.
TEDEd was specifically designed to celebrate student and teacher ideas.
You’ll find free online lessons in tons of subjects — including Earth School, where students watch videos, answer quizzes and complete quests to learn more about the natural world.
Plus, the TEDEd program lets students create their very own TED talks to share what they’re passionate about with the rest of the class!
Encourage virtual teamwork with your one-stop-shop for lessons, assignments and class discussions.
Google Classroom provides access to:
- Google Meet — Host video lessons and presentations online.
- Google Forms — Host surveys and quizzes for your class to fill out.
- Google Calendar — Keep track of lessons and give students insight into the structure of their day.
- Google Slides — Present lessons in a presentation format and include visuals to keep your class engaged.
Price: Free for the basic plan, with optional paid teacher or school plans starting at $10 USD per month.
Start meaningful conversations and encourage student engagement with the online platform that “creates a powerful learning loop between students, teachers, and families.”
With Seesaw, students have a digital space to share their thoughts and give you insight on how they’re learning. Plus, you can keep families in the loop with an exclusive space for home-to-school connections.
7. YouTube Kids
The good old days of TV stands on wheels are long behind us. Now, students can watch fun, educational videos no matter where they are!
YouTube Kids was built with kids in mind. This means the video content you choose to share with your class will always be safe and appropriate for their age group.
Have students download the app or watch directly on their browsers, then assign them videos on art, science and everything in between!
Price: Free for the basic plan, with optional subscription plans starting at $8 USD per member, per month.
See new ideas spark and virtual collaboration happen right in front of your eyes — and add a pop of color to make the day a little brighter.
Miro is an online whiteboard that lets your class collaborate through tables, flowcharts, sticky notes and more. Perfect for brainstorms or team projects!
Virtual learning can never be dull when you have this many fun effects and templates to choose from!
Whether you’re using it for lessons or encouraging students to create their own, Prezi makes online presentations easy and fun with plenty of design resources and a user-friendly interface.
Create presentation decks, videos, infographics, maps and more. Let student creativity take over and see the amazing results!
Ready to make learning an exciting adventure?
Boost engagement in your classroom with two captivating standards-aligned learning games for math and English!
Explore the teacher benefits
6 Traditional learning activities to bring online
In today’s digital world, virtual learning is more prevalent than ever. But that doesn’t mean we should say goodbye to our favorite in-class activities!
Here’s how to transform classic school activities into online activities that are perfect for distance learning.
1. Digital escape rooms
No room needed! Bring this classic team-building activity online and transform your classroom or students' homes into haunted houses, pirate ships or even the North Pole!
2. Two Truths and a Lie
Put a spin on this classic icebreaker game through online polls, presentation decks, or quiz platforms like Kahoot!. Compile student submissions into a quiz format. Then have them vote on each other’s options and see the submissions on-screen right away.
You can also use this game to supplement lessons. For example, add two truths and a lie questions during activities that review science concepts or historical figures.
3. Virtual journal writing
Instead of daily journal entries on paper, encourage virtual journal submissions through an online platform like Google Docs.
Or, take it to the next level and start a classroom blog. Students can compile their entries and reflect on each others’ submissions, then look back on their great work at the end of the year.
4. Virtual Scavenger Hunt
Create a checklist to bring your scavenger hunt online. Then have your students submit pictures to check items off the list.
Your list can include:
- Items they can find around their home (find 3 items that have stripes)
- Information they can find online (when was the telephone invented?)
- Information about one another (find a classmate who is left handed)
Host one big scavenger hunt, or provide one daily checklist item for them to find by the end of the day.
5. Read aloud videos
Record yourself reading a book out loud, then send the video to your students and have them listen during class time. Or find author read alouds that introduce students to the authors of their favorite books, so they can hear the stories straight from the source.
6. Virtual brain breaks
Brain breaks are an effective way to keep kids energized and ready to learn more. And there are so many options for online brain breaks!
Take one of these exciting virtual field trips
Even if they don’t happen in person, field trips can still be informative, exciting and hands-on! In fact, virtual field trips may be even better, because you can visit places that are hundreds or even thousands of miles away!
Here’s how to encourage classroom community building and bring your students to brand new places, without ever leaving your home or classroom.
1. Virtual zoo or aquarium
Lions and tigers and bears … and penguins and sharks and monkeys! Oh my!
A virtual zoo visit is super fun for younger students, or a great way for students of any age to learn more about animals and their habitats.
- Videos from the San Diego Zoo
- Live cams from the Monterey Bay Aquarium
- 3D animals to turn students’ homes into their own zoo!
2. Virtual national park tours
Your class can visit some of the most famous parks and learn more about nature without even stepping outside! Use Parks Through Your Screen to explore different parks and see them from a brand new perspective.
3. Virtual walking trails
Let your class explore mountains, trails, forests or even the pyramids! These virtual walking tours from across the globe provide an exciting online escape along with plenty of learning opportunities.
4. Ellis Island tour
Provide students with a hands-on history lesson through this interactive online tour of the historic Ellis Island. They’ll find stories, photos and notable facts at each stop.
4. Museums and art galleries
Some of the most well-known galleries in the world offer amazing online exhibits anyone can enjoy.
6 Virtual back to school activities for the first day of the school year
Back to school is the best time of year! And there are so many ways to make your first day of school activities welcoming and fun, whether they’re online or in person.
1. Play virtual ice breaker games
On the first day of school, it’s important for classmates to get to know one another, and for you to get to know them!
Ask icebreaker questions through online chats, play virtual games (like two truths and a lie) or have students create quick online profiles that feature fun or important facts about them.
2. Set expectations
Whether learning is remote, hybrid or in-person, it’s important that students know your classroom expectations and where to find everything they need.
Make sure to:
- Share your digital class schedule
- Let students know the best way to ask questions online
- Communicate classroom rules (try using Bitmojis to keep things light and fun!)
3. Send fun virtual questionnaires
Give students fun questions that will help them find out what they have in common and build community for the rest of the school year.
Ask questions like:
- What’s your favorite movie?
- What’s your favorite thing about school?
- What’s one thing you want to try this year?
Send them through fun online questionnaires through Google Forms, or create storyboards in Miro to display responses. Don’t forget to share your answers too!
4. Design virtual lockers
Use a fun Bitmoji template and have students create virtual lockers to display their personal style or show off their favorite things. To take it a step further, create a whole virtual classroom where students can customize their own space.
5. Share summer stories
Encourage your class to get creative and talk about what they did during the summer in whatever way they’d like.
This could be:
- Digital art
Or anything else they can think of!
6. Send out student learning surveys
Once you’ve shared your expectations for them, let students share theirs, too!
Send an online survey to each student asking questions like:
- How do you learn best?
- What’s your favorite way to learn?
- What questions do you have for me?
- What do you want to learn the most this year?
More ways to make virtual school fun
We couldn’t forget these activities! Here are a few more ways to make your online classroom awesome.
1. Encourage socialization
Social emotional learning is critical for student success.
And the best way to help students practice their social emotional skills? Provide them with plenty of opportunities to socialize and collaborate in fun, easy ways.
- Assign social emotional learning activities online
- Have frequent breakout rooms for students to socialize in small groups
- Create a collaborative class playlist on Spotify or listen to music as a class
- Hold regular discussions with the whole class and allow students to use chat functions or speak out loud
2. Hold virtual morning meetings
Have a daily check-in with morning meetings where you and your students can share feelings, thoughts and ideas for the day. Then go through your schedule and make sure everyone has all the online resources they’ll need.
3. Host theme days
Have regular theme days where the class wears a certain color or accessory, or dresses as a specific character.
For example, create a “color of the week” where every Friday, students wear as much of a specific color as they can find. Then let them show off their outfits in your online classroom!
Get the most out of your virtual classroom
Online teaching can be a tough balance. But with such a wide range of virtual school activities to choose from, there’s no shortage of fun your class can have while they learn!
Add a few of these activities to your online lesson plans to help students learn, play and collaborate — no matter where they are!
Looking for an online activity to supplement your math lessons?
Prodigy can help make learning math fun!
Assign curriculum-aligned math questions that match learning progress and grade levels, easily track student data, and provide your students with a fun way to practice math online — all while they embark on new adventures and battle friends to win rewards!
Create an Assessment for your Prodigy classroom today to keep students on track and differentiate for individual learning needs.