10 Zoom Games for Your Virtual Class

10 Zoom Games for Your Virtual Class

Even while remote learning kids (and teachers) need a break. Are you looking for some fun and engaging activities to do with your students online?

Here are some easy Zoom games that can be played to get your class thinking, while having fun and getting to know their virtual classmates!


1. Go Find…(Great to get the wiggles out!)

– Set a timer for 20 seconds

– Give kids a description of an item- blue, spikey, round, stringy, etc.

– Tell them to go find something that matches the description

– Kids that don’t find anything or don’t make it in time are out

– Make descriptions harder or time shorter as you keep going

– Last one left is the winner



2. Pictionary

– Load Zoom’s whiteboard feature

– Send a private message to a child on what they will be drawing

– Set a timer

– Have the child start drawing

– Whoever guesses the drawing within the time frame gets a point!

– Most points wins



3. Name, Place, Animal, or Thing

– Say a Letter

– Kids must think of a Name, Place, Animal, or Thing that starts with that letter

– Whoever writes it in the chatbox first wins that round and gets a point

– Most points wins



4. Charades (Great to get the wiggles out!)

– Divide students into 2 teams

– Choose an activity (try using these Charades cards on Quizlet!)

– Private message the student who will be acting out the charade

– Set your timer

– Have the student act out the charade

– If their team can’t guess it within the time limit, the other team gets the chance to guess (or a point)



5. Zoom Out

– Choose a high-resolution color photo (4k pixels or more) of a common object or animal

– Zoom in really close to any part of the image

– Continue to Zoom out a little more every 30 seconds until someone guesses it

– First person to guess it right gets a point

– Most points wins



6. The Memory Game

– Make a tray full of random items (crayons, string, erasers, tape, pencils, snacks, etc.)

– Move the tray into view of the camera

– Give students 10-20 seconds to memorize the tray

– Move the tray out of sight and take away one item

– Move the tray back into view

– See who can name the missing item first

– Winner gets a point

– Most points wins



7. Simon Says (Great to get the wiggles out!)

– Make all students stand up

– Say, “Simon Says” and say an action

– All kids will repeat the action

– If you say to do an action without saying Simon says and kids do the action, they are out

– Last one standing is the winner



8. 4 Corners

– Students grab a piece of paper and a pen

– They will write a number 1-6 on their paper and hold it up

– Teacher will roll the dice

– When it lands on a number, the students who wrote that number are out

– Last one standing is the winner



9. Scattergories

– Use this free game generator

– Send each student a link

– Find the word that starts with all the categories

– Must start with the letter that is pictured

– Have students write their points down from each round

– Most points at the end wins



10. 5 Second Rule

– Download the app Tuku Tuku – 5 Second Challenge

– Share your screen

– Choose the order which students will play and start the game

– Ask students to give 3 answers to each category on-screen within 5 seconds

– Whoever can’t answer or reaches the time limit is out

– Winners move on to the next round

– Last one standing wins



BONUS GAME: Try a Virtual Escape Room!

These will run a little longer than the other virtual games (give at least 45 mins) and don’t necessarily have to be on Zoom, but are super fun and engaging for students. Here’s how they can play:

– Divide students into groups

– Look over and choose rooms from this kid-friendly list

– Assign each group a different room

– Team to escape first wins


What are you doing for brain breaks in your virtual classroom?

Let us know in the comments below! 🙂


This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.


Virtual “Welcome Backs” & Icebreakers for Your Online Class

Virtual “Welcome Backs” & Icebreakers for Your Online Class

In-person or online- no matter the scenario, as educators, we know how much you care for your students and you will do your best to give each child the most “normal” back to school experience as possible -given the current situation.

If you know you will be starting the year online or in a hybrid classroom try using these virtual icebreakers and “Welcome Back” messages to help greet all of your new students.

The ideas below are an easy substitute to first-day classroom orientation and in-person icebreakers that can help set a light tone and bring some normalcy to the uncertain semester that lies ahead.


Virtual Classroom

Put a Welcome Message up on Your Virtual Classroom

Using Bitmojis for your online classroom is not only fun, but it will also help students feel “normal” on the first day of school. The interactive elements of the program will let students click through to see websites, assignments, and other documents they will need for their new class!

Here’s a tutorial on Bitmoji Classrooms.



Virtual Classroom

Send a Virtual Welcome Back Message

Create a “Welcome Back to School” message to send to each student in your class a few days before the first day of school. You could create anything from an email invitation, a meet your teacher sheet (to send virtually), a mailed out postcard, to a short video featuring all of your staff!



Virtual Classroom

“All About Me” Slides

“All About Me” posters are usually made in class on the first day of school so students can get to know each other. This year you can send out an editable template that students can personalize virtually on Google Slides or Microsoft Word. These don’t have to be fancy; all they will need is a photo of themselves and to answer a few short questions.

You could even have older students make it their own by using PowerPoint and Googling photos of their favorite things (sports team, food, singer, movie, animal, etc.) and adding them all to 1 slide, so it looks like a collage! Then have them present and explain it to the class when you meet virtually on the first day.



Virtual Classroom

Virtual Class Introduction Video

As an easy introduction/icebreaker, let each student in your class have their time on screen by doing personal introductions. Make it entertaining for the rest of the class, by asking fun questions like “what you rather” or “what if…?” This is an easy way for students to get to know each other and help them put a name to each face.



Virtual Classroom

Play a Game that Includes Everyone

Games are a great icebreaker on the first day of school, especially when you are virtual. They help students get comfortable and interact with each other. Here are a few easy virtual games you can play with your class- do a virtual show and tell, sixty-second sketch, in-your-room scavenger hunt, Kahoot, raise your hand if, finish the sentence, etc.



virtual classroom

Send Welcome Back Packages

Just because you aren’t face-to-face with your students every day, doesn’t mean you can’t welcome them back with a gift! If you are one of those teachers, who insist on giving each kid a little something for being in your class, you can still send your students welcome back packages in the mail, or take a day and deliver them to their doors.

These packages can be as simple as a pencil and a highlighter with a simple “Welcome” note along with your signature. It’s a sweet gesture to let your students know you are thinking about them (and you will know they have some supplies at home).


Have a great school year! 🙂


This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.




Easy After School Snack Ideas for Kids

Easy After School Snack Ideas for Kids

It’s no secret that kids (and most adults) love to snack, but we all know filling a snack drawer can get expensive. We want to make after school snack-time easier on you (and your wallet), so we’ve compiled a list of easy snack ideas for kids filled with so many recipes, even the pickiest of eaters can enjoy.

The best part is, these are recipes that use ingredients you probably already have at home and you can make ahead of time and grab when you are on the go!

To make it even easier for you, each recipe is linked back to our Pinterest Board: Easy Snacks For Kids, so all you have to do is click on the picture and it will direct you to the recipe!


1. Turkey and Cheese Crescent Rolls

Easy Snacks for Kids


2. 5 Ingredient Ranch Snack Mix

Easy after school snacks














3. Chicken Nugget Sliders

After School Snacks for Kids


4. Apple Monster Cookies

After School Snacks


5. Frozen Yogurt Fruit Bark

After School Snacks


6. Butterfly Snack Bags

Easy After school Snacks


7. Chocolate Dipped Clementines

After School Snacks for Kids


8. Unsandwiches

Kids Snacks


9. Chunky Monkey Bites

Easy Snacks


10. Corn Dog Nuggets

Back to School


11. 3 Ingredient Cereal Bars

back to school snacks


12. Chicken, Bacon, Ranch Pinwheels

after school snacks


13. Energy Balls

Easy Snack Recipes


14. Banana and Nutella Sushi

No Bake Snacks for Kids


15. Pizza Toast

Easy Dinner Recipe


16. Ham, Turkey, and Cheese Roll-Ups

Easy Snack Idea


17. Animal Cracker Parfait

Easy Snacks


18. Cheesy Taco Sticks



19. Puppy Chow

Easy Puppy Chow Recipe


20. Frozen Fruit and Granola Cup

Fruit Cup Recipe


21. Baked Cinnamon Apple Chips

Baked Recipes


22. Banana Splits on a Stick

Easy On the Go Snacks


23. PB, Fruit, and Rice Cakes

Rice Cake Snack Ideas


24. Ham and Pickle Roll Ups

Simple Snacks


25. Frozen Fruit and Yogurt Sticks

Frozen Snacks


Head over to our Pinterest for more easy snack ideas for kids! We have also included ways to organize your snack drawer and pantry. Don’t forget to give us a follow at California Casualty to stay up to date on every new recipe idea we discover! Scan our Pincode with your Pinterest camera to follow:



This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters and nurses. California Casualty does not own any of the photos in this post, all are sourced to their original owners. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.





First-Year Teacher Tips from Veteran Teachers

First-Year Teacher Tips from Veteran Teachers

Going into your first year of teaching can be hectic (especially during the middle of a pandemic). Even the most in-depth college education programs, might not prepare teachers for what their actual first year in the classroom may bring. First-year teachers can struggle with anything from lesson planning and classroom behavioral issues, to their own time management.

So, we’ve asked the best resource for first-year educators- our seasoned audience of teachers across the nation, to provide tips and advice to their new colleagues entering the field of education.

Here’s what they had to say.


  1. Stay Calm

– If something doesn’t go the way you planned, it may feel like the walls are closing in and you have chosen the wrong profession, but it’s not. Getting into a new routine and feeling comfortable takes time (yes, even with teaching). You’ve got this!


  1. Set Boundaries for Yourself

– Remember teaching is your job, not your whole life, try not to let a few late nights turn into months and years. Don’t feel guilty for separating yourself and your home life from your work life.


  1. A Gallon of Coffee a Day

– Keeps the doctor away, right?


  1. Brush up on Technology (especially Google classroom)

– Even if you are starting your first year in the classroom, it would be a good idea to get familiar with the technology your school is using for virtual learning- just in case. Plans change quickly and often, this way you will always be prepared.


  1. Take Time for Yourself Every Day

– Moments of peace and quiet are few and far between. Find time in your day for yourself; whether that be before school, during your planning period, or when you get home at night.


  1. Learn that it is Okay to Ask for Help

– You won’t have the solution to every problem and that’s okay. If you are struggling with something (even if it’s just the copier) learn that asking for advice from your peers is completely normal and usually encouraged.


  1. Playing Can Be Learning

– If you have a class that reacts more to hands-on or interactive activities, don’t be afraid to adjust your lesson plans to help incorporate more activities like this. Learning can be fun!


  1. Listen to Music in the Classroom

– It is YOUR classroom and you decide how it will be run. If you discover having your kids sit on exercise balls and listen to calming tunes while they’re working is conducive to their learning experience- then do it!


And the fan-favorite….

  1. Stock up on Alcohol

– This one speaks for itself!  However, if you’re solely a black coffee and water-only drinker, the important point here is that you should find a way (that works for you) to unwind and relax when you get home from school.



When that first day of school rolls around, don’t stress out. We’ve all been there! And if you’re having doubts, just remember why you went into the education field in the first place.

You can do this! Have a great first year.



This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

Back to School Routines: Online & At-Home

Back to School Routines: Online & At-Home

This back-to-school season looks different than any we have ever seen before.

While school across the nation are still undecided on how their students and staff will return, some districts have made the announcement that they will give students, and their parents, the choice to continue learning remote or in-person; other schools have even made the decision to make all classes completely online.

No matter what the school year may bring or your district’s decision on classes, children will be caught in the middle. That is why it is so important to get them prepared and back into a comfortable school routine.

Here are some quick tips to help your child establish a back-to-school routine, no matter if they are heading back into the classroom or learning at home.


5 Tips for Back to the Classroom:

Teach Hygiene Rules

Having good hygiene is extremely important, especially now. Teach your child the good hygiene rules, which include washing their hands frequently (for at least 20 seconds), using hand sanitizer, not sharing their food, and sneezing/coughing into their elbow. You should also teach them that to keep everyone safe they should not touch other students or their teachers.

Practice Wearing Masks

Wearing a mask in the classroom will likely be required. At first, this will feel different for younger kids; this is why you should have them practice wearing their mask at home for extended periods of time until they become more comfortable. Let them know the importance of keeping their mask on and not sharing it with other students.

Prepare Lunches the Night Before

Get in the habit of making lunches the night before, so you aren’t stressed and rushing around in the morning. Children can even help out by picking what they would like to have and putting it all together in the fridge for easy grabbing in the morning. When you are packing remember to use Tupperware or plastic baggies they can open themselves, and include a baby wipe or sanitizer for their hands.

Set BedTimes

One of the hardest parts about going back to school is having to adjust your child’s sleeping schedule and getting them used to waking up early again. That’s why morning and night routines are crucial. About 2 weeks before school starts, you’ll want to get their bedtimes back to normal, so they have time to adjust to them.

Establish a Morning Routine

Having a polished morning routine set in place will help get you and your child out the door on time, every day. The routine should consist of: a set waking time, some type of breakfast- decided on the night before, time to get ready- brushing teeth, changing, etc., backpacks and lunch boxes sitting in their designated location, and a specific time to meet by the door or be in the car. Remember, practice makes perfect!



5 Tips for Learning at Home:

Continue to Have a Morning Routine

Even though your child is learning remotely, they can still benefit from having a routine in the morning. Waking them up and having them complete their normal duties before they have to log on, will help them become more awake and prepared for their online school day.


Designate a Workspace

Before classes begin, find an area of your home that you can designate as your child’s workspace. This should not be the dining table or the living room table. They will need a space that is completely their own where they can keep all of their supplies, just like their desk in a classroom. This space should be in a quiet area of your home or in their bedroom.


Know Their Schedule

Even though classes will be online, you should print out a copy of your child’s schedule and hang it on the fridge. Be sure to include the teacher for each subject (if they differ) and their contact information. By doing this you will be able to help them prioritize their homework and easily reach out to their teacher(s) if they have any questions you are not able to answer.


Make Rules for Toys and Electronics

Setting rules for toys and electronics before classes start will help set boundaries for what your child can and cannot do while they are learning remotely. Place all toys and electronics (stuffed animals, video games, etc.) away from their designated work area and let them know when it is acceptable to play with them, and when it is not.


Set Aside a Time for Homework

After sitting at the computer by themselves all day, the last thing your child wants to do is homework, so they may find ways to put it off. After their online learning day, let them take a short break and then set aside an hour that is solely dedicated to studying, so they can enjoy the rest of their night when it is complete. Start this on the very first day of school, so it can easily become a habit.


Children, along with most parents, love routines, and by using these tips you are setting them up for success- no matter if they are learning at home or in the classroom.

Happy back-to-school!



This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

10 Items to Keep at Your Desk

10 Items to Keep at Your Desk

Our Education Blogger is a public school teacher with over a decade of experience. She’s an active NEA member and enjoys writing about her experiences in the classroom.


You spend about eight hours a day in the classroom; it’s basically your second home. You never know what your day in the classroom will throw at you, especially these days, so be sure you’re prepared. In addition to your basic supplies, stock up with these 10 essential items every teacher should have at their desk.


10 essentials for your desk - flair pens


  1. Good Grading Pens/Markers – You can never have too many colorful grading utensils! I like Papermate Flair Pens and they come in a variety of bright, fun colors.

10 Items Teachers Should Have at Their Desk - Stain Remover

  1. Stain Remover – I always spill my coffee on my shirt! I use a quick stain remover, like Shout Wipes or Tide Pen, to clean myself up in a snap!

Travel Size Deodorant


  1. Travel-Sized Deodorant – The temperature of my classroom is never consistent! One hour I’m wearing my parka while I teach and the next I’m down to my sweat-stained shirt. Keeping a stick of deodorant on hand is also helpful on those warm days that I have recess duty.

face masks


  1. Extra Masks – For those days when you are rushing out the door and forget we are living in the “new normal”.
    Teacher Desk Essentials - Pain Reliever
  2. Pain Reliever – It’s hard to teach when you’re head is pounding! Keep a small bottle stashed in your desk drawer so you can make it through a tough day.


Teachers Desk Essentials - Disinfectant Wipes or Spray


  1. Disinfectant Wipes – Even though the janitorial staff is consistently wiping down surfaces, between classes this will most likely be your responsibility to help you (and your students) stay safe.


Teachers Desk Essentials - Bandages

  1. Bandages – No need to send students to the nurse (and risk exposure) for minor cuts and scrapes.


hand sanitizer


8. Hand Sanitizer– For when you don’t have time to run to the bathroom and wash your hands between periods.


Teachers Desk Essentials - Non-Perishable Snacks


  1. Snacks – Keep a few healthy snacks, that you don’t have to eat with your hands, tucked away so you aren’t tempted to go to the vending machine-like cereal bars, applesauce, or jerky sticks.


Teachers Desk Essentials - Refillable Water Bottle


  1. Reusable Water Bottle – Water fountains can be full of germs, invest in a large enough water bottle that you won’t have to refill throughout the day.


A few extra items that could also help you out include K Cups, a Fun Coffee Mug, a To-Do List, Lotion, Mechanical Pencils, Post- its, Kleenex, Gum, a Desk Fan, and a Bluetooth Speaker 

Worried about shelling out your own money? Ask parents and families to donate items that are for student use, like cough drops, wipes, Post-its, pencils, and bandages!

Check out our Pinterest Board, Teachers: What To Keep at Your Desk, for more and don’t forget to give us a follow at California Casualty to stay up to date on every new idea we discover! Scan our Pincode with your Pinterest camera to follow:

This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters and nurses. California Casualty does not own any of the photos in this post, all are sources by to their original owners. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

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