Playdates are necessary for social and emotional development, but with many children unable to play in person, parents are turning to virtual playdates to keep kids having fun while staying physically apart.

A virtual playdate can be as simple as trading collectibles or playing a game of tic-tac-toe on the whiteboard function in Zoom, but there are also great toys that you can incorporate into your kids’ next virtual playdate to kick things up a notch.

Kids can each do a craft and share their creations over the computer. Playdate pals can play with plush or dolls, have a dance party, make a music video, or act out a play. Kids can unbox collectibles and trade them later. Finally, they can build something awesome and share it on the screen!

Coordinate with the fellow parent in advance of the playdate. Determine whether you ship a set to the other family or each purchase the item. Either way, each product listed below retails for under $20. It is a cost-effective way (much less than the movies or admission to a museum) to create a great virtual playdate experience.

About the author

Charlene DeLoach

Charlene DeLoach

Charlene DeLoach is a contributing editor at The Toy Insider where she primarily covers parenting topics. Charlene has been featured in print and on television more than 100 times. Before joining The Toy Insider, Charlene was an attorney, real estate broker, and interior decorator. In her current life, she has vowed to get grownups using toys as decor and to teach parents and toy companies to think outside the toy box at her websites and Follow Charlene on Instagram where you'll see that her account is mostly dedicated to pics of her cute dogs, kids, and fun finds.