My first week doing telehealth, one of my clients asked if we could play checkers. I searched the internet and even went past the first page of Google results, and I could not find a website that let me play multiplayer checkers with someone who was not in the same room with me. Of course, months later when I found a site that lets you play checkers online, I could not remember who had asked. Occupational hazard.
Anyway, PlayingCards.IO had my back! They actually have quite a few games you can play online, including a blank template where you can create your own card game, so I recommend checking them out. For this series, I am sticking to games that I have personally found helpful during telehealth, so I won’t cover them all, but you might find something that just didn’t work for me.
Even though it’s played on the computer, this game has more of the feel of in-person therapy than most of the other games I have reviewed because the rules aren’t coded in. All the pieces are there, but nothing stops you or your client from skipping turns, moving pieces “illegally,” or changing the rules any other way. I do like that for when I’m trying to be non-directive with some of my kids.
Since it has so many similarities to in-person games, the only pro/con tradeoff I could think of was that you won’t lose the pieces or have the board flipped by an angry client, but manipulating the pieces on the screen seems to be tricky for some kids with fine motor issues.
I am so excited to be able to add checkers to my telehealth arsenal!
If you prefer to play checkers with the rules enforced, Checkers 365 has you covered. The website brings you to Master Checkers Multiplayer. Choose the play button with the circle (which indicates playing with others online), choose a nickname, and select “Create Match.” I usually use the client’s name as a password for security. They follow the same steps and then select “Join Match.” Then play together in real time!
You can also play through CardGames.IO, which does not let you set up a password protected room. Instead, go to the website, click “multiplayer,” and enter your name (or have your client do this first). You then choose a player to challenge and pick each other. Since an observer would not know the game is part of a therapy session, this still maintains confidentiality in your session, and it has fewer steps if the first platform gives your client trouble.