• 9 Best Virtual Playdate Apps in the UK 2022 | Caribu, Marco Polo and More 1
  • 9 Best Virtual Playdate Apps in the UK 2022 | Caribu, Marco Polo and More 2
  • 9 Best Virtual Playdate Apps in the UK 2022 | Caribu, Marco Polo and More 3
  • 9 Best Virtual Playdate Apps in the UK 2022 | Caribu, Marco Polo and More 4
  • 9 Best Virtual Playdate Apps in the UK 2022 | Caribu, Marco Polo and More 5

9 Best Virtual Playdate Apps in the UK 2022 | Caribu, Marco Polo and More

Everybody – even Elmo! – has been hosting virtual playdates over the last year. Whether you're locked down at home or just a bit overwhelmed by the many responsibilities of being a human parent, virtual playdate apps can keep toddlers, kids and even teens happy and connected. 


There are some excellent apps and sites available which make hosting a virtual playdate simple and fun. Connecting to likeminded mums and dads or enjoying story time with the grandparents can be a breeze too! In this article, we'll help you compare the best virtual playdate apps and choose one that's just right for your family. Read on to find the Apple and Google Play links to our ten favourites. 

This Article's Contributors

mybest Editing Team
  • Last updated: 04-04-2022
Table of Contents

How to Choose a Virtual Playdate App in the UK - Buying Guide

This section of our article is dedicated to informing you about the different kinds of virtual playdate app. It will help you decide what you're looking for in an app so you can choose one (or more!) that will be easiest to use and most relevant to your family. We can't wait to share our tips with you!

Scheduling, Video Calling, Games or New Friends? Choose the App Based on Your Playdate Priority

First things first, you should decide what it is you need from your new app. Are you looking for a place to host virtual playdates, schedule them (applicable to real-life playdates too!) or simply meet other parents and children nearby? On our list, we have examples of all three – and more. Or why not download several? They're free, after all!

Some Apps Simply Allow You to Arrange, Invite and Schedule Virtual Playdates

Some Apps Simply Allow You to Arrange, Invite and Schedule Virtual Playdates

Arguably the simplest type of playdate apps are those aimed at organising you and your child's (hopefully busy) social schedule. They make it easy to send out invites online, either via email or to other app users. You can then have all your playdates fixed in one place and won't double book or let anyone down by missing a meet-up. 


Playdate organiser apps do not provide a virtual space to actually hold the event – you'll need to download a separate app for that – but they do keep times, dates and names clear and accessible.

Kid-Friendly Video Calling Allows You to Enjoy a Playdate From the Comfort of Home

Kid-Friendly Video Calling Allows You to Enjoy a Playdate From the Comfort of Home

These apps are at the heart of virtual playdating – they provide an online space that connects your child to another pal or family member, showing their happy little face on the screen. Although they can't hug, they can still share laughter and catch up, even if the world is falling apart or they live divided by oceans. 


We recommend arranging an activity for each child to do in their own space at the same time, such as painting, clay modelling, or even an outdoor hunt for flowers and creepy crawlies. 


Either use the video app afterwards as a kind of show-and-tell option, or set up the video call so kids can chat, share ideas and occasionally wave to one another while they create! Virtual playdates like these are ideal for keeping in touch while avoiding excessive focus on the screen

Feeling Isolated? Choose an App that Connects You to Likeminded Parents With Similar-Aged Kids

Feeling Isolated? Choose an App that Connects You to Likeminded Parents With Similar-Aged Kids

Loneliness is a side of parenthood not many of us are warned about before we leap into this exciting yet challenging time. Especially when you have a newborn or a very little child, being a parent can feel unexpectedly isolating


This is where a meet-up app for parents comes in. They allow you to connect with other (new) mums or dads in your area, with whom you can chat first before subsequently arranging a virtual meeting or playdate. 

Feeling Isolated? Choose an App that Connects You to Likeminded Parents With Similar-Aged Kids

Apps like these are just like a dating app but for friendships, so can feel a bit strange to some of us, but the joy of a video call is that you can get a feel for a person and build trust before meeting and introducing your kids in the real world. People are verified and you can keep addresses totally private.


In the early stages of parenthood, meeting new friends and finding playmates for your baby isn't easy, but this kind of app expands your social circle so you can share the stresses and pains of raising a child with someone who fully gets it. 

Want to Watch a Film or TV Show Together? There's an App for That!

Want to Watch a Film or TV Show Together? There's an App for That!

Need a bit of quiet time after a noisy day of father- or motherhood? A low-key virtual playdate where your youngsters calm down with their favourite film is a clever option. All the better if they can watch it in unison with their BFF online. Don't waste time messing around with one-two-three NOW! (someone always clicks 'play' on two, it's a scientific fact.)


Instead, let an app do the syncing for you so the film or programme plays out in two living rooms at once. This can be turned into a whole 'virtual sleepover' or 'movie night' event with cosy cushions, PJs, takeaway pizza and cinema snacks, making a really fun way for children to connect, even if they can't be in the same place.

Read-Together Apps Offer a Chance to Bond When Families Live Far Apart

Read-Together Apps Offer a Chance to Bond When Families Live Far Apart

Virtual playdates are just as important to older family members as they are to kids. When parents are away or when grandparents live someplace far, an app can be the simple solution for connecting two favourite people who can't see each other in person. And to make that meeting even more special, why not share the magic of a good book?


Grandparents love to read kids a bedtime story, while budding young readers often can't wait to show off their new-found sounding-out skills.


Apps that are connected to a virtual library of child-pleasing reads make perfect sense – they give meaning to a video chat that might otherwise feel unstructured and allow family members to share the excitement of a story beloved by young and old. This is a top pick for connecting military parents with their children, too.

Keep an Eye Out for Extra Features That Add to Your Playdate Experience

Keep an Eye Out for Extra Features That Add to Your Playdate Experience

It's always useful to know what extra features your app comes with. If you're choosing one that helps you meet new people or schedule playdates and invite other guests, look out for extras such as playdate inspiration or freebies, goodies and rewards that thank you for using the app regularly or sharing it with friends. 


For video calling apps, look out for a chat sidebar where you can type things – ideal if the sound isn't working yet or your kids are feeling shy! Screen sharing is another useful option if you've planned an online quiz or want to do a show and tell activity involving digital documents. 


Built-in games save you time wracking your brain for playdate ideas and provide a pacey, challenging focus for an otherwise vague and untethered chat. Similarly, stickers, emojis, filters and drawing tools can liven up the virtual playdate experience, keeping easily distracted minds engaged or making almost-grown-ups feel like they're using proper social media. 

Make Sure the App Will Engage Kids of the Right Age Range

Make Sure the App Will Engage Kids of the Right Age Range

For very small children, a standard video calling app could be enough. Mums can chat away while babies get stimulation from the shapes, colours and friendly faces on the screen. 


Once little ones are beginning to speak and engage, apps with pictures, libraries and simple activities like drawing, colouring or matching games can be wonderful, right up to the age of 6 or 7. 


For children aged 7 and over, more inspiring playdates with complicated games or interactive experiences can provide lots of fun. As they reach 11 and head towards their teens, they may want to feel independent, so check the age limit of apps with additional content (such as online gaming or video), since it's not always suited to younger eyes. 

Who's In Charge? Some Apps Allow Independence, Others Give Parents the Last Word

Who's In Charge? Some Apps Allow Independence, Others Give Parents the Last Word

All the apps on our list give the parents the chance to monitor how their children use them, but some provide a sense of independence too. For most of the apps we've chosen, the parents do the signing in and setting up, leaving the child free to play once contacts have been established. 


We believe it's best to monitor carefully who your child has on their friends list, ideally by seeking out an app that reduces contacts to those whose phone number the account holder has saved. 


Trust your child to select the games or videos they access, keeping a good-faith eye on them as they search independently for content they enjoy online. This way, you can nurture a sense of freedom and careful judgement in them while still making their safety and protection a top priority. 

9 Best Virtual Playdate Apps in the UK

Now on to the exciting moment where we begin our countdown of the ten best virtual playdate apps of this year. Here you'll find a good variety of options with mini descriptions and comparable spec tables with all the key information. Browse, download and play the day away!

9

Keedoo AppKeedoo

£0.00

Main FunctionVideo meetings
Other FeaturesPlaydate ideas, connect to other families in your area
Age RangeUnder 11s
Who Has ControlParent
8
Main FunctionWatch TV in sync
Other FeaturesChat function, upload emojis, screenshots and GIFs
Age RangeAll ages
Who Has ControlParent
7

BunchBunch: Group Video Chat and Games

£0.00

Main FunctionVideo chats and games
Other FeaturesCreate groups, share on social media
Age Range11 years and up
Who Has ControlChild
6

Play: Date AppPlay: Date

£0.00

Main FunctionMeet other parents and kids, arrange playdates
Other FeaturesEarn rewards
Age RangeAimed at adults
Who Has ControlParent
5
Main FunctionVideo meetings and chats
Other FeaturesChat function, screen sharing
Age RangeAll ages
Who Has ControlParent
4

GoogleGoogle Arts and Culture

£0.00

Main FunctionVirtual museum trips
Other FeaturesZoom in on details, try filters based on famous artworks
Age Range7 years and up
Who Has ControlParent or child
3
Main FunctionMessaging, video calls
Other FeaturesFilters, stickers, emojis, drawing tools
Age Range7 and up
Who Has ControlChild
2
Main FunctionVideo calling, text messaging and photo sharing
Other FeaturesEmojis, voice effects and camera filters,
Age Range7 and up
Who Has ControlParent or child
1
Main FunctionVideo calling
Other FeaturesLibrary of popular children's books, drawing and colouring function, games
Age RangeAll ages
Who Has ControlParent or child

Compare the Best Virtual Playdate Apps

Image
1
Caribu App Caribu 1

Caribu App

2
Marco Polo App Marco Polo 1

Marco Polo App

3
JusTalk Kids App JusTalk Kids 1

JusTalk Kids App

4
Google Google Arts and Culture 1

Google

5
Zoom US Zoom 1

Zoom US

6
Play: Date App Play: Date 1

Play: Date App

7
Bunch Bunch: Group Video Chat and Games 1

Bunch

8
Teleparty 1

9
Keedoo App Keedoo 1

Keedoo App

Name

Caribu

Marco Polo

JusTalk Kids

Google Arts and Culture

Zoom

Play: Date

Bunch: Group Video Chat and Games

Teleparty

Keedoo

Features

Play, Read and Draw Together in a Cosy Video Chat

Texting, Photo Sharing and Video Chats With Complete Privacy

Controlled, Kid-Friendly Alternative to Standard Messenger and Video Apps

Explore the World's Art and Culture from Home

The Nation's Favourite App for Video Chats

Expand Your Social Circle – and Your Child's!

Have Fun With Silly Games and Video Chats

Watch the Latest Netflix Films and TV Shows With Pals

A Simple Way to Connect and Arrange Playdates

Price£0.00£0.00£0.00£0.00£0.00£0.00£0.00£0.00£0.00
Main FunctionVideo callingVideo calling, text messaging and photo sharingMessaging, video callsVirtual museum tripsVideo meetings and chatsMeet other parents and kids, arrange playdatesVideo chats and gamesWatch TV in syncVideo meetings
Other FeaturesLibrary of popular children's books, drawing and colouring function, gamesEmojis, voice effects and camera filters, Filters, stickers, emojis, drawing toolsZoom in on details, try filters based on famous artworksChat function, screen sharingEarn rewardsCreate groups, share on social mediaChat function, upload emojis, screenshots and GIFsPlaydate ideas, connect to other families in your area
Age RangeAll ages7 and up7 and up7 years and upAll agesAimed at adults11 years and upAll agesUnder 11s
Who Has ControlParent or childParent or childChildParent or childParentParentChild ParentParent
Link

More Ideas for Time Indoors With the Kids

More Ideas for Time Indoors With the Kids

A day indoors with your family can feel like a blessing or a nightmare, depending on the day, your state of mind, and of course, your budget. Engaging indoor activities needn't be costly, though more expensive puzzles and games can end up being great value as they can last for ages! Below we've shared links to our favourite articles guiding you through fun ways to while away the hours with your kids at home

Summary

Thus concludes our rollercoaster ride through the best virtual playdate apps you can buy in the UK this year. We really hope our thoughts were helpful and allowed you to compare products easily to find what you wanted! 


Among our picks we think there are some proper gems, and we hope they'll make life more fun and chilled out in equal measure, no matter your family set up!

Author: Annie Hopkins

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