Given the last year we’ve all shared, many of our everyday hobbies and activities are beginning to feel a bit stale. We’ve played the board games we have in the house more than enough times; we’ve read the magazines and books that were sitting in the to-be-read pile. We’ve fixed the things that were broken but so minor they never made it to the top of the list before. Now we’re looking for something new to do.
Word games can be an excellent option for friend groups, and contrary to popular belief, these games aren’t only for the language-inclined—sometimes being able to think outside the box when it comes to words is an advantage. The following will explore several fun word games you and your friends might want to consider.
You might be wondering whether charades even counts as a word game. It most certainly does, seeing as the objective is to guess the word or words in question. Charades is way more fun than you remember, and, as a bonus, it can be played over video chat platforms meaning no one needs to be left out. Just make sure if you’re playing virtual charades that your gestures stay in view of the camera.
If you and your friends are just starting out with charades, you might want to decide on a category for the words or phrases to be in. You might want to pick movies, sports, or things you’d find in a home. Whoever starts thinks of something that fits within the category and then pantomimes the word using gestures or actions. Whoever guesses what the person is meaning gets the point.
Typically, people choose actions first that narrow down the category further. Something like pretending to crank an old movie camera to mean it’s a movie title. Often people indicate the number of words by holding up that many fingers.
Who says you need to play word games in your first language? Apps like Duolingo allow you and your friends to play simple matching games and fill in the blanks activities to learn a new language while gathering points along the way. At the end of the week or month, you can compare scores. Not only is this a friendly competition that can keep you and your friends busy, but it can also leave you with some pretty impressive language skills.
This game is full of nostalgia, but unlike most childhood games, we don’t get any better at it as we get older. Telephone involves sitting in a circle and one person beginning by whispering a sentence or phrase into the ear of the person on their left. That person then whispers what they heard to the person on their left. This continues until it gets to the last person. Somehow, always, the phrase is butchered and stitched back together into something completely nonsensical.
If you and your friends are looking to get together and away from a screen, Scrabble might be the game for you. Simple to pick up, Scrabble involves making words out of the few letters you’re given and placing them on a board to earn points. Once you get into the game, you’ll see that it can turn into serious competition. If you’re new to the Scrabble world and you’ve got that one friend who wins every time and you want to take her down, consider playing around with Unscramble Words for an afternoon. Once you open your mind up to the way words can hide within piles of letters, you’ll be shocked how much you can come up with.
You maybe haven’t played this game since middle school, so while being fun, this game also tends to be nostalgic. This classic game involves one person choosing a word (and keeping it secret). They draw dashes on a paper or dry erase board representing the number of letters in the word.
The other players guess letters that could be within the word. If they get one of the letters correct, the person who chose the word fills it in on the correct dash. If they get a letter wrong, the person who chose the word begins to draw a noose and a hanged man. The goal of the person who chose the word is to keep their friends guessing until the man is hung. The goal of those guessing is to figure out the word before the man is hung. There is an art to choosing the perfect, crafty hangman word or phrase.
We put these two together because they follow the same basic pattern. One person has a card with a sentence with a blank or a description, and all the other players offer up a card with a word or phrase on it that they feel best suits the phrase or description. Whoever has the initial card decides which one they think is best based on whatever criteria they choose (funniest, most accurate, etc.).
Not only does this mean you get quite a laugh sometimes, but part of the skill is knowing what sort of association would appeal to the person who is making the choice. The main difference between the two is that Cards Against Humanity is often very adult involving political references, mature themes, or risque terms. Apples To Apples works for all ages and sensitivity levels (there’s even a junior version for very young children with simpler words).
You know your friend group, don’t pick a game that’s going to start yet another three-hour conversation between those two members that don’t see eye to eye on anything (and maybe don’t even like each other, but they both like everyone else, so they keep hanging out).
The above games should give you a few options for work-related activities you can do with your friends. Of course, this list is only the tip of the iceberg; there are countless more word-based games you can play once you start looking.