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Simple But Fun Word Games for Groups

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Word games are perfect for long road trips or impatient moments when you’re waiting for your food to arrive at a busy restaurant. They’ll also exercise your verbal ability and keep you on your toes. The following games require nothing but a pen and a few sheets of paper; they can be played anywhere with groups of various sizes.

Bag of Nouns

For this game, each player writes three or more nouns on individual scraps of paper and places the scraps in a bag or other container. The players then divide into two or more teams, and the game proceeds in three rounds.

In round one, the team going first chooses a player to draw a noun from the bag. That player must then describe the noun to her teammates without saying the word; the teammates must guess the word. The first player keeps going, drawing new nouns every time the previous one is guessed, while someone times a minute. When the minute is up, the team adds up all the nouns they were able to guess and receives that many points. Then it is the next team’s turn. Round one continues until each player on each team has had a turn describing the nouns to his teammates.

Round two proceeds the same way with the same bag of nouns, except players must make their teammates guess the noun simply by saying one word. Teammates should try to remember the nouns from the previous round to help them guess.

In round three, players must make their teammates guess the noun without using any words at all, but by acting out the word instead. At the end of the three rounds, the team with the most points wins.

Pass the Story

For this game, you will need as many sheets of paper as you have players. Each player begins by writing the first paragraph of a story or narrative, and then passes her sheet of paper to the player to her right. As the stories are passed around, each player adds a new paragraph to the story, altering the course of the narrative as he wishes. When the stories have made it all the way around the circle and are back with the players who started them, take turns reading them aloud. The results are sure to amuse.

Don't Finish The Word

This game requires no materials at all. The player going first simply selects a letter and says it aloud. The next player must add a second letter to the first letter so that the two letters are the beginning of a word but not a finished word. For example, if the first player says the letter “A,” the second player should not say the letters “N” or “T,” because they would produce finished the words “an” or “at.” He can say the letter “G” because “Ag” is the beginning of possible words, such as agriculture or agrarian. If the third player thinks that no words begin with the letters A and G, she can challenge the second player. If the second player can name a word, however, player 3 loses a point. If a player cannot think of a letter to add to a word, or is forced to complete a word, he or she loses a point.

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