Games are a great way to connect and create fun, memorable relationships. When thinking of games, also remember it's about the relationship...not the winning or losing. Be interested in the game the other person wants to play...and you'll be reinforcing a strong desire to play again. Go for it!
Here is a list of games you can do anywhere with simple pen and paper, or just using your imagination. Remember, just have fun!
- Draw a 3 x 3 grid on paper. Then two players, X and O, take turns placing their mark on the grid. Whoever places three marks in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row wins the game.
- The game starts by one player thinking of a word, phrase or sentence and drawing a number of blanks on paper for each letter. The other player tries to guess the word by suggesting one letter at a time. For an incorrect guess, draw one part of a hangman...and make note of the missed letter so it isn't repeated. The player loses once the hangman is completed. For a correct guess, add the letter to the appropriate blank. At any time, the player can try to guess the entire word, phrase or sentence. If correct, they win. If incorrect, they lose.
Dots and Boxes
- Start with an empty grid of dots. I recommend starting with no more than a 7 x 7 grid for a short game. Two players take turns adding a horizontal or vertical line between two empty adjacent dots. The player who completes the fourth side of a 1×1 box earns a point and takes another turn. Record your point by placing a letter or your initial inside the box. The game ends when all the lines are completed. Count up your letter/initial. The player with the most points wins!
I Spy With My Little Eye
- Take turns identifying something you both could see, and name its color. For example, "I spy with my little eye something BLUE!". The other player tries to guess what blue thing you are referring to. Play repeats with the other player spying something. There really isn't any scoring. It's just fun and mindless.
- Come up with a topic or category, such as foods or countries, then take turns coming up with words in alphabetic order, such as "Alfalfa sprouts, Beans, Cucumbers", etc.
Make Up a New Word
- Think of two unrelated words, names, things, or concepts, and create a new word. For example, take the word hungry and angry...and make a new word: hangry. Then define your word...such as "a state of anger caused by a lack of food".
- Two people draw a picture of a person, taking turns drawing each body part. You'll never guess how it will turn out! Use your imagination and draw something unexpected...such as clown feet, elephant ears, a lion's tail, etc.
Word Creation Game (similar to Boggle)
- To start the game, draw a 4 x 4 grid (or larger if you want) and take turns putting a random letter inside each box in the grid. Now, see how many words you can create with adjacent letters in two minutes. For example, in the box below, one word would be BOY. Game alternatives: a) see how many words you can create together, b) ignore the "adjacent" letter rule and see how many more words you can come up with, c) come up with a wildcard letter such as "a" or "e" that can be inserted anywhere you want to help create words.