Kids always look for fun things to do. When they run out of constructive activities and get bored, the destructive activities surface and trouble begins. Trouble for us, parents, I mean.

So, in order to avoid situations in which you just want to lock them in a cupboard, I’ve put together a list of the best family games that do not require a lot of preparation or materials. I love arts and crafts, but I am not the most coordinated person in the world. So, if you are like me or simply not in the mood to do all the setting up and then cleaning up, try these fantastic ideas for games that will guarantee fun and giggles for the whole family.

  1. Touch and guess

Take a bag and place a familiar item in it. The bag will be passed around, and each person will have to feel the object in the bag and guess what it is. The one who guesses is the winner. You can have as many rounds as you want. The fun and mystery are guaranteed.

2. Hum and guess

Choose a song and hum it. The family member that guesses the song first is the winner. But remember, no words, just humming. If you want to make things even more hilarious, the ‘singer’ can hum with his/her mouth full of cookies, for example. Don’t do it if you have younger kids and you are concerned about choking. Also, after each round, you can play the song and have a little dance about.

3. Little Bread

This is an excellent game for two people. You will need two pens and two blank sheets of paper. Each player writes numbers from one to ten on their paper. The first player chooses one of the numbers and writes it on the paper covering the tip of the pen with his other hand. The other player has to closely observe the movement of the pen and guess the number. If he guesses the number, let’s say that it was number six,  he makes a line under number six on his piece of paper. If he fails to guess, then the first player draws a line under number six on his paper. Now it’s the other player’s turn to choose and write a number for the opponent to guess. When one player manages to draw three lines under one number, he circles them, thus forming a bread. The player with the most ‘ loaves of bread’ is the winner.

4. Read my lips

One person says a word without making a sound. Basically, the lips move, but there’s no sound. The other players have to guess the word by looking closely at the person’s lips. This game will guarantee some hilarious guesses.

5. The milk bottle

This is a great family game to develop vocabulary. It’s simple, and it goes like this: one player starts saying the alphabet in his mind. Someone shouts ‘Stop’.The first player will announce the letter that he has stopped at, let’s say it’s letter G. Every player will have to say a word that starts with G that can fit into a milk bottle. The player that can’t think of a word gets a funny dare.

6. Categories

A popular game that can be played in as little as two players or as many players as there are available. It can be played in teams or individually. All you need is a pen and a piece of paper. Before the game starts, all the players decide on the categories that they want to play with. Some examples of categories could be countries, cities, mountains, bodies of water, fruit, colours, name, plants, and so on. I would suggest choosing somewhere around seven categories. After selecting the categories, each player writes them on the piece of paper. One of the players will say the alphabet in his mind while another player will shout ‘Stop!’. Every player will have to write a word for each category that starts with that particular letter. The first player who manages to finish writing shouts ‘Stop’. Each valid word gets 10 points. The game continues with another letter. In the end, the player with the most points is the winner.

7. Limbo with a twist

Everybody knows how to limbo. It a party game and there’s no reason why you and your family shouldn’t have a limbo party today. You know what they say, a limbo party today keeps the boredom away (they don’t say that I just made it up). Anyway, to make things more interesting, each player puts a cushion under their blouses. The ‘chubby’ players will then take turns in passing under the rope (which is either being held by two other players or tied up) without touching it with their chubby bellies. Each round the rope will be lower. Make sure to have some party music to go with this game and let the fun begin.

8. Charades

Who hasn’t played charades? Really. It’s one of the most popular games out there. The reason why it’s so popular is that the possibilities are endless and it’s the kind of game that gives you belly aches from laughing so hard. There are several ways to play charades, depending on how many people there are. You could have two teams and two people who mime. Each team comes up with a word for the opponent mimer to perform (only use gestures, no words or sounds). The team that guesses the word first is the winner. You could also have one person who mimes and two or three teams that race to guess. You can use this word generator to get a word to mime.

9. Mime, draw, explain

One of the best family games that will make you wonder where the time has gone. Ideally, the game is played in two teams. Before the game starts, each team will have to write on four bits of paper: mime, draw, explain or free. So, one piece of paper will say mime, another draw, and so on.  Again, you can use the word generator to give you the word that needs to be mimed/drawn or explained. After each representative of each team has their word, they will extract a ticket. Now they will know whether they need to mime, draw or explain the word. If they have the ‘free’ ticket, it’s up to the player to choose what s/he wants to do.

This is the DIY version of the Activity Boardgame, which is tons of fun. If you don’t have the board game, my version is a great replacement and super-easy to set up.

10. The Four Senses Game

In this game, all the players, except one, must be blindfolded. The player who is not blindfolded will choose to make a sound (for example, rustling a plastic bag, knocking on the door, turning on the microwave and so on), or give the other players something to smell (essential oil, a flower, a bag of rice etc.). He/She can give the players something to taste (establish the rule that all things must be edible) or give them something to touch. The blindfolded players have to guess what it is. Pretty fun, huh?

11. Tongue Twisters

Everybody knows tongue twisters. They’re entertaining, and everybody ends up having a giggle. There are thousands of tongue twisters available on the internet, and depending on the players’ ages, you can choose from kid’s tongue twisters to adult ones. Here is a suggestion for kids and one for adults.  To add a twist to the tongue twisters *hehe* and make the game even more entertaining you can have your mouth filled with gummy bears for example when you recite. However, if you play this with younger kids, I do not recommend this, as it can pose a choking hazard.

12. Grab the object

All the players sit in a circle. In the middle, there are some random objects. One of the players is the storyteller. He/She will start saying a story. When s/he mentions one of the objects in the middle, the other players must quickly grab that object. The person who succeeds is the winner. The game continues with another storyteller. It’s a great game for developing imagination, attention, reaction and speed.

13. Connections

This is a fantastic game for developing vocabulary. Decide on a word or simply use the word generator. Within a limited time frame, write as many words that are connected to the original word as possible. The player who writes the most words which are also correct is the winner. As an example, the word ‘PAPER’- tree, notebook, toilet paper, envelope, napkin, box, book.

14. Squish-squash

Do you have some plasticine lying around? Great! Then you can play Squish-squash, which is essentially charades, you just use plasticine instead of miming. There are two teams. You can either have one representative from each team model the plasticine or only one person and the two teams race to guess what the word is. I guarantee some funny moments, plus it’s super-fun for everybody, especially the kids.

15. Boltz

This is a very popular drinking game, but of course, you can adapt it for the young players. Simply take the drinking component out. At the beginning of the game, decide with which multiple you are going to play. It could be multiples of 4, 5, 6, 7, and so on. The game is simple. Let’s imagine we are playing with multiples of 4. Each time you reach number 4 or a multiple of 4, you have to say Boltz (alternatively, instead of saying this weird word, you can clap your hands). So, the first player says 1, the second says 2, third player says 3, the fourth player will clap his/her hands (do not say the number though). The game goes on with number 5, 6,7, clap hands (for number 8). The players continue to count clapping hands every time there is a multiple of 4. You can think of a funny punishment for the player that fails to clap his hands at the appropriate number.


Movie night? Be sure to check out this list of The Best Movies to Watch with your Kids