Questions only

Questions only gameWhat it is: A talking game for two or more players.

Best for: 2 up to about 8 players.

What you need: Just two or more players.

How to play: The point of the game is to hold a conversation using only questions. Players take turns asking questions to each other, and the first person to say a statement is out. The questions don’t have to make sense or logically respond to one another; the trick is just to get another player to fall into the habit of automatically answering a question. So a sample game between Ian and Lilly might go something like this:

IAN: Why is the sky blue?

LILLY: What are you doing?

IAN: Where are you going?

LILLY: What time is it?

IAN: Where is my hairbrush?

LILLY: Where do you think it is?

IAN: I don’t know….dang it!

LILLY: Haha! I win!

(Ian just said a statement, so he loses.)

With more than two players, you can take turns asking questions in a circle, or players can ask questions specifically to other players, in any order.

This is a great game to play while killing time in the car, on a bus, waiting in line…you get the idea. So go ask some questions!


What it is: A quiet indoor game that sharpens your observational skills…and can lead to lots of laughs, too.

Best for: Group of 8 to 12ish.

What you need: A group of people and a room they can all sit in. It’s harder to play this one on the floor, so it’s best if everyone’s sitting on chairs or couches arranged in a circle.

How to play: Before you start, everyone who’s playing needs to choose a sign—something distinct enough that it’s clearly theirs, but (usually) inconspicuous and silent. For example, let’s say Mike, Lori, Ben, and Kate are choosing their signs. Mike’s is pulling his right ear. Lori’s is touching her nose with her finger. Ben’s is making a “peace” sign with his hand. And Kate’s is a wink.

signs game

Next, choose someone to be It (this time it’s Ben). Ben stands up in the middle of the circle and picks someone in the circle (like Kate) to have the Sign. Then he closes his eyes. The point of the game is to pass the Sign around the circle without Ben knowing who has it. Kate has the Sign now. To pass it to someone else, she has to make their sign to them. So, what if Kate wants to pass the Sign to Mike? She’ll make sure Mike’s looking at her and then pull her right ear (remember, that’s Mike’s sign). For Mike to officially receive the Sign, he has to acknowledge to Kate by pulling his ear. As soon as Mike makes his sign, he has the Sign. Until then, Kate still has it. Make sense?

So that’s how the Sign is passed around the circle. Now remember that Ben closed his eyes? After he counts to ten, he opens them, and by then Kate will have passed the Sign on to someone else (and maybe the Sign has been passed a few times), so Ben doesn’t know who has it. Since he’s standing in the middle of the circle, his back is always turned to part of it, allowing the players to pass and receive the Sign when he’s not looking. But Ben can be quick. Let’s say he catches a glimpse of Lori making her sign (touching her nose with her finger) and he guesses that she just accepted the Sign. Ben can then ask, “Lori, do you have the Sign?” She has to respond truthfully, and then Lori is the new It. She stands in the middle of the circle, picks a new person to start with the Sign, and closes her eyes to count. If Lori (or any other It) guesses incorrectly, the game keeps going. She can guess as many times as she wants. So that’s how the game is played.

A few things to remember while playing signs: First, make sure that everyone remembers everyone else’s signs. It’s okay if people forget momentarily, but if none of the other players can ever remember Ben’s sign, they’ll never pass the Sign to him, and that would be sad. So it might be good to review everyone’s signs every once in a while. Another thing, sometimes the game can get confusing. If you’re not paying attention, it could be easy to lose track of who has the Sign, or multiple people could think they have it. At that point, it’s best to pause the game and have whoever’s It pick a new person to start and then count to ten. Finally, you can get pretty sneaky with passing the Sign. If Ben’s It and he asks, “Do you have the sign?” and you do, but technically you just passed it to someone else who accepted it before you have to answer, you can say “no” and you’re off the hook. So practice being sneaky and inconspicuous and go have fun with signs!

Variations: There are many other games similar to signs that you perhaps call the same name. The game newspaper is similar, just not as quiet. Know any others? Oh, and one of my favorites is playing signs in a perhaps less formal setting, say if you’re in a boring meeting and want some entertainment. Get your buddies to all very quietly and inconspicuously choose a sign and then pass it around without the People in Charge catching on.* Good times. 😉

* Of course, you should be responsible. Always.

Freeze tag

freeze tagWhat it is: Freeze tag is a classic. And a good way to get rid of a lot of spare energy.

Best for: Big group of at least 8 players.

What you need: A bunch of people ready to run.

How to play: First, choose someone to be It—let’s say it’s Joey. Joey counts to a designated number to give the other players time to run away. When Joey’s done counting, he runs after the other players, trying to tag them. If Joey tags you, you have to freeze where you are until one of the other players comes over to unfreeze you. (Unfreezing is typically done by crawling under the frozen person’s legs, but there are many variations.) Once someone unfreezes you, you can run around again and try to unfreeze other players. If you get tagged by Joey again, you’re frozen again. The game ends when Joey freezes all of the players and a new It is chosen.

Variations: One of my favorite variations is freeze tag-with-all-your-limbs-bent-or-all-your-limbs-straight. Know any other fun variations to share?

Yay for games!

The Game Gal

Hi! Welcome to my new blog. I’m the Game Gal, and I like games—outdoor games, group games, family games, just fun games. Because, hey, who doesn’t enjoy having fun and laughing with family and friends?

So if you’re planning a family reunion, throwing a party, entertaining bored kids, or just getting together with any group of people looking for some fun, I hope you can find the right game here. Enjoy!