Still looking for ways to engage with friends while you’re social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic? Here are a few ideas of games you can play over text message!


Share funny GIFs with each other (this is a favorite in my family!). There are some keyboard extensions that let you add GIFs right from the Messages app. You can also use a site like to find humorous GIFs to share. You could take turns having people on the text message thread share the hardest/funniest/scariest/worst/best thing that happened to them that day and have everyone respond with a GIF. Someone could post a funny/random GIF and everyone could see who can write the best/funniest caption for it. What would you caption this?

You could tell everyone to post a GIF of an animal that starts with the first letter of their name, or a GIF that represents their most embarrassing moment. Check out any of the questions in the “Get to Know You” game of the Word Generator and see if they could be answered with a GIF! (You can go for humor over accuracy.) For example…

  1. What’s the food or dish you can cook the best?

  2. How patient would you say you are?

    I'm Waiting phrase from The Princess Bride

  3. What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?


  • Share time lapses of completing projects (folding lots of laundry, doing the dishes, painting a wall, crafts, etc.).
  • Play a scavenger hunt: Have one person text the name of an object, and everyone else sends in a picture of it. Who can send one in first? The “Around the House” subject in the Word Generator could come in handy!
  • Similar to captioning GIFs, take turns sending funny/random pictures and see who can think of the best caption. You could even vote on the best.


Trivia is an easy game to play over text because there’s no dispute over who answered first. I have some Harry Potter trivia on my site, or you could use any trivia from any game you want! Below are some trivia facts about a few older Disney movies (in the style of a certain trivia game that I think is a lot of fun but doesn’t have a family-friendly enough name for me to mention). Text your friends one bullet point at a time. The first one to name the right movie wins, but if someone texts in an incorrect answer, they can’t guess again that round.

  • I was released in 1960.
  • I was filmed in Tobago.
  • I’m an adventure movie.
  • I star John Mills, Dorothy McGuire, James MacArthur, Janet Munro, Tommy Kirk, and Kevin Corcoran.
  • The 1812 novel I’m based on has inspired many other adaptations, including a 1960s science fiction TV series (and its 2018 reboot).
  • Some of my main characters are Fritz, Ernst, Francis, and Roberta.
  • My plot features a family, a shipwreck, an island, and pirates.
  • Animals that were brought in for my filming include dogs, giant tortoises, monkeys, elephants, ostriches, zebras, flamingos, hyenas, anacondas, and a tiger.
  • My initials are S. F. R.

Swiss Family Robinson

  • I was released in 2000.
  • I’m a fantasy comedy-drama film.
  • At the end of my credits, there is an explanation for why the moon appears orange when it rises.
  • I star Bruce Willis and Spencer Breslin (older brother of Abigail Breslin).
  • I’m about an unhappy and unlikeable image consultant meeting a younger version of himself.
  • My initials are T.K.

The Kid

  • I was released in 1997.
  • I star Harland Williams, Jessica Lundy, William Sadler, and Jeffrey DeMunn.
  • I’m a comic science fiction film.
  • One of my characters is Ulysses, a trained chimpanzee.
  • In one of my scenes, the president of the United States and all of NASA joins in on a sing-a-long of the song “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.”
  • I’m about a computer programmer-turned-astronaut on the first manned mission to Mars.
  • My initials are R. (sometimes written as R.M.)


  • I’m an animated movie released in 1988.
  • I’m a musical.
  • I feature the voice talents of Billy Joel and Bette Midler.
  • I’m about talking cats and dogs.
  • I’m based on a Charles Dickens novel.
  • My initials are O. & C.

Oliver & Company

  • I was released in 1989.
  • James Horner won an award for composing my music.
  • I have two sequels and, for a while, had a Disney Parks attraction.
  • I take place largely in one backyard.
  • My main characters are four kids from two neighboring families (a teenage girl and her preteen brother and a teenage boy and his younger brother).
  • One of my antagonists is a scorpion, and one of my heroes is an ant.
  • John Candy was considered for one of my roles, which was instead given to Rick Moranis.
  • The two families I’m about are the Szalinskis and Thompsons.
  • My initials are H.I.S.T.K.

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

  • I’m a 1998 remake of a 1961 movie.
  • Both me and my 1961 original movie feature product placement by Nabisco (in 1961, Fig Newtons; in 1998, Oreos).
  • I took eight months, three weeks and two days to shoot.
  • I was filmed in London and several locations in California.
  • I star Dennis Quaid, Natasha Richardson, and, in her film debut, Lindsey Lohan.
  • I’m about eleven-year-old identical twin sisters separated at birth and reunited at a summer camp.
  • My initials are T. P. T.

The Parent Trap

  • I’m a 1993 comedy sports film.
  • I star Leon Robinson, Doug E. Doug, Rawle D. Lewis, Malik Yoba, and John Candy.
  • I was John Candy’s last film to be released during his lifetime.
  • Some songs on my soundtrack include “I Can See Clearly Now,” “Wild Wild Life,” “ Countrylypso,” and “Rise Above It.”
  • I was filmed in Calgary and Jamaica.
  • I’m loosely based on the true story of a bobsleigh team in the 1988 Winter Olympics.
  • My initials are C. R.

Cool Runnings


If you have any other games you like to play with family and friends over text, please share!

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