If you’re among your friends, you always try to find some fun and whacky games to play when bored. Fun challenges and games guarantee an enjoyable time when friends get together. It allows for comfortable socializing and avoids any awkward spaces during the meeting. This article lists out a bunch of ideas that friends can play together.
Games for indoors and outdoors are included. Parties, picnics, sleepovers – there are so many ways you spend time with your friends. Choose a game that will fit your event well. Get playing!
- Indoor Games To Play When Bored
- Paper bag skits
- Freeze dance
- Boardgame tournament
- Classic TV
- Paper Airplanes
- React and act
- Video games
- The Oreo challenge
- The Maltesers game
- Conversation Games To play with your friends
- Group story time
- Rock, paper, scissors
- Two truths and a lie
- Would you rather?
- Who am I?
- Likes and dislikes
- The alphabet game
- Single sentence
- Outdoor Games
- Capture the flag
- Cops and robbers
- Obstacle course
- Silly Olympics
- Freeze tag
- Ghosts in the graveyard
- Scavenger hunt
- Ball bopping
- Tug of war
- Balloon Stomp
- Relay races
- Monkey in the middle
- Water Games
Indoor Games To Play When Bored
You have your friends over. You’ve watched a movie, eaten a pizza from your favorite place, and caught each other up with your life. Now what? Play the games listed below to keep the fun going!
Paper bag skits
Divide yourselves into teams of two-three players each. Make paper balls. Include small items like jewelry, ribbons, gloves, etc. in the balls. Wrap one item in each paper ball. Put at least five paper balls into a paper bag.
Make enough paper bags so each team gets one. After receiving the paper bags, teams must sit together and come up with a skit that they can perform for the other teams. You could add external members as judges and turn the activity into a fun competition.
One member of the group is chosen to be the DJ. This player is in control of the music and in turn, the progression of the game. When the music is playing, all the players must dance. Once the music has stopped, all players must freeze in their position. If a player doesn’t freeze fast enough or is not able to hold their position, they are eliminated from the game. The DJ and eliminated players can try to make the players move from their position without touching them. The last player standing wins the game. This game is sure to provide a fun time.
Pull out all the board games you have. Set up separate play areas for each board game. Number the players. Get the players with the same number to play against each other. They can switch up their opponents before switching to another game.
If you do not have enough games to entertain all players simultaneously, set up a tournament. Winners of matches go on to the next round to play against each other.
Scrabble, Snakes and Ladders, Ludo, Yahtzee, etc. are good board games that you can play with your friends.
This popular game has a board game version which is easy to play. If you do not have the board game, it is easy to set up. All you need are many sheets of paper, pencils, pens, and a timer. Divide the players into groups of two.
One player from the team volunteers to draw. The opposite team gives the player a word that they must pictorially represent. They cannot signal words with gestures or words. Writing down letters and numbers is also prohibited. Other players of the team must try to guess what they are drawing. If the team successfully guesses, they gain a point.
Teams take turns sending forth players to draw words. The team with the highest points at the end of the game wins.
Re-visit shows that you would watch as kids. There are sure to be some classic television shows available on streaming platforms and websites. Watching these shows together will take you on a trip down memory lane. It is sure to start conversations that will last all night. Have fun!
Everyone has made paper airplanes when they were kids. Get some papers for each of you to make some airplanes. Use crayons and markers to color them and give them a unique style. Hold a contest on how far your decorating planes can go.
React and act
Were you and your friends part of your school theatre club? This game is perfect to show off your dramatic flair. Before you start the game, write down made-up scenarios on pieces of paper. Fold them and put them into a fishbowl. Some examples of scenarios are listed below –
- Stepping on a snake
- Finding $100 on the ground
- Getting scolded by a cranky teacher
- Getting dumped by your significant other
- Meeting your favourite celebrity
The players are divided into two groups. One player from the team comes up and pick a chit from the bowl. They have 30 seconds to mime the scenario they have received. The actors are strictly not allowed to speak. The other group must try to guess the scenario.
You can modify this game and make it an improv challenge. Once the actor mimes their scenario for 30 seconds, a player from the opposite team comes up and adds to the mime. They can react to what the actor has done or engage in partner play. Allow members to naturally come up and add to the scenario. Let it flow for 5 minutes before going to the next scene.
If board games aren’t up your alley, go the video games route. Set up a tournament with different video games. You could also play simulations of bowling, dancing, or playing music. Whatever video game you choose, ensure everyone knows the game and is in for a good time.
The Oreo challenge
This game can be played with Oreos or any candy or cookie that comes in multiple, distinct factors. If available, including obscure and weird flavors to the bunch. Empty the Oreos into bowls and segregate them according to flavor. Blindfold a player and allow them to take a bite of the cookie. The player must guess which flavor they are eating. The player who gets the most amount of right guesses wins the game.
This traditional American game is originally played with stones. If you want, you could buy jacks set at your local department store. The set would include six metal jacks, each jack will have six points and a small ball. If you’re playing with the set, bounce the ball and pick up jacks.
If you’re playing with stones, toss the stone in the air and catch it. Players will take turns seeing how many jacks or stones they can pick up before catching the ball or stone.
You could play jacks with any number of players. The following instructions are given to play with the jack set. You can use the same set for playing with stones. However, instead of bouncing the ball, you will be throwing stones.
- Player number 1 tosses the ball into the air. As they do this, they disperse the jacks from their other hand. After the ball bounces once, the player must catch the ball. The jacks must not be disturbed once they have landed.
- The next time the player tosses the ball into the air, they must pick up the jacks in one hand. After the ball bounces, the player must catch the ball with the same hand they used to pick up the jacks.
- Players must touch jacks that they are picking up. If they touch a jack and do not pick it up, their turn ends.
- If a player makes a mistake in catching the ball or the jacks, their turn is over. The next player will now play.
- The first person to pick up all six jacks firsts, wins the game.
The Maltesers game
To play this game, you will need several packets of Maltesers, bowls, and some straws. Each player is given a bowl and a straw. All the Maltesers are emptied onto the center of the table. Players must use their straw to blow the Maltesers into their bowls. The player who collects the most number of chocolate wins the game.
A simple card game that players of all ages are sure to enjoy. You will need a deck of playing cards with no jokers. If the number of players exceeds 6, you will need to use two decks of cards. The objective of the game is to finish your cards as fast as possible.
One of the players is chosen to be the dealer. They are tasked with shuffling the deck and dealing the cards among the players. The player situated to the left of the dealer starts the game. They must discard one or more cards that are of the same value.
The cards are discarded face down. As they place the cards down, the player must call out what they are claiming to put down. For example, “two Kings.” The cards must be discarded in descending order starting with Ace.
If you don’t believe the claim the player is making as they put their cards down, you can call ‘BS!’ The cards played by the previous player are opened. If the claim is true, the cards are handed over to the person who called BS. If the claim is false, they are given back to the player who put them down.
Get bluffing and empty your hand.
Conversation Games To play with your friends
Your friends and you meet indoors and wish to socialize and have conversations. Use these games to begin funny and interesting conversations.
Group story time
Gather all your friends together. Find somewhere comfortable to sit in a circle. Make chits with nouns. Ensure that each player is given at least one chit. The nouns are sent around the circle. The player who has the chits must incorporate all the nouns written down by the players into a story. They must narrate the story and entertain the rest of the group.
Write bizarre nouns while making the chits. Try to add twists and turns in your story that is not expected. This will make the activity more fun and get you all laughing.
Charades is a classic and will always be a hit entertainer. Split the group into teams of 2-4 members. One player from the team is chosen to enact a word for their team to guess. The opposing team provides the player with the name of a book, movie, song, or famous personality. The player has one minute to act out the word given to them. If their team guesses the word correctly, the team gets a point. If the team is unable to guess the word, they lose the point. The team with the most number of points after all the rounds wins the game.
Rock, paper, scissors
The go-to game to decide any falling out as kids. Revisit this game and set up a tournament. Let’s go through the rules to refresh your memory. To make a ‘rock, make a fist; a ‘paper’ is symbolized by a flat hand; and for the ‘scissors’, make a scissor shape with your pointer and index fingers.
The two players make a fist and shake it three times while chanting, “Rock, paper, scissors.” After that, players must make the hand gesture corresponding to the item they have chosen. Rocks break scissors, scissors cut paper, and paper covers rock. Depending on the gestures shown, the winner and loser are decided.
Either set a time limit or a certain number of rounds a player must win to win the match. Set up a tournament to pit the winners of matches against each other.
Two truths and a lie
This game also works as a good icebreaker at get-togethers and parties. Gather all the players and get them to sit in a circle facing each other. Each player takes a turn to make three statements about themselves. One statement out of the three has to be a lie. All the other players must try to guess which statement is a lie.
Ask players to tell stories behind their statements. This will encourage the players to open up to each other.
This conversation game is sure to help you understand your friends better. Choose one person to be ‘It’. They must ask a question that begins with the word ‘Things’. For example – ‘Things that I would take to a swingers party?’ Keep the questions weird, silly, and interesting to keep the game refreshing.
All players must write down answers to the question on a piece of paper. The chits of paper are collected in a bowl. ‘It’ reads out the chits one by one. The other players must try to guess who has written the answer. The players who guess correctly are awarded one point each.
Choose another person to be ‘It’ for the next round. The game is sure to connect friends together and start conversations.
Would you rather?
This simple conversation game gets more exciting as you get more creative. The players sit together in a circle. Players go in turns to ask questions to the group. They must start the question with, ‘Would you rather…?’ Some examples can be – “Would you rather have rainbow nipples or fart in color?”; “Would you rather never sweat again or never fart again?”; etc. Keep the questions bizarre and creative.
Once the question has been asked, all players in the group must answer the question and justify their choice. The game serves as a good icebreaker and conversation starter.
Who am I?
A simple game but wildly entertaining. Gather your friends around. Pass around pieces of paper. All players must write down names of celebrities, mutual friends, or other prominent people that all players are familiar with. The chits are folded and put into a fishbowl.
In their turn, people come up to the center, pick up a chit, and stick it on their forehead without looking at the chit. They must now ask questions to the group and try to guess whose name is written on the chit.
Only close-ended questions that can be answered with yes and no can be asked. The player gets 3 guesses each round. If they get the person’s name right, they get a point. Tally your points at the end of the game to see who wins.
More Games for Kids: Fishbowl Game: An Easy Guide
Likes and dislikes
Think you know your friends well? Think again. Pass around chits of paper and pens. All players write down 5 things they like and 5 things they dislike. They can put down food, music, movies, clothes, activities, etc.
When all the players are done writing, the chit is put into a fishbowl. One by one the chits are readout. The group must try to guess who has written that particular chit. Time to prove how well you know your friends.
The alphabet game
A trivia game that will surely entertain. Gather the players and choose a category. In their turn, players must name something in that category. The players must name items in alphabetical order.
This game will put your creativity to the test. The game can result in bizarre and funny stories. Gather all the players around. The first player will write one sentence on a piece of paper. The paper is passed on to the next player.
This player will have to draw a picture that corresponds to the sentence. The paper is folded to hide the sentence and passed on. The third player has to guess what the sentence was seeing the drawing.
Depending on their guess, they write a second sentence in an attempt to continue the story. This goes on until someone provides a concluding statement. Keep a track of how the story progresses. It will be an interesting one indeed
An outdoor trek and picnic is a fantastic way to connect with your friends. Use the following games to have fun with your friends when you are outdoors.
Capture the flag
Capture the flag is sure to engage your group of friends. Divide the group into two teams. Each team gets to select an object lying around – a stick, a stone, etc. as their flag. The goal of the teams is to protect their flag and capture the opposite team’s flag.
If a player is tagged by a member of the opposite team, they receive a penalty. This could be a time-out or elimination from the game depending on your needs. The team to capture the opposite team’s flag first wins the game.
Cops and robbers
This game is a variation of the classic game tag. All players are split into two teams – ‘Cops’ and ‘Robbers’. A home base is assigned to each team. Designate an object that the Robbers must attempt to steal.
The aim of the Robbers is to touch the item without being tagged by any player from the Cops. If a player from the Cops team tags a Robber, they are put in time out. They are let out once another player from their team tags them.
The Cops team wins when all the Robbers have been tagged. If the object is stolen successfully by the Robbers and they all make it back to their home base, they win the game. Cops and Robbers cannot enter each other’s home base.
Use objects lying around to make an obstacle course. You could use garden hoses, picnic baskets, and tree branches to set it up. To make it more interesting, add different rounds to the competition. You can jump, hop, run, walk, bunny hop, etc. The player who has the most number of wins in the whole tournament wins.
Not ready to take part in the Olympics? Don’t worry. You can recreate it with your friends in your backyard. The only difference – it’ll be silly. Get together with your friends and decide what games you want to include in your Silly Olympics. Some examples of games you can play are listed below.
- Egg catching
- Backward crab walk
- Frisbee tossing
- Balloon volleyball
- Capture the flag
- Egg relays
- Sack race
Make up names for your countries. Get into groups for the team games. Awards 3 points for the gold, 2 points for the silver, and 1 point to the bronze winner. Tally up your scores in the end and see which country won the prestigious Silly Olympics.
This game is ideally played with a large group. One person is made ‘It’. If players get tagged, they must freeze. They can be let free once another player tags them. You can make variations to this game depending on the size of the group and the kind of game you desire.
Incorporating music is one way to make the game more fun. All players must freeze when the music stops. You could also make the game fun by tweaking the rules of the original game. Add a fun twist on how players can unfreeze the frozen players – crawl under their legs, crack their knuckles, etc. If you’re a really large group of players, you could choose more than one person to be ‘It’.
More Games for Kids: Mind-Bending Problem Solving Games
Ghosts in the graveyard
A perfect game to spice up your sleepover. Ensure your backyard has minimal light to enjoy the game to its fullest. The game is particularly fun around Halloween time.
Choose a player to be the ‘ghost’. Space is designated as the ‘base’. As the game begins, the ghost must go hide in the playing area. The other players must start counting at the base. Once done, they go into the playing area. When a player spots the ghost, they call out, “Ghost in the graveyard!” The players must aim to run back to base without being tagged by the ghost. The player tagged becomes the ghost for the next round of the game.
An outdoor party in your backyard calls for a scavenger hunt. Hide small items in the nooks and corners of your backyard. Provide all players with a list of clues to items that are hidden. For example – small and green traveler for a car, bouncy wonder for a ball, silver oxygen pump for a leaf pendant, etc. The player who finds the most number of items wins the game.
If you have a larger group, divide the players into teams and send them on a hunt. Make sure you have a list of where the items are hidden so you don’t lose any.
You will need inflatable balls for this game. As a substitute, you can use balloons as well. Use balloons depending on the size of the group. For a group of 7-10 people, three balls or balloons are ideal. The aim of the players is to prevent the ball from touching the floor. Players can use any body part to keep the ball in the air. Keep a count of how many times the balls touch the floor. Try to reduce them as the rounds go by. Get bopping!
Tug of war
Divide your players so that both teams have equal ability to pull the rope. Get a rope. Both teams are positioned on either side of the rope. Mark the center of the rope. Make two markings on the ground. Pulling the center marking on the rope across the marking on the ground towards them will make the team victorious.
As the name implies, the players must aim to stomp on balloons. However, the balloons are attached to the ankle of the players making it challenging. Players cannot touch the balloons with their hands. You can play some music to set the tone of the game. Players never tire of this fun game. Make sure you have enough balloons blown and ready to go for a couple of rounds.
Relay races are team races. One person from the team completes the task and passes it on to the next. This goes on till all the players in the team have completed the task. Relay races help foster teamwork, provide healthy competition, and are loads of fun. There are many varieties of relay races. Some are listed below.
- Use hard boiled eggs. Team members must try not to let the egg fall as they run the race.
- Simple tag races are the most common form of relay races.
- Dress up relay races are also popular. Players must put on a designated item of clothing, run the race, and remove the item.
- Water bucket relay races – Team members must try to take water from one bucket to the other with the help of a mug or pitcher.
Monkey in the middle
An extremely popular game. It is sure to give you and your friends a fun time. You will need three players to play the game. One player is chosen to be the ‘monkey’. The other two are going to be throwing the ball around. The monkey stands in between both the players. Their aim is to touch the ball while it is in the air. If the monkey touches the ball, the player who threw the ball becomes the new monkey. The game is simple but fun nonetheless.
More Games for Kids: Conversation Games For A Fun Time
A hot, summer day with your friends. What’s the best way to spend it? Splashing water, of course.
Water balloon toss
Who doesn’t love a water balloon fight? Divide the group into teams and get tossing your water balloons. You could play this game without teams as well. There are two objectives – throw your balloons and have tremendous fun.
Switch on your sprinklers and start playing. One player is chosen to be ‘It’. Make two designated spaces – one for tagged players to wait and another safe zone where players cannot be tagged. Play a traditional game of tag. ‘It’ cannot tag the players who are in the safe zone.
The game is perfect for a hot, summer day.
Meetings with friends should be nothing short of amazing. Use the games given in the article to have a good day. No matter where you’re meeting them, this article has a fun game for you to try.
Naomi is an educator with 2 decades of experience working with children of all ages. She is a keen observer of the magic and importance of Maths in our daily lives. Follow me on Linkedin