17 Family Games to Play at Home with No Material

WhatToGetMy Instructional Article

  • Finding indoor games with no equipment to play with sounds challenging when you think about it initially. However, finding games that are fun and appropriate for a game night that require no equipment – other than a pen, paper, and some people willing to play along and have fun – is relatively easy once you identify what games you want to play.
  • This article has compiled together 17 different games that are very minimalistic and require no equipment to play that are also fun for people of all ages.

What is the importance of family game night?

1. Family games are important because they are a way of bringing families together in celebration and they provide for a great bonding time.

2. Family game night creates conversation which helps you know and understand the people in your family better, which can improve the quality of relationships that you have.

3. Game nights can also be a part of a family tradition that involves food, drinks, and other merriment. Try to make your family game nights as fun and as memorable as you possibly can for everyone involved so they will want to come back for more.

4. Family games also create the spirit of teamwork which can be beneficial for the  family in the long run – with people in the family being more open and willing to help others when needed even if not asked

5. Game nights can also do wonders for one’s self-esteem which is great for children, teens, and young adults who struggle with finding their voices in a crowd. Game night can help them overcome that because they are in the midst of family and people they feel comfortable around to voice out their opinions or concerns.

6. Game nights have also been proven to help people be quick when thinking and this, in turn, reduces the stress of learning even in school because people who often play games are quick to think on their feet and even quicker to learn and adapt

Frequency of playing family night games in the US

According to a study reported by theboardgamefamily, 96% of families in the United States play games together and feel closer to each other by doing so, too.

96% of families playing games feel closer. Source: Theboardgamefamily.com

Title 96% of families playing games feel closer. wtgm

Fun Games to Play with Family at Home

1. The Drawing Game

This game is perfect for little family game nights as it only requires as little as two people to play. To play, you are going to need a pen and paper – one of you is going to start by drawing any shape onto the paper and another has to continue the drawing by inserting another shape. Remember, only one shape per person per turn, this way the drawing is more elaborate and fun. For your small family, here are some more ideas on fun games to play with three people and fun games to play with two people.

2. Hide and Seek

Hide and seek is one of the games you can play with your family without anything – you don’t need any materials to play, just the people in your family. The rules of the game are quite simple; hide well enough so that whoever is ‘it’ has a hard time finding you.

3. Hangman

Hangman is one of the many fun indoor games suitable for all ages – both kids and adults love this classic game. To play, you will need a piece of paper and pen or marker, one player will think of a word in their mind and put down dashes or dots representing how many letters are in the word. The other players have to guess what the word might be by guessing letters out loud. If the letter guessed is correct, it goes onto one of the dots which represents it, and if it is not – every letter guessed that is incorrect goes towards hanging the man – to save the man from hanging, guess correctly.

4. Tic Tac Toe

Another one of the most fun indoor games for a family is tic tac toe. To play this game, you will draw on a piece of paper nine boxes connected together. One player will be X while the other will be O. The goal is to have 3 X’s or O’s in a row to win and also block your opponent from getting 3 X’s or O’s in a row.

5. Simon Says

Simon says is one of the crazy family games to play because you if you are Simon, you can make anyone do anything – but only if you say “Simon says” if you just say an action without preceding it with “Simon says” everyone who does that action is immediately disqualified. For example, if you are Simon and you say “Simon says hop on one foot” then everyone that hops on one foot is still in the game, however, if you just  say “hop on one foot” everyone who does is immediately disqualified from the game.

6. Twister

Twister is a good living room game because it requires minimal movement and doesn’t take up a lot of space. Here are instructions on how you can play this game.

7. Categories

The game Categories is a fun indoor game for all ages. To play, you will need a pen and paper for everyone, one of the players will choose a category, for example, ‘cars’ and all the other players have to write down a type of car they know and no two players should have the same car. Alternatively, you can lose the pen and paper and just go around the room saying out loud a thing or place within a chosen category.

8. Who Am I

This is a fun family guessing game, to play this game all the players must write something on post-it notes and stick it to someone’s forehead. Then the players have to pair up in two and the notes are given at random to each player and the note is stuck to their forehead. They face their opponent and they give each other clues to guess what the paper on their forehead says they are.

9. Guess the Movie

Another one of the fun family guessing games is Guess the movie. To play this game, you can either recite a line from a movie or give a vague explanation of the plot. The point is to have other players guess the movie correctly based on subtle hints given.

10. Finish the Lyrics

This indoor family game is great for adults and children alike. To play, you have to sing a lyric while leaving out a line from the song and the other players have to guess what that line is. Alternatively, you can download the ‘don’t forget the lyrics’ app which generates random music from different decades

11. Guess the Song

Akin to finish the lyrics, guess the song is another fun indoor games for a family that puts your taste in music to a test. To play this game, one player can hum or snap a beat and the other players have to guess what song it is from that. The alternative would be to download the ‘Guess the song’ app for a wider range of music genres.

12. Two Truths and a Lie

Two truths and a lie is one of the few games you can play without moving too much or at all. To play this game, you must make 2 true statements about yourself and one false statement about yourself. The other players must then try to decipher which one of the three statements is a lie.

13. Hot Lava

Hot lava is one of the fun and easy family games to play for all ages. To play, there is only one rule, the floor is lava and it must be avoided at all cost. You must try to move from one place to another without stepping on the floor or the lava will get you.

14. Never Have I Ever

Never have I ever is a great game that you can play without cards. To play this game, every player goes around saying something that they have either done or not done and all the other players who have done this thing must raise their hand and say “I have” 

You can also turn this game into an adult drinking game by replacing everyone raising their hand with everyone taking a shot of any alcohol of their choosing when they have done something.

15. Would You Rather

Would you rather is a great choice game that requires nothing but people to play. For this game, you will be asked to pick between two scenarios and you have to choose which one you would rather do or have done to you.

16. Musical Chairs

One of the best family inside games to play is musical chairs. To play this game, you will need teams comprising of about six people at a minimum. You will place five chairs and play music, when the music stops, everyone must grab and sit on a chair. The person who does not have a seat leaves the game and the number of chairs is reduced by one until finally there is only one person left sitting in a chair when the music stops. Check out our article on more games to play with 6 people.

17. Telephone

Telephone is one of the games you can play with no objects. To play, you need a group of at least 4 people – player one whispers a word or phrase in player two’s ear, and player two has to repeat that same word or phrase to player 3 and so on until it reaches back to player one to see if what was initially said is what was communicated throughout the entire game. Here are more fun games to play with 4 people.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What games can you play virtually with family?

There are a lot of games you can play with family virtually such as Uno, Pictionary, psych, and any other interactive video game. But perhaps what would make you feel connected with your family is houseparty because, with houseparty, you can turn on your camera and have a virtual real-time live interaction with your family for game night.

2. What are some fun family games?

What qualifies as fun games will be subjective to different families. This article has covered a lot of games for family night and most of them would be considered fun and safe for people of all ages for family game night. However, here are some more games that are fun for families: egg race, the banana game, water balloon toss, family talent show, and scavenger hunt among others. Board games, such as monopoly,  are also a safe bet for fun games with family.

3. Which games can be played without any equipment?

Aside from the games mentioned in this article, here are some more games that can be played without any equipment: duck duck goose, rock paper scissors, grapevine, and 100m race among others.


To conclude, this article has brought you some of the most competitive indoor games to play with family for family game nights. These games are fun and safe for people of all ages and suitable for families both big and small.





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