11 Games to Play Without Anything – Games with No Board or Materials Required

Games to Play Without Anything

Remember the good old days where all you had was yourself and the company around you. No distractions, no technology, just a room full of people interacting and talking with one another. Ah those were the good old days. Well, I wanted to bring that feeling back in this article and give you some ideas of games to play without anything (no equipment needed) that you can play with your family or friends. These are family games that don’t require a board or any other kind of materials.

A lot of these games require some verbal interaction and others require you to get up and move around. In the end, none of these games require you to use any materials or boards to play. We consider these the best games to play with family without anything.

No Materials Board Games

Games to Play Without Anything

Here is our list of the best games to play with family without anything. No physical materials required!

1. 20 Questions

This classic game of 20 questions is great for any group and requires no materials whatsoever. One person will simply think of something (either a person, place, or thing). The rest of the group will take turns asking yes or no questions in order to try to guess what that person is thinking of.

If the players can not guess what the person has thought of within a total of 20 questions, then they lose and the person who thought of the initial phrase wins!

Remember, the questions can only be answered as “yes” and “no” and you should keep track of how many questions have been asked so that you do not go over 20!

2. Charades

Charades is a classic game that probably most of you have played before. Who doesn’t love this game?

Charades consists of one (or more) players acting out a phrase without speaking while the other members of your team try to guess what the phrase is. The objective is for your team to guess the phrase as quickly as possible, before time runs out.

So maybe we lied a little, you will probably want to use some pen and paper, as well as a timer on your phone. You should split your family or party into two different teams and each team will individually write phrases on their piece of paper. This paper gets put into a jar for the other team to pick when it is their turn to act out.

Charades is pretty simple, but if you want to learn more, feel free to read through the rules of charades.

3. “I’m Having a Picnic…”

I love breaking out this game at parties or family get togethers. Usually, I am the only one who knows about this game or there are only a few people who are in on it. But don’t worry, you’re about to be in on it too!

Basically, you start off by saying “I’m having a picnic and I’m bringing…” and then you say an item that starts with the first letter of your first name. Since my name is Hillary, I would say something like, “I’m having a picnic and I’m bringing hamburgers.” Then I would go on to say “What are you bringing?” to everyone else in the room.

Now they must say an item that begins with the first letter of THEIR name. If they say something that does not qualify, then you say “Sorry, you can’t come!” If they say something that DOES start with the first letter of their first name, then you say “Great, you can come to the picnic!”

Once everyone says his or her item and you tell them that they either can’t come or that they can come, then you begin another round with stating another item that YOU are bringing. Then ask everyone again what they are bringing.

Sounds silly, but it’s actually a lot of fun! You keep this going until people eventually catch on that they must say an item with the first letter of their first name. Watch as your friends get frustrated and keep saying the wrong thing until they eventually catch on (or don’t). It’s hilarious!

4. Telephone

The game of telephone will never get old. It is a game that I have played at many sleepovers when I was younger, over and over again. It can turn out to be hilarious and disappointing all at the same time!

Choose someone to start and line up next to each other (preferably with a little space in between each person). The first person chooses a sentence to say in their head, and then whispers that phrase to the person next to them. Then that person who just got the phrase whispered in their ear whispers it to the next person. Are you keeping up?

This continues until the phrase reaches the final person in line. This person then blurts out the original phrase, or a mangled version of the original phrase, and then sees if they are correct by having the first person restate what they originally said.

See if your friends or family mangled the original sentence as it was passed along person by person. The outcome is usually hilarious and you will probably be pissed off to know that your friends family members are terrible listeners!

5. The Floor is Lava

This is a fun one. Your can play The Floor is Lava game at home without anything. All you have to do is yell “The Floor is Lava” and everyone has 5 seconds to get both feet off of the ground in any way possible (such as standing on a chair or climbing on a table). If they do not succeed within 5 seconds, then they lose and succumb to the boiling hot lava.

This game can just be a spontaneous, one time game, or you can play multiple rounds by manipulating the objects in your room. For example, putting a pillow cushion in a certain spot of the room or flipping a table at a weird angle. Place items far apart and add in an aspect that once everyone gets off the ground, they need to escape and exit the room through a specific doorway.

You can play The Floor is Lava with the way your room is setup or add in some objects for more fun. Yes, we know that this strays a little from games to play without anything, but we couldn’t help it! This game is great for kids, just be careful when they climb on things, we don’t want anyone getting hurt!

6. Two Truths & A Lie

Now this is a simple, fun little game that you can play anywhere and without anything except your voice. The gist of the game is that one person comes up with three things about themself. Two of the things are true, and one is a lie. The other players must guess which one is the lie!

This game is a great way to get to know someone better and can be played over and over again. If you don’t want to do truths or lies about yourself, then make things up about things you know.

So for example, if I was playing, my three prompts would be something like:

  • I own a blog called Game Night Gods
  • I’ve been to 5 different countries
  • My left hand is bigger than my right hand

Can you guess which one is false? Well if you know me, then you know that I barely travel and would be lucky if I even left my state of New York. So the lie would be that “I’ve been to 5 different countries.” The other two are true. Yes, one of my hands is bigger than the other. Don’t make fun!

7. Never Have I Ever

Here is another verbal game that is similar to two truths and a lie. All you need is your voice and your fingers. Here’s how to play Never Have I Ever….

Players start by holding up ten fingers. So this would be both hands (obviously). Choose a player to start and they begin by declaring “Never Have I Ever…,” admitting to something they HAVE NOT done. So for example, “never have I ever been sky diving.” Players who have done this thing will then put down a single finger.

Once everyone has either kept their finger up, or put a finger down, play passes to the left, and the next person states something they have not done. Players who have put down all their fingers lose and are out for the remainder of the game. The last person who is left with any fingers up, wins!

This is a great game to play with family, but if you are 21 years or older, spice up the game a little by adding in some drinks. If players have done the thing called out, then they must have a sip of there drink. If no one puts their finger down, the player who called the Never Have I Ever must drink. Please drink responsibly!

8. Hide & Seek

I know what you are thinking… hide and seek!? Isn’t this game for kids? Well for us adults who are young at heart and for those who have kids in the family, this game never gets old.

Choose a worthy person to begin and gather around. Have that person count down from 50 and as soon as the count starts, everyone must scramble and find a hiding spot. You can play either indoors or outside.

After the count gets to 0, the counter must now walk around and find everyone. The first person to be found loses and must be the counter next round. See if everyone can be found.

Ok, am I really explaining Hide & Seek right now? You know what to do! Get to hiding!

Games to play without anything

9. Man Hunt

Similar to Hide & Seek, man hunt is another great game to play without anything but yourself, especially outside in the dark!

The rules of Manhunt are simple. Just think of it as Hide and Seek, but in reverse. Basically a single person or a small group hides while everyone else looks for them. We like to call the people that hide the “fugitives.” If you are playing with kids, then group them with an adult so they do not get lost (we’ve had that happen before, it wasn’t fun).

The game goes on until all the hiders have been found by the seekers. The last hider to be found gets to pick the hider(s) for the next round. Just think of someone on the run (the hider) and the seekers are the cops trying to catch them. How fun!

10. Would You Rather

I remember having sleepovers when I was younger and playing “Would You Rather” for hours on end. Would You Rather is a great game for creative minds and could spark a lot of thought provoking conversations.

The rules are simple, one person asks the group a “Would you rather” question that is made up by them. The group has to pick between the two things.

So for example, a question would be… Would you rather have more time or more money? I would probably answer more time, because money can’t buy happiness!

It’s interesting to see how everyone answers each question and find out their thoughts on each one. Continue taking turns asking questions and answering them until everyone gets bored.

11. Red Light, Green Light, 1 2 3

I had to add this game to the list. It is just the perfect game that brings me back to my childhood. It’s fun to play as an adult or with kids and reminisce and be silly with friends or family members.

To play Red Light, Green Light, 1 2 3, one person is chosen to be the traffic light (bear with me) and he/she stands a good distance away from the other players with his or her back to all of the other players. The other players stand in a line facing the person who is considered the traffic light.

When the person who is the traffic light says the word ‘Green Light,’ the other players move forward until he/her spins around, calling ‘Red Light’. If the person catches anyone moving as they spin around, then that person is out! Don’t get caught red handed! The final person remaining who didn’t get caught during the game, wins!

Games with No Board or Materials Required

This was a fun little post I wanted to put together for people looking to play games without anything, no board or materials required. I know that a lot of these are mostly “kids” games, but you will find that they are actually fun to play as an adult if you have kids in the family.

Whip out these games at your next family get together or hangout with your friends. You will be sure to share some nice laughs and have a ton of fun. The best part is that you don’t have to come prepared, just make sure you know the rules of each game and you are good to go!

Happy gaming!


Hillary is a 26 year old board game enthusiast from New York who specializes in hosting game nights.

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