word games no supplies blog

Did you know that there are plenty of fun word games out there that you can play with zero supplies? If you find yourself in the middle of nowhere with no pen, no paper, and no smartphone, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with these 9 classic word games you can play with zero supplies. Whether you are out camping or on a road trip, these word games are sure to get your brain getting the exercise it needs while also having fun!

These games are also awesome word games for kids as well. Kids can improve their language skills, writing skills, and spelling skills. It also helps kids create words. Amp up the learning at the next family game night by having your kids say as many words as they can!


license plate overview

Everyone’s been bored behind the wheel or in the passenger seat of a car before. There’s only so much music you can listen to and gossip you can share during a road trip before you need to start racking your brain for game ideas. The License Plate Word Game is the perfect game to play that anyone can join in and play.

To play this game, simply look at the license plate of the car in front of you and yell out words that you can spell with the letters on the license plate. For example, if the license plate has the letters “F” “E” and “N”, you could say “nefarious”, “fennel”, and “snafu”. As long as the word contains each of the three letters at least once, the word is valid – even proper nouns (however, if you want to play a harder game, you can forbid proper nouns as valid words)! Players must say take turns and say one word at a time. The player that is unable to think of another word loses the round.

The next round begins when there is a new license plate ahead of the car.


one word gameplay

To play One Word Story, you need a lot of creativity and flexibility. This game is sure to have everybody rolling around in laughter by the end, as you never know where the story is going. The objective of this game is to work as a team to formulate the story and work out how it ends.

The first player says a word to begin the story. Then, the second player says another word to continue the story, and so on. Each player only says one word at a time. Although the aim is to tell a coherent story, the story will be filled with twists and turns no one is expecting!

The game ends when the story is over, and the players are ready to move on to another game or another story.


20 questions overview

A road trip classic, 20 Questions is the perfect classic word game to play when you have no supplies – all you need is your brain.

To play this game, one person must be “it”. This player must think of an object, place, or person, and the objective of the game is for everyone else to figure out what or who it is by asking 20 “yes or no” questions.

As the players ask the “yes or no” questions, they should get closer and closer to the answer. If the players cannot guess the answer within 20 questions, “it” wins and gets another turn. Remember: guesses count as questions!

But if the other players guess within 20 questions, the person that correctly guessed the object, place, or person is the next “it”.


i'm going on a trip suitcase

I’m Going On A Trip… is a fun memory game that is both stressful and hilarious! This game is sure to get your gears turning and your brain racking. There are many variations of this game all over the world.

The first player says, “I’m going on a trip, and I’m going to bring…” and finishes the sentence by naming something they will bring. 

For example, “I’m going on a trip, and I’m going to bring a book.” The second player then repeats the first sentence and adds another object they will bring on the trip. 

“I’m going on a trip, and I’m going to bring a book and a passport.” Then, the third person does the same again while adding yet another object:

“I’m going on a trip, and I’m going to bring a book, a passport, and a t-shirt.”

Continue playing until one player messes up and is unable to correctly list all the objects in order.


telephone overview

Telephone is a classic parlor game that can be played literally anywhere as long as you have more than 3 players, but the more, the merrier! While the premise of this game is simple, it is deceptively hard to execute perfectly – even for adults.

All players must line up, making sure there is enough space between each player so that players cannot hear other players whisper.

The first player then thinks of a phrase to pass along down the line. The more ridiculous the sentence, the harder it will be. Some examples of phrases can be:

  • The cat jumped over the hoop.
  • Why did the elephant cross the road?
  • Polly, the parrot, parried the sword.

Once they think of a phrase, the first player must whisper the phrase to the second player. The second player then whispers the phrase to the third player, and so on. There is no repeating whispers, so all players must listen carefully when it’s their turn!

The last player in this line listens to the phrase and then says it aloud so that everyone can hear how much it has changed from the beginning.


the minister's cat example

The Minister’s Cat is another memory word game that will test your vocabulary and your memory skills. This game has been around for centuries and is still quite popular due to its simplicity.

To play this game, the first player must say: “The minister’s cat is a (fill the blank) cat.” The word the player must use to fill in the blank must be an adjective that starts with A. So, for example, the first player could say, “The minister’s cat is an adventurous cat.” Then, the second player must say the sentence the first player said and add an adjective that starts with the letter B. So, player B may say, “The minister’s cat is an adventurous, boisterous cat.” The next player adds an adjective that starts with C, and so on.

Continue down the alphabet. A player is out if:

  • They are unable to think of an adjective for the next letter of the alphabet.
  • They cannot remember the previous adjectives.

If you manage to play all the way to the letter Z and at least two players are still in play, continue playing with the letter A, and so on.

The last player remaining standing wins!


Categories setup

Categories is an exciting fast-paced, and fun word game that is sure to get your heart beating fast. With this game, you’ll see everyone’s panicked faces as they try to think of words that match the category.

To play Categories, the first player (chosen at random) must think of a category. Examples of categories include:

  • Fast food restaurants
  • Colors
  • TV shows
  • U.S. presidents
  • Countries

Then, the first player says a word that fits in the category. For example, if the category is fast food, the first player may say, “McDonalds.” Then the second player must say something else that fits that category, making sure not to repeat whatever has been said previously. So, in this game, the second player might say, “Burger King.” If a player repeats one that has been previously said or cannot think of anything to add, they are out! The last player remaining standing wins the round, and they get to start the next round with a new category of their choice.


fortunately game rules

Fortunately, Unfortunately is a random word game that is similar to One Word Story. In this game, you tell a story, but each sentence must alternately start with “fortunately” or “unfortunately”. This game is a surefire way to get everyone laughing!

Have all players sit in a circle. The first player must think of a sentence to start the story. Then the next players must start their sentences with “unfortunately” and “fortunately” to continue the story, making sure to alternate the two. So, the second player must begin their sentence with the word “unfortunately”. And third player continues by starting their sentence with “fortunately”. An example of this game might go like this:

Player 1: The girl went to the store.

Player 2: Unfortunately, she forgot her shoes.

Player 3: Fortunately, her friend brought an extra pair.

Player 1: Unfortunately, they were 10 sizes too big.

The story must continue until a player manages to end the story somehow.


first letter categories

First Letter, Last Letter is a fun game very similar to Categories but with a twist: words must start with the letter that the previous word ended with. This game is best suited for older kids and adults rather than young children, as it can be quite difficult depending on the category chosen.

With this game, it’s better to choose a wider category with a lot of options, such as:

  • Animals
  • Cities
  • Food

The first player says a word that fits into the category. For example, for animals, the first player might say, “Elephant.” Then, the second player must say another word in that category that starts with the letter T, so, for example, “Tiger.” Then, the next player must continue by saying an animal that starts with the letter R. When a player is unable to think of a word, they are eliminated. The last player standing wins.