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8 Spoken Word Games That Will Get Everyone Talking

 While there is so much darkness that COVID-19 has shrouded us in, one common silver lining is that it has brought families together, connected friends that were lost over time and distance, and redefined the way we entertain ourselves and bond with each other. So it's important to remember, there are a lot of fun games that don't need a board or any cards or game pieces. All you need is a little enthusiasm, some imagination, and as much company as you can get, wherever in the world they might be! 

These verbal games are designed for fun with friends, family, and kids. In fact, they can be quite the learning activity, and you can play them absolutely anywhere; while on walks, during car rides, and even when visiting places. From classic childhood games to insightful and interesting challenges, these conversation games will make any date, dinner, and zoom call unforgettably fun!

1. What’s Better? 

Super fun verbal, spoken word and conversation games for adults and kids, What’s Better?

This game is really easy, a lot of fun, and a great way to have fun with kids. It’s a fast-paced game, so players need to be ready and quick. You start by picking a general category, like books, sports, TV shows, food, or even places and superheroes. 

The game is played with a lightning round of questions asking about a player's preference for two things that fall under the selected category. Each round is played with two people, where one asks the questions and the other answers. Every subsequent question should contain the previous questions preferred item. 

Ex: 

Q: “What’s better, cheese or candy?” 

A: “Candy”

Q: “What’s better, candy or ice cream?” 

A: “Ice cream”

Q: “What’s better, ice cream or cookies?” 

The faster the questions are asked and answered, the more fun the game begins. The questioner has to keep thinking of new possibilities and the answerer has to be listening attentively. You can end each round when an answer or question is delivered too slow. 

Picking the topic can also be a fun activity with a group, giving everyone an opportunity to submit their candidates and debate them. “What’s Better” is a fun and simple way to gain insight into different people's preferences, young and old alike. 

2. Fact or Fiction 

Super fun verbal, spoken word and conversation games for adults and kids, Fact or Fiction   

“Fact or Fiction” is the funnest way to expand your mind while also testing your knowledge and the knowledge of everyone playing with you. Like “What’s Better”, it can be played between two people or more. 

Every player needs to look up myths and legends as well as actual facts related to a particular topic. Each player can choose their topic or a common one can be given to everyone. It can be anything from major events, important monuments, or different cultures to ancient history, the French Revolution, or the animal kingdom. Each turn, a player says either a fact or a myth, and other players must guess which it is. 

Ex: 

Topic: Animal Kingdom

Player 1: Fact or Fiction? Grizzly bears can run as fast as horses. 

Player 2: Fact or Fiction? Flamingos are pink because they eat shrimp 

Player 3: Fact or Fiction? Bulls hate the color red

The game will end when you run out of facts or myths. It can also be played in multiple rounds with a single person stating all the possible legends or facts under a particular category, and other players guessing for each round. 

“Fact or Fiction” is a wonderful way to learn new things and even spark new interests in different subjects, making it a great game for kids. You can award points to the player that gets the most number of correct guesses and select a grand prize winner at the end of the game. 

3. Odd One Out 

Super fun verbal, spoken word and conversation games for adults and kids, Odd One Out

You can adjust the difficulty level of this game, depending on whether you're playing it with young kids, teenagers, or adults. The premise of the game is simple. On each turn the player lists 2 related things and 1 unrelated, and the other player(s) must guess which thing is the odd one out. 

Ex: 

Easy: Cat, Dog, Book

A: Book - Cats and dogs are living things while a book is a non-living thing.

Medium: Train, Car, Boat

A: Boat - Train and car are vehicles of land while a boat is a water vehicle.

Hard: Frog, Cow, Human

A: Frog - Cows and humans are mammals while frogs are amphibians. 

Extra Hard: (53, 68, 79)

A: 68 - 53 and 79 are prime numbers while 68 is not.

Much like “Fact or Fiction”, this game can be played with a single person presenting the three items and each player guessing on their turn, or with each player presenting 3 items on their respective turns. 

The subject matter of the 3 items listed each turn can be changed every turn to make the game extra challenging. Points can be awarded for each correct guess of the odd one out, with a final winner being declared at the end of the game. 

4. Name, Place, Animal, Thing

Super fun verbal, spoken word and conversation games for adults and kids, Name, Place, Animal, Thing

(By Nicole Waleczek, Wikimedia Commons)

This game harkens back to a day when cross country road trips weren’t equipped with in-vehicle entertainment systems to watch “Finding Nemo” on, so it was either “Name, Place, Animal, Thing”, or 3000 rounds of “I Spy”. It’s a fun way to get kids thinking and gets more challenging as the game continues. 

The game is played in multiple rounds (but never quite as many as “I Spy”) and can be played with multiple people. Each round, a letter of the alphabet is randomly selected. As soon as the selected alphabet is announced, all players have a certain amount of time to list a person's name, a real place, an animal, and an inanimate object all of which must begin with the selected letter. 

Ex: 

Selected letter:

Name: Gary

Place: Geneva

Animal: Gecko

Thing: Gazebo

It’s the choice of the players whether to keep a letter as a possible selection for a later round after it's been used. Removing letters can come with its own challenges (like being stuck with letters that don’t lend themselves to easy answers). However, keeping them has the added difficulty of requiring multiple words for the same letter (which could leave you searching for an animal beginning with ‘G’ for the 5th time).

Another way to manage difficulty levels with this game is to increase or decrease the time within which players must find a word under each category for each alphabet every round. Points can be awarded either on the basis of total number of words each person managed to come up within all the rounds, or the number of completed rounds (where all 4 categories have been filled). 

5. I Went To The Market 

Super fun verbal, spoken word and conversation games for adults and kids, I Went To The Market

Here’s a game that will not only test your memory but also help you update your grocery list! Quite possibly literally. The game requires players to name a new item purchased at a grocery store or market, after remembering and listing out all items previously named by preceding players. 

This game can be played with two or more people. It begins with the first player saying “I went to the market and bought…” and listing an item. The following player must then repeat the sentence, including the item listed by the first player, and add another item to the purchased list. The third player would then have to repeat the sentence and the first two players’ items from memory before adding a third item. 

Ex: 

Player 1: I went to the market and bought a loaf of bread.

Player 2: I went to the market and bought a loaf of bread and bananas.

Player 3: I went to the market and bought a loaf of bread and bananas and a candy bar.

Player 4: I went to the market and bought a loaf of bread and bananas and a candy bar and shoe polish.

The purpose of “I Went To The Market” is to challenge not only our ability to remember previous details but also to think quickly, coming up with a new item each round. The items must be items one would be likely to find in a market. In case you want to make it a little tougher, you can replace the market with the Zoo, and list solely animals. 

The round ends when a player either forgets previous items or is unable to list a new one. The player with the least number of losses at the end of all the rounds can be declared the winner. 

6. Word Tennis 

Super fun verbal, spoken word and conversation games for adults and kids, Word Tennis 

As the name would suggest, this game of back and forth focuses on verbal volleying and quick thinking. It can be played with 2 to 4 players. There are two versions of this game that can be played. The first is called “Sound Tennis” and the second is called “Rhyming Tennis”. 

In the first version, either a sound or letter is decided randomly or by the players jointly. The letter “P” might be selected or the sound “Sh”. Each player must then say a word starting with the selected sound or letter in rapid succession. 

Ex: 

Selected Sound: Sh

Player 1: Sheep

Player 2: Shock

Player 3: Ship

In the second version, a similar concept is applied to rhyming words. It begins by first selecting a rhyming family, denoting the final letters of the words, like “at”, “ay” or “ess”. Then each player lists out words from that family in a quickfire round. 

Ex: 

Rhyming Family: Ay 

Player 1: Stay

Player 2: Fray

Player 3: May

No words can be repeated during the round. The round ends when a player runs out of words to add to the chain. The player with the least number of losses or the highest number of wins at the end of the game is the final winner. 

7. Just a Minute 

Super fun verbal, spoken word and conversation games for adults and kids, Just a Minute

This game is where all great conversation and public speaking skills begin. It can be played with 2 people or even with large groups and is a super fun way to get to know new people. 

The rules of this game are very simple. Every turn, a player is given a topic, either independently or jointly selected by the other players. The player whose turn it is must then speak on that topic for just a minute. Sounds easy enough right? Wrong! 

The challenge is to select relatively obscure or unknown topics, or topics that wouldn’t lend themselves to 60 full seconds of talking, to the average person at least. These topics could range from subjects like math or astronomy to more specific topics like the Bermuda Triangle. 

The key to achieving maximum enjoyment in this game is to know as little about the topic at hand and talk about it for a minute as if you know it very well. The results are often funny, clever, and creative. You can even turn your Toastmasters minute into a story or an adventure. At the end of the game, everyone's a winner! 

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