If you're officially tapped out when it comes to crafting projects, virtual museum tours, and Zoom happy hours, you might want to give these simple and fun texting games a try.

By Maressa Brown
January 19, 2021
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Credit: Getty Images (2). Art: Jillian Sellers.

Nearly a decade—oh, wait, no, make that a year—ago, we were locking down for the first time, preparing to stay in and stay safer at home to slow the spread of COVID-19. Months later, with skyrocketing numbers of cases all over the country, it's the same story, and finding new ways to pass the time while social distancing has grown increasingly challenging—and the burnout is real. That said, if you're not really up for pulling yourself together for another Zoom happy hour, but you still want to connect with your friends, you might want to try a texting game.

We rounded up a few fun texting games that are perfect to play with mom friends, with your partner (if you're attached), and even with your kids.

Texting Games to Play With Your Mom Friends

Friends Tag: You and your BFFs can test one another's knowledge of one another and your friendship with this question-based game. Go back and forth asking and answering Qs (check out these 100 options, like "Where did we meet for the first time?" and "What is my favorite song?"). Whoever ends up with the highest number of correct answers wins.

Celeb Wedding or Baby Trivia: This one's especially timely if someone in your friend group is engaged or expecting, but it's fun regardless. Ideally played with 3+ people, one person can ask trivia Qs about celebrity brides and grooms or babies, and the other 2+ people chime in with responses. Whoever answers fastest gets the point, and whoever gets the most points wins.

Create Your Own Story: Kind of like Choose Your Own Adventure, this imaginative texting game allows you to build a story with your friends one line at a time. Player #1 kicks it off with an opener (i.e. "Once upon a time in the suburbs ...") and Player #2 takes it from there, adding another line. You can get as silly or creative as you want.

In Character: To play, you and your friend(s) choose a "character" (ideally a celeb, politician, or person you both know), then text the other player(s) quotes that the character would say. Think: catchphrases or specific words they tend to use. The player who can stay in character the longest wins.

Texting Games to Play as a Couple

Would You Rather: An entire Reddit is dedicated to this age-old, quick hit game that allows you to unearth information about your partner that you might have never discovered otherwise. Qs can be pop culture-related (e.g. "Would you rather never watch Marvel EVER again, or never watch Star Wars EVER again?") or philosophical ("Would you rather know an uncomfortable truth or believe a comforting lie?") or anything in between.

Unpopular Opinion: Another confession-based activity, this texting game is sure to fire up some interesting conversations. The gist: You and your partner take turns offering up an unpopular opinion on any matter of subjects. For instance, say you want to stick to the topic of music, so you say, "Unpopular opinion: I would listen to 'Baby Shark' over the new Foo Fighters track any day." Or TV? "Unpopular opinion: Caillou shouldn't have been cancelled."

Emoji Challenge: Text your partner a string of emojis that serve as stand-ins for words, and they try to guess what it means. For instance, a monkey face, an eye, a monkey, and a hand translate to "monkey see, monkey do." Or send a popcorn, a TV, and a snowflake, letting them know you can't wait to Netflix and chill.

Texting Games for Kids

Twenty Questions: Although it debuted in the 19th century as a spoken parlor game, it later became the basis for various 20th century radio and television quiz shows. Now, it's still going strong and it works as a fun texting game to pass the time with one or more kids.

The set-up: Player #1 chooses an object or person, and then, the other players attempt to guess it in 20 questions or less. Player #1 fields questions about the object or person and can only answer yes or no, which will ultimately help the other players steer toward the correct result. The game continues until someone lands on the correct answer or surpasses 20 questions, whichever comes first.

Riddles: Ask your child a riddle, and tell them how many tries they have to guess the correct answer. A couple of examples: "What goes up and down and stays in the same place?" Answer: The stairs. Or "what can go up and come down without moving?" Answer: The temperature.

I Spy: Yep, it's just like the road trip game, except you're not going anywhere! You and your kid(s) set the rules up front. Are the objects you're spying limited to the room you're in, the house, the neighborhood, the whole internet, etc.? Then, Player #1 initiates the game by choosing an object, and texting, "I spy ..." followed by a short description. Player #2, #3, etc. will then have to guess what the object is. Player #1 can reply to their guesses with a simple "yes" or "no," and you'll keep playing until someone lands on the correct answer.

Song Emoji Challenge: Like the regular Emoji Challenge, you can play this music-related version with your kids who can't get enough of their favorite pop hits. To play: Create categories, like "Songs from TV Shows" or "Oldies." Then, the first player sends the lyrics of a song using emojis, and the opponent then has to guess the song. If you feel like you need to, you can use a combination of letters and emojis. For an extra challenge, you can set a time limit on how long someone has to guess the song.

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