Let’s say you’re stuck in line at the DMV or waiting to find out if you’ve been picked for jury duty. You’re probably bored and may have already cycled through your normal websites, checked Twitter, and scrolled through Instagram. Now let’s say you also have a teen who loves texting? What’s a bored Mama to do? We suggest challenging your teen — or a friend — to a game via text. It’s actually not lame at all and can make for a raucous time and a simple way to connect.
It’s no secret that your teenager loves their cell phone (sometimes even more than the family). But it’s not you mama! It’s just that age, and fortunately, we’ve found a way you can stay connected to your big baby. Relating to your teen is important, especially during these adolescent years when they feel so far away. Your way in is through their phone. You may not be playing make-believe or peek-a-boo like you did when they were small, but you can still have fun together. Playing simple games with them through your cell can help you learn their interests. Unfortunately, your teen may not answer your calls (even though you pay their phone bill), but they might respond to a texting game. It’s a small gesture but it could go a long way.
Here are 10 texting games that will keep you entertained for hours.
The Name Game
You’ve probably already played this in school or maybe even as a drinking game, but it works via text too. First, you and your texting partner pick a category — let’s say “celebrities.” Then one person names a celebrity. The next person has to name another celebrity whose first name begins with the last letter of the previous celebrity’s name. So if the first person texts “Brad Pitt,” the second person could text back “Tilda Swinton.”
If you and your friend like making up stories, this is the game for you. To play “Unfortunately/Fortunately” have one person start a story. Then the following person starts their bit with “unfortunately” to introduce an obstacle. Then the next person starts their part with “fortunately” to explain how they got out of the jam. For example, the first person could say, “Sandra woke up early one morning, hit the gym, made coffee and wrote in her gratitude journal, all before her kids got up.” Then the second person would say something like, “Unfortunately, it was all a dream.” Then the first person would say something along the lines of, “Fortunately, when she woke up for real, it was an hour before her alarm went off, so she had some time to herself,” and so on.
Here’s another game you’ve probably played before. One person presents the other with two outlandish hypothetical scenarios and the other has to decide which one of those they’d rather do. For example, one person could ask the other, “Would you rather be able to read minds, or never have to do meal prep again?”
Name That Tune
Unlike the original version of this game, the texting iteration of “Name That Tune” doesn’t involve listening to a quick clip of a song and identifying it. Instead, one person texts the other a line from a song, and the other has to guess what song it’s from. And no, you can’t Google it.
Going on a Trip
The texting version of this game is a little easier than the one you play with person in person, because it doesn’t require you to remember the entire list of what someone is packing to go on a trip. Instead, you start by texting, “I’m going on a trip to Austin, and I’m taking an avocado.” Then the next person follows the alphabetical pattern and texts something like, “I’m going on a trip to Boston, and I’m taking beans,” and so on.
Sure, you probably know common texting abbreviations like LOL, ROTFL and WTF, but the aim of this game is to stump your opponent with other acronyms — including ones you make up yourself. For instance, they might know ones like “HMU” (hit me up) or “IDK” (I don’t know), but what about others like “MMFAD” (meet me for a drink) or “IAHT” (I ate hummus today)?
Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon
Here’s another oldie but goodie that works well over text. One person texts the other person the name of a famous person, and their opponent has to make a connection between that person and Kevin Bacon in six steps or fewer. The weirder, the better!
This one is a little easier and perfect for when you don’t have a lot of brain power to spare. Basically, you and your teen agree on a category — like office equipment, famous people whose name begins with K, or animals of the forest — and take turns naming things or people that belong in that group. It’ll start off simply enough, but once you exhaust all the usual suspects, it’ll get more challenging.
Instead of playing Words With Friends or using another app, try this lower-tech version of a word game. One person sends the other a word, and then their opponent has to scramble the letters to make other words. For example, if the first person texts “cornucopia,” the other can respond with words like “corn,” “pun” or “piano.”
Correct the Spelling
Here’s another word game you’ll want to try. One person should text the other a word or name of a person with the letters jumbled up and a hint about the category. For instance, a person can text “ aluji btrreso (celebrity)” if they want their opponent to try and guess Julia Roberts.
This article was originally published on