Recreation and leisure are critical to the happiness, self-worth, and self-identity of all individuals. Recreational experiences help strengthen family and cultural connections and build social cohesion and inclusive communities. People who make time for recreation report reduced stress, depression and pain, healthier weights, improved cognition, and resistance to illness and disease. Settings created for this purpose provide important opportunities for people to connect and share resources and ideas.

Waiting for the fun to begin, however, can be really challenging for some. Below are a list of games that can be enjoyed by a variety of ages and abilities to ease the anxiety of waiting, no materials required!

I’m Going on a Picnic

The first player says, “ I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing _________.” The next player repeats what the first player said and adds an item beginning with the next letter of the alphabet. Players are out when they can’t name an item for the basket.

20 Questions

One player selects a person or thing in the vicinity and the remaining players have to ask questions to figure out what the first player selected. All questions should be yes or no questions (Is it something that’s alive? Is it small?)

I Spy

The opposite of 20 questions. Players take turns describing a person or thing that they see while others try and guess what is being described.

Pits and Cherries

Each person takes turns talking about the best (the cherries) part of their day and the worst (the pits) part of their day. This game is perfect to fill the wait time before an activity and may spark a meaningful conversation!

Hot Potato Stories

Pick an item to represent the hot potato (i.e. sunglasses, car keys, salt shaker). Someone begins a story with one sentence and hands the “hot potato” to the person to their left. That person adds a sentence to the story and continues the passing of the hot potato to the left. The person who struggles to think of a sentence is out and the game then begins again with the remaining players, until one person wins.

Would You Rather?

Take turns asking each other would you rather questions. Examples: Would you rather pet a mouse or a lion? Would you rather eat ice cream with dirt on top or ketchup on top? Would you rather play guitar or the drums?

What’s Better?

Take turns asking each other what’s better questions. Examples: What’s better cookies or brownies? What’s better sun or rain? What’s better dogs or cats?



Adapted from