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Paper Telephone

Relaxing games Icebreaker games Small group games Artistic games Large group games

How To Play Paper Telephone

Ok, so we all remember the kids game telephone, where the person at the front of the line whispers in the ear of the person behind then and then they turn and do the same and eventually by the time you get to the end, the ending statement is nothing like the original. Well this is a much cooler version of that.

First you need to pass out paper to each person playing. Each person should have as many squares of paper (whole sheets would be too big) as there are people playing. For example, if there are 12 kids playing, then each of them should have 12 squares of paper.

Second, instruct each student to write down a crazy statement on top sheet of paper. Make sure they don't say it out loud or tell anyone what it is. The crazier the statement the better the game will be. An example would be " a clown riding a bicycle on a pepperoni moon" or something equally ridiculous.

Once they have each done this everyone passes their entire stack of paper to the right. Now each person should have their neighbours stack of paper in their hands. Here's where it gets fun.

Each person must now read quietly to themselves, their neighbours statement that they now hold in their hands. Once they have read it (not out loud!) they put that piece of paper at the back of the stack and they have to draw whatever they have just read, to the best of their ability, on the next square of paper in the stack.

Once everyone has drawn, everyone passes the entire stack of paper to the right again. Everyone will now have the picture their neighbour has just drawn. They must look at it, move that piece of paper to the back and on the next sheet write down their best guess as to what that drawing is supposed to be. Then everyone passes the paper to the right again.

Now everyone is reading someone's interpretation of the picture they've just seen, and must now move that piece of paper to the back of the stack and now must draw that interpretation. Pass entire stack again, and interpret the picture.

Just keep repeating this process until all the squares of paper have been used. At this point the stack should make it all the back to the original creator. Then you go around the room and let each student walk everyone through the now hilarious progression of statements and pictures.

This game is awesome and our students love it! Due to the craziness of the statements and the varying levels of artistic skill this game never fails to be funny! A great game to just have some fun and no real mess to clean up!

Also, to keep the game moving or just to add a fun wrinkle, you can time each phase of the game. Watching kids scramble to try and finish their drawing in time is pretty funny and usually makes the drawings that much more crazy.

Hope these instructions are clear enough. This game really goes over well!

Works really well as a tie in, to finding our true identity and how when we listen to other people's interpretations of ourselves we will never find it. If we want to find it we have to know the truth we have to know the source or creator!

Materials Needed

Paper and Pens or pencils



Submitted by Tim on 14 Dec 2012 12:00:00

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4 Comments Add a comment »

We always play this game at family get togethers! We call it Telephone Pictionary though. Best game ever!

Posted by Sierra on 17 Sep 2013 at 4:50:57

Or, Chinese whispers, always knew this as Chinese whispers

Posted by nathan on 8 Feb 2014 at 4:51:58

I believe this game is available for purchase. It is called telestrations.

Link to game below:

Posted by Elija on 8 Aug 2017 at 7:08:36

Small notebooks from the $store work better than stacks of paper :)

Posted by Tammy on 11 Aug 2018 at 4:59:50

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