My family always has a supply of little yellow paper squares at hand just in case. We’re not anticipating a paper shortage or a horde of wild rabbits whose only weakness is yellow squares; instead, we’re preparing for the inevitable moment when the urge hits us. The urge is unpredictable, but it’s sure to hit at least once during each of my visits home, and it’s best that we have those yellow papers and a goodly supply of pencils on hand when it does hit so that we can get right down to satisfying our craving – a craving for the Funny Paper Game. I’m not sure what the official title of the game is, but no matter whether you call it the Funny Paper Game, Telephone Pictionary, or That One Game With All the Drawing, it’s ridiculously fun and completely addicting.
The rules are simple: First, gather up a medium-to-large collection of paper squares with enough space for doodling. Next, distribute a stack of these papers and a pencil to each player. The number of papers that each player receives should be equal to the number of players in the game. Each player then numbers their papers (starting with 1, in case you weren’t sure), places them in order (also starting with 1), and writes a sentence on paper number one. The sentence can be just about anything that suits the player’s fancy – song lyrics, movie quotes, true stories, and random nonsense are all perfectly acceptable. Once everyone has written a sentence, players pass their entire stack of paper to the left with the sentence on top. They then read the sentence on top of the stack that they received and proceed to draw a picture depicting that sentence on paper number two (no letters or numbers in your pictures, mind you). Once a player finishes with their picture, they pass that stack to the left with their modern masterpiece on top, then take the new stack in front of them (with their neighbor’s picture on top) and interpret the picture into a sentence, which they write on paper number three and pass to the left. You just keep repeating this cycle until you get the pile with your original sentence in it. Once everyone has their pile of papers back, players take turns showing their pile to the others and laughing at the results of the zany interpretations and reinterpretations of the original idea.
The great thing about this game is that it’s simple to pick up, it inspires creativity, it’s an original experience each time, and it generates enough laughter to power all of Monstropolis for the rest of forever. If you’ve got five or six friends who are willing to give it a try, go for it. You won’t regret it. If not, you can still get a hint of the hilarity and goofiness of the Funny Paper Game by taking a look at these prime examples that my family has saved from our own games.
First, two examples of what part of a complete stack looks like. Watch as a sentences derail into tunes from The Sound of Music or bizarre poems about two immortal boys and a poodle:
And now, an assortment of some of my favorite pictures and sentences from previous games. Consider it The Best of the Newton Family Funny Paper Game (Volume One):
So what’s your family’s favorite game to play together? Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll catch you tomorrow. Have a great day!