In this article, we will share a number of different games to play on the whiteboard. We have classic games we all remember from our chalkboard school days. We have games based on board games. We have games for children, games for adults, and games that work for any and every age. We have games to be played in pairs, large groups, and with teams. Most of the games are played on large whiteboards, but many are adaptable to individually held whiteboards. Before we start, we would like to share some of the advantages of whiteboards and information on the different types available, in case you need to know more about whiteboards.
Table of Contents
Whiteboards are lightweight and also strong. They are used in schools, churches, and many other locations. They have replaced chalkboards and are often preferred as they do not generate the dust like the old chalkboards did. Whiteboards come in a variety of sizes, from handheld to those that can cover an entire wall. It is best to use a cleaning product and markers designed especially for whiteboard use.
There are several different types of whiteboards:
- Glass: These are the most expensive and durable whiteboards. They will not streak or ghost (marks are left after cleaning). As there name implies, they are made of tempered glass.
- Porcelain: These steel and white ceramic boards offer a magnetic surface. They are the second most durable whiteboard.
- Melamine: Many public facilities use melamine boards as they are less expensive. The laminated surface wears down over time, making it difficult to remove all markings and causing ghosting. Clean porcelain boards regularly to prolong their useful life. Some melamine boards come with a magnetic surface.
Note: If you use a whiteboard on wheels, make sure to lock the wheels so the board remains stable and safe.
Fun Whiteboard Games
We have collected a number of fun games to play on the whiteboard that work for any age group. Most of these are classic games that have been used on chalkboards for years. Whiteboards are cleaner and the use of different colored markers often helps the game be more understandable and easier to score. We have included a few whiteboard games that might be new to our readers. Enjoy!
- Mix It Up.An easy, fun game, mixed–up or scrambled sentences are written on the whiteboard. You can vary the length of the sentences, short for very young players, of medium length for older kids, and long for adults. For example, “The dog is eating his food.” would be written “food, dog, eating, the, is, his” for younger players. “I forgot to call my grandmother and tell her about my upcoming birthday party.” would work well for adults.
- Hangman. A classic game for any age, most are familiar with “Hangman.” The first player thinks of a word and writes a blank on the whiteboard for each letter. The other players take turns guessing letters. When a guess is correct, it is written in a blank. If the letter is incorrect, a part of the hangman is drawn. Sometimes a player can guess the word before all the blanks are filled in and win the game. Note: If the idea of a hangman does not appeal to you or work in the venue in which you are playing the game, draw stairs, at the top of which is a vicious animal.
- Anagrams. Choose a word and jumble up the letters. Make the word short and easy for very young players and use a long word, such as transportation for adults. Write the word on the whiteboard and have two players compete to see who can unscramble the letters first. This game works well with teams.
- Relay Race. To begin a relay race, divide the whiteboard into columns for your teams. Base the team size on the number of individuals playing. Try to keep the teams as even as possible in their composition. List team numbers or names at the top of the columns. Give the students a category and direct them to write words for that category. The team races to write the most words for the category chosen. The team that thinks of the most words wins. If a team member cannot think of a word, the other team wins. Examples of categories include names of trees, dog breeds, foods you eat with your fingers – anything that provides multiple word associations.
- Build a Story. This team game challenges the players’ thinking. Create two teams and tell them they will take turns creating a story. The first player writes a word on the whiteboard. A player from the other team adds a word either before or after the first word. Play continues, with the marker being passed back and forth. Set a timer for three minutes and the team holding the marker when the time is up loses this fast paced game.
- Scrabble. The first player writes a word on the whiteboard. The second player writes another word horizontally using a letter from the first word to start or end the word. Play continues until no more words can be written. Use different colored whiteboard markers for the players. Each letter in the word is one point. Double points are given for any word longer than six letters. You can set a category for the words if you wish. The first person to reach fifty points wins the game.
- Tic Tac Toe. This classic game is perfect for playing on the whiteboard. Simply draw your grid with two vertical lines an inch apart crossed by two horizontal lines to create nine squares. Players take turns alternating writing X or O in a blank with the goal to have three in a line across, up and down, or diagonally. Have the winner of the first game play a new competitor and keep doing so until everyone in the group has had a chance to play. Give the players different colored markers if you wish.
Whiteboard Games for Adults
Adults love games played on whiteboards. Although these games are chosen for adults, many of them can be used for older children and teenagers. Use them as icebreakers and party games. If a business meeting breaks down, consider using one of them to fill some time. Have fun!
“Planet War” can be played in pairs or with teams. Section the whiteboard into equal parts for each team or player (up to four). The goal is to capture other players’ planets. Each player chooses a different colored whiteboard marker and draws three planets (empty circles) in a horizontal line at one side of their section of the whiteboard. Then each player chooses a different color, draws a horizontal line across the center of their area of the whiteboard with six circles, evenly spaced, straddling the line. The same color is used to draw two asteroid fields on both side of the center line with four rows of six circles.
Play begins when the first player draws an X on one of the asteroids in front of one of is planets. The second player does the same thing. Players continue taking turns with these options available:
- A player may add a new ship to the first row on their side, but can only have three space ships at one time on the whiteboard.
- A player may erase one of the ships and move it to any empty asteroid that is only one space away.
- Erase any asteroid on their own side of the whiteboard. However, they may not erase an asteroid occupied by an opponent.
When a player reaches an opponent’s planet, they color it with their own color and that ship can then start over. The goal of the game is to fill in all of your opponents planets. If play ends because there are no moves left, the player who has captured the most planets is the winner.
Win, Lose, or Draw
A challenging guessing game, “Win, Lose, or Draw” makes a great adult team game. Divide your players into small teams; three is the ideal number, but you can use four if necessary for the size of your group. You will need a timer. The first player has sixty seconds to make a drawing and the members on the opposite team are to guess what is being drawn. Players cannot speak or write numbers, letters, or symbols. If no one guesses after thirty seconds, another team member can take the marker and continue. When a guess is correct, the team receives one point. Play continues until a team has thirty points.
Based upon the classic and well-known War board game, adults will enjoy playing this two-player game. The goal of the game is the first player to reach the “Finish” square. You will need one die to play this game.
Begin by drawing a series of at least twenty-five squares equal in size attached to each other around the edge of the play area. Continue drawing squares until you reach the center. Write “Start” in the first square, and “Finish” in the last. Write the numbers one through twelve in a column on one side of the whiteboard. Next to each number write the following number of hash marks (pound signs):
- One, two, and three – four hash marks next to each
- Four, five, and six – three hash marks next to each
- Seven, eight, and nine – two hash marks next to each
- Ten, eleven, and twelve – one hash mark next to each
Players use different colored markers to play the game. The first player rolls the die and crosses out the number of hash marks indicated above. For example, if the player rolled an eleven, he would cross out one hash mark. The color landed on is colored with that player’s marker. If a player lands on a square colored by the other player, he must go back to “Start.” Player alternates between the two players. Once all the hash marks are crossed out next to a number, that number cannot be used anymore. If a player rolls a die with an unusable number, he loses his turn. The first player to color the “Finish” square wins the game.
Variation: You can simply have players take turns choosing numbers instead of rolling a die.
Whiteboard Games for Kids
We have chosen some unique games to play on the whiteboard for kids of every age from four up. They can be used to entertain kids in classrooms, at camps – anywhere kids gather for fun that has either individual whiteboards or a wall-size mounted whiteboard. Specifically designed for kids, they will generate laughter, build team working skills, increase eye-hand coordination, and teach critical thinking skills.
You can play this colorful, unusual game on an individual whiteboard with one other person or as a large group on a wall mounted whiteboard. Each player needs a different colored marker. The goal of the game is to draw the most shapes before it is no longer possible to do so. The first player draws one of the following shapes on the whiteboard that has corner and sides: decagon, diamond, hexagon, octagon, parallelogram, pentagon, rectangle, rhombus, semicircle, square, trapezoid, triangle, or star. Players take turns drawing shapes. Only one corner or side of a drawn shape can be used for the newly drawn shape and a player may not draw a line inside one shape to create a new one. When no more shapes can be drawn, the winner is the player with the most shapes.
Your group of players may be familiar with the game of Boggle which we have adapted for play on a whiteboard. Start by building a grid with four lines of four boxes. Put a letter in each box. Players build words by using the letters. When you think enough time has passed, have players share how many words they were able to find. The one with the most words lists them on the whiteboard for all to see. Use this game as a team game, having team members make their lists with different colored markers. The team or individual player with the most words wins the game.
Variation: Have the players use only letters next to each other up and down, side to side, or diagonally.
Use an individual, passable whiteboard for this challenging game. The group leader or first player (depending on the ages of the players) writes a phrase on the whiteboard. The length of the phrase depends on the number of players. If the group is small, use four to six words. Larger groups should have phrases with at least ten words. Players take turns erasing a letter from the phrase, leaving a blank. The last player tries to fill in the blanks correctly to complete the original phrase.
Stop the Bus
Begin this game by dividing your group into small groups or pairs and give each a whiteboard marker. Create five or six columns on the whiteboard with the name of a category at the top of each column. One player writes a letter on the whiteboard and yells, “Go!” Players write down as many words as they can for each category, but must have at least one word for each. The first team or pair to complete their lists yells, “Stop the bus!” and the other player(s) must stop writing. The winner is the first person to successfully have at least one word in each column.
Example of Game Play:
- Categories: Zoo Animals, Cities, Vegetables, Occupations, Foods
- Letter: B
- Possible Answers: Baboon, Baltimore, Brussel sprouts, Baker, Beef
A blindfolded combination of “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” and darts, this game is guaranteed to generate laughter. Draw a large circle on the whiteboard with a star in the center. Blindfold your first player and face them towards the whiteboard. The goal is to “hit” the center of the star. Use a different colored marker for each player. The winner is the player closest to the center of the star.
You can also write a word in very large letters with the first letter missing. The goal is to write the missing letter while blindfolded.
If a child is young enough to hold a dry erase whiteboard maker and draw a square, they can play this fun game for two to four players. Players choose different colored markers and draw a two house across from each other on the whiteboard. Players should have their houses equal distance apart. A starting square if drawn in front of each house. The goal is to connect the path between a player’s two houses. This can be done by doing one of the following during a turn:
- Drawing one square that connects to any side of the previous the square in front of either of their own houses.
- Erasing one of their opponents squares at the open end of their line of squares.
Players may not cross one another’s lines of squares. The winner is the first player to connect the path between their two houses.
Some Last Information
As you play these whiteboard games, you may think of other games from your childhood adaptable for whiteboard play. If you do, please leave us directions in the comment section following this article.
Whether you choose to play with just one other person or in a large group, we hope our whiteboard games will bring you and your friends fun and fellowship.
Susan majored in English with a double minor in Humanities and Business at Arizona State University and earned a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Liberty University. She taught grades four through twelve in both public and private schools. Subjects included English, U.S. and world history and geography, math, earth and physical science, Bible, information technologies, and creative writing.
Susan has been freelance writing for over ten years, during which time she has written and edited books, newspaper articles, biographies, book reviews, guidelines, neighborhood descriptions for realtors, Power Point presentations, resumes, and numerous other projects.