Communicate with your team without saying the forbidden words
Game / Round Time:
Physical / Virtual:
Party, Tabletop, Social, Mental
Chance, Deduction, Improvisation, Limited Action, Observation, Presentation, Real-time, Simultaneous Action, Turn-based, Wordplay,
Adaptability, Attention, Communication, Creativity, Critical Thinking, Listening, Public Speaking, Responsiveness, Strategy Development, Teamwork, Time Management,
+ game cards with words and a list of taboo words or phrases
+ game board
First, divide players into two or more teams. Each team should have at least two players, but more players are better for a livelier game.
Set up the game board in a visible location.
Place the buzzer, timer, and scorepad where everyone can access them.
Shuffle the game cards and place them face down in a stack.
Opposing teams can pre-generate lists to help manage the target and taboo words, or simplify the taboo with more generic words that nobody can use regardless of the card
Each team selects a player to be the "clue-giver" for their turn. The other players on the team are the guessers.
The opposing team should appoint a "watcher" who ensures that the clue-giver doesn't use any of the taboo words while giving clues.
The clue-giver draws a game card from the stack and has a limited time (usually one minute) to get their team to guess the target word on the card. They must do this without using any of the taboo words listed on the card.
The clue-giver can provide verbal clues, act out gestures, or use any creative means to convey the word without saying it directly. They can pass on a card if they find it too challenging.
The guessers on the team attempt to guess the target word based on the clues provided. If they guess it correctly, the team earns a point.
If the clue-giver accidentally uses a taboo word or phrase, the opposing team can sound the buzzer, and the team loses a point for that card. The opposing team then gets a chance to guess the word and earn a point.
Continue playing rounds, alternating between teams. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
Q. Does everyone seem open to keep playing? Are the disengaged able to be more engaged?
Q. Are people having fun — smiling, laughing, in deep thought?
Q. Do you hear productive strategizing about how to improve round-to-round?
Position the reflection around the need to be in motion and see measurable progress:
How did your team define success? What indicated you were on the right track?
What game insights can you apply to better handle future times of crisis or uncertainty?
Did this game give you any ideas about how to activate team skills and resources in new ways?
Position the reflection around goals and metrics, as well as the skills and roles to succeed:
What is one thing about you that would help your team members work with you better?
Did this game give you ideas about how to better advocate for yourself?
What strengths and talents did you witness, and how could the team better leverage them?