Liven up your letters and cards by inserting a fun activity you can play with friends. The idea of trying to play a game through the mail seems like it’d be difficult, but it’s a fun way to engage with a friend in a mini competition. What kind of games can you play through the mail, though? Here are a few ideas to get your started on play-by-post games:
1. Scavenger hunt
Come up with an item or location you want your friend to find. This is a fun way for you and your pen pal to get a little adventurous. Take a picture of each accomplished item to send to your friend or post on Instagram. You can list items that are fairly broad or look up activities around your friend’s location to give more specific demands. For instance, some fun broad options might include:
- Shake hands with a statue.
- Inspect cool graffiti.
- Find a unique thrift store item.
- Take a picture with your favorite waiter/waitress.
Get creative with your requests to make the game more fun. However, make sure you’re not asking your friend to go outside his or her comfort zone. For instance, if you know someone is shy, you might want to avoid asking the person to do activities that involve asking strangers for their picture.
Inserting a little riddle into your letter will give your friend something to think about for the next couple of days. Make sure you write the puzzle on a separate piece of personalized stationery so your pen pal can place the question on a pinboard or on the fridge. If the person can’t figure out the solution to the riddle, send a clue. If he or she still doesn’t know, then go ahead and send the answer. This game is a great way to encourage thinking outside the box and start conversations.
This is an easy game that anyone will know how to play. Draw a little picture of a hangman’s noose on a piece of paper to pass back and forth with your friend. However, make sure you write the solution to the puzzle down in a safe place so you don’t forget the final message. To make opening the paper more exciting each time, add a little decoration or character around the edges of the game. At the end of the puzzle, you’ll have a unique piece of art to remind you or your friend and the good time you had playing the game.
A little more intense than hangman, but you can play Scrabble just as easily. Draw out a scrabble board on a sheet of paper with squares big enough to fit the letters. This game works best if you’re willing to keep a scrabble board and pieces out for reference. You can play the game with your pen pal by sending them a slip of paper containing the letters they can use along with the sketch of the board. Have the person write the word they want to play on the paper board, and cross off the letters they used. When you receive the letter containing the game, remove those pieces from the person’s stand and give them new ones, marking them down on a slip of paper. Then, play your own word and note it on the mobile board. Keep repeating these steps until the game is over.
You might be surprised to know that The United States Chess Federation actually has a page on their website dedicated to explaining the rules of correspondence chess. You can either play a person one-on-one or do a tournament. However, if you just want to play with a friend, what you’ll need is a chess board to mark each person’s turn and an agreement on how you’ll be relaying moves. Usually, chess players use algebraic notations, but you don’t have to do this.
After you’ve determined this information and who will be white or black, start sending moves. Continue this way until the game has ended. A game like this doesn’t take up much space to note a new piece position, so consider simply sending a postcard if you don’t feel like writing a whole message.
Tweak these games to make them your own and personalize them for you and your friends. Try coming up with your own game ideas as well. You might be surprised by what you play through the mail.