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Drawing on word play and double meanings, pun games can be fun and engaging activities. Teachers can use pun games in the classroom to help students become familiar with multiple definitions and language in general. Children and adults alike can also play pun games at home, at parties, on long car trips or virtually anywhere else. There are many different types of games that rely on word play, such as guessing games, contests, and back-and-forth games. When played properly, these types of pun games can generate a lot of laughter from their participants.
Some pun games can involve jokes and riddles. In this type of pun game, one player thinks of a riddle, the answer to which involves some sort of word play, and asks it to the rest of the group. The first player to come up with the correct answer takes the next turn asking a riddle. For example, a player could ask, "How does the moon cut his hair?" Players must think carefully to come up with the answer, "Eclipse it," which plays on the similarity between the sounds "eclipse" and "he clips."
For competitive groups, pun games can involve a contest for coming up with the best pun. Typically, a judge is appointed to select a topic at random. Individuals or groups involved are given a set amount of time to come up with a clever play on words. The judge would then read the submissions over and decide on the winner, based on originality, humor or any other factor. For instance, if the topic is "pets," a team could write, "The dog who gave birth on the side of the road was fined for littering," which plays on the multiple definitions of the word "litter," meaning both trash and a group of newborn puppies.
Some pun games involve a back-and-forth between two players or among a large group, where players take turns inventing puns and trying to one-up each other. In this type of pun game, one player suggests a topic, such as "exercise." The next player would have to invent a pun on the spot, such as, "The man fired his personal trainer because he wasn't working out." That player must then come up with the topic for the next player's pun, and so on. These types of pun games work well for long car trips, because they can continue endlessly, or until the game "runs out of gas."