Anne Libera, artistic associate at the Second City Training Center, recommends the following play-anywhere, no-props-needed activities.
One-word story: Starting with “Once upon a time,” go around the room and have each person add a single word to the story. Tip: Decide on a genre in advance―fairy tale, ghost story, etc.―and go from there.
Improvised poetry: One person says a line of poetry, and the next must say a line that rhymes with it, and so on. Let kids say the first line; it’s up to you to find the rhyme.
Yes, and…monster! Invent an imaginary monster, with each person adding a new characteristic to the first person’s monster description. Every new idea has to start with an enthusiastic, “Yes, and…” and build on what has already been described.