Get Your Game Face On II: Play Pictionary In Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams does many things – including serving as a platform for group-based games 

(Note: This is the second in a series of posts we’ll be producing that focus on the fun and games possible with Teams.) 

Just about a month ago we wrote the first entry in this series about how to use Microsoft Teams as a platform to play games with your team. Last time, we gave you a game plan to play a variant of the classic game show Family Feud. This time we’re going to teach you how to leverage Teams and an existing app you already have as part of your Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) subscription to play one of the all-time great party games. 

Image of the Simpson's characters musing about the game Pictionary
It’s dignity! Don’t you even know dignity when you see it?

First, click on your Windows search bar in the lower left corner of your screen. Type “whiteboard” and voila! Some may be surprised to discover the whiteboard app was there all along. Whiteboards, of course, are meant for illustrating things for others to see. And you can probably see where we’re going with this. Turns out the whiteboard app is also integrated into Teams. And that combination makes Teams the perfect platform on which to play Pictionary with your team! 

Drawing Inspiration  

To play Pictionary in Teams, begin by choosing a host. The host’s duties are simple. He or she compiles a list of things other players have to draw. Using the chat window, the host can message the drawer the answer and the drawer then uses the whiteboard app to share their artistic genius (or lack thereof). When we play here at Kiefer, we go for a more informal, free-for-all style with one drawer and no teams. Everyone just shouts their guesses as the illustration takes shape. Once everyone on the call has had a chance to draw, the person with the most correct guesses (and first to guess correctly) is declared the winner. If you’d prefer to divide your group into two or more teams, that would work too. We don’t bother with a timer but if you’d like, feel free to limit the amount of time the drawer is allowed. 

Screenshot of Microsoft Whiteboard app being used to play Pictionary in Microsoft Teams.
Pro Tip: If you have a tablet, you can download the Whiteboard app, log in to your Microsoft account, and use it while you are logged in to the Microsoft Teams meeting.

If you use the whiteboard within Teams, some of your options are limited. But for the purposes of Pictionary they should be more than adequate. If you choose to open whiteboard in the native app, you’ll have more variety in terms of colors, line widths and other drawing tools. Some more artistically inclined players may realize they can use the whiteboard app to draw on their tablet using a stylus. Such players may enjoy this method because they can showcase their talents. Most, however, will be happy with using their mouse – or touchscreen monitor, if available – to attempt to produce crude likenesses of people, places or things.  

We’ve had a lot of fun playing Pictionary during our Friday Teams happy hours. It’s a great use of Teams to get everyone engaged, laughing and staying connected. We hope it does the same for you.  

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