Parenting

3 Pencil & Paper Games To Play With Your Kids

Be it a child or an adult, everyone likes to play games. With the current conditions of being at home most often and playing the same toys and board games can sometimes be boring for children. A small change can make a big difference. But like me, if you do not want to invest in anymore games and with the “currently unavailable” tag on shopping sites over everything a child requires as it is not considered into essentials, getting that change might be difficult.

Considering all of that, I thought of sharing the games that I play with my daughter since she was four. All you need is a pencil and paper and you are good to go. Many of you might already know these games and some might have forgotten them over time. So let’s refresh our memory and take a five into our childhood.

1. Dots & Boxes
This is my daughter’s favourite game so listing it at the very top.

Begin with a grid of dots drawn on a piece of paper. A 6×6 or 8×8 grid works best for younger kids. You can increase the grid size once they get the hang of it or when you have more than two players. Players take turns to join two dots and draw a line. The lines can be horizontal and vertical leading to formation of boxes. One player can draw only one line at a time. You can use colored pencils or sketchpens as well. When one forms a box, they can write their initials to mark it. At the end of the game, when the grid is full, the player who made the most boxes wins.

Dots & Boxes

2. Hangman
This is an oldie and one of the most played game on paper. It originated in England during the 17th century.

This game can also be played by two or more players. Start by drawing gallows. One player thinks of a word without telling the other players about it and then draws dashes equal to the number of letters in the word. Mark the dashes that will contain a vowel with a star/asterisk. All the other players will each take a turn to guess the letters. Star/asterisk will help the other players especially kids to guess the vowels first and then guess the word. For every wrong guess of a letter or the word, draw a body part of the hangman on the gallows. Typical order is head, body, right arm, left arm, right leg, left leg. For kids, the words can be as easy as an apple, book, sweet, potato, etc and once advanced you can start with their favourite cartoon names or movie titles. This game can also be a great way to brush up the vocabulary that you have been working.

Hangman

3. Obstruction
Hungarian mathematician Laszlo Kozma created this game and it’s only for two players.

Make square grid of 6×6. Once learnt the grid can be made larger in size to make the game go longer. One player can be ‘O’ and other can be ‘X’. Players can even use their initials. Each player takes turns writing their mark in one of the squares but you can only do so if all of the neighbouring squares including the diagonal ones are empty. Each player takes a turn and marks only one box. The player who is unable to mark a box loses.

Obstruction

These games are a quick and easy way to pass the time. They are not only fun but a great way to help kids work on their focus and attention.

A child who is playing is always refining and learning skills which help them during childhood and beyond.

19 thoughts on “3 Pencil & Paper Games To Play With Your Kids

  1. Reading this post brought a smile to my face. Nostalgic memories of these games came rushing. These games are so simple and fun and a great way of bonding between parents and kids.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. These games are so wonderful. I remember myself playing these games in my childhood and even during my post graduation. Good way of engaging children. Good one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Firstly I want to thank you for this post. While so many parents are struggling to find activities for kids, your suggestions seem entertaining for all age groups. Can’t wait to play these with my kids.

    Liked by 1 person

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