7 fun and easy pencil and paper games

7 fun and easy pencil and paper games

Games with pencil and paper are always a good alternative to spend time out, for example in waiting rooms, bus stops, in restaurants or traveling by plane. In short, in those times when we have nothing to do but wait and when it is very difficult to entertain children. Before smartphones and tablets, you had to find other ways to entertain yourself, and they were so much fun! We suggest that you put technology aside and go back to taking up some of these traditional games with your children.

For this reason, we propose you some with which you will only need a paper notebook (if possible squared) and a pencil  (or several), take note!


The best pencil and paper games to play with children

1. ‘The hanged man’

A simple and well-known game. Aims to guess a word or phrase in the fewest possible attempts. First, as many stripes as letters have our choice must be marked. The participants have to say letters of the alphabet to try to form the word or phrase that fits the lines. To do this, a gallows is drawn and as letters are failing, a part of the doll is drawn on it: the head, an arm, a leg … You have to guess the word before the entire body of the doll is completed,  Or you will end up hanging!

The best pencil and paper games to play with children

2. ‘Stop’ or ‘Stop the pencil’

We can know this game by several names: ‘Stop’, ‘Stop the pencil’ or ‘Tutti Frutti’, but they all have the same mechanics. We choose several themes, such as city, proper name, animal, food, brand, or color (you can choose as many themes as you want). Next, we raffle a letter of the alphabet and the game begins! You have to write a word that begins with that letter and that fits the content of each of the thematic categories that we have established. 

The player who finishes and first says ‘Stop’ or ‘Stop the pencil’ paralyzes the game and there we can count the scores for each word. If we are the only one who has used it we will have 10 points, if it is repeated by another player it will be 5  and if we have not filled in the word, obviously we will not score it. Whoever scores the most points at the end of the count will win the game.

The best pencil and paper games to play with children
Source: Myheritage Blog

3. Tic tac toe

The objective of this simple game is to get three x’s or three zeros in line on 3 × 3 squares. Take turns drawing one symbol at a time, or a circle or an X, with the aim of preventing the opponent from completing a row before you. Lines can be diagonal, vertical, or horizontal. Be careful!

7 easy and fun games with pencil and paper
Source: Myheritage Blog

4. Bear

It is a game of strategy and attention. A grid sheet is needed, on which each player takes turns writing an O or an S in one of the squares. The goal is to make the word BEAR: the player who forms the word BEAR the most wins.  When a player manages to put the word OSO, he repeats his turn placing another letter.

In the beginning, the letters are distributed alternately and it is difficult to make a mistake and for the other to write down a bit, but as the boxes are filled in and there is less space, the options to avoid the formation of words are reduced. It often ends with an avalanche of consecutive Osos. The game ends when the grid is completely filled. The size of this grid is variable depending on how long the game is to last, and it can be both square and rectangular.

There are two ways to play , scoring only the BEARS written horizontally and vertically on the grid or also scoring the BEARS written diagonally, this option is a bit more difficult and requires a little more attention to avoid mistakes. Both players agree on the form of play before starting the game.

The best pencil and paper games to play with children
Source: The Time Machine (Youtube)

5. Chained words

We can play this game both in writing and just talking, but putting it on paper can be a great exercise for children who are starting to write. The first player says any word and the next player has to say another that begins with the last syllable, or letter, of the previous one. The idea is not to repeat the words already said.

For children over 10 years old, another didactic way of playing is adding some kind of theme to the game. For example, if you are studying geography, you might want to use only place names; or, to distinguish the types of words, chain adjectives, or verbs.

The best pencil and paper games to play with children
Source: There is no class on Fridays

6. Battle of ships

It is a popular game of skill and strategy in which two players can participate. We will need four squared papers (two for each player), on which we will draw rows with letters and columns with numbers. In one of them, we will distribute our fleet horizontally or vertically as follows: four one-grid ships, three two-grid ships, two three-grid ships, and one four-grid ship. Each player begins to give coordinates to which the opponent will have to respond with ‘water’ if he has failed, ‘touched’ if he has hit a grid, and ‘ sunk’ if he has finished with the entire ship.

The best pencil and paper games to play with children
Source: Abuelandia

7. Paint and hit

For this game you will need to be at least four players and create two teams . One team member will tell the other team member what to draw so that their own team can guess what it is about without using words! This same format is used for games such as ‘the movies’, in which we will have to guess the film  through mimicry .

The best pencil and paper games to play with children
Source: Trebolito

Here we give you other options to keep playing! Like these home games with stones or these others to practice math in a fun way at home.