Before screens, there were pencil and paper games.
You know, the games your parents and grandparents played as kids while waiting at the dentist, on a long car drive, or on a rainy Friday night at the kitchen table.
Here’s the thing: Simple competition, a little strategy and mind work doesn’t have to be flashy, but it’s what we’re all used to. These games are just as addicting as Pac-Man, but far more beneficial for your kids! And all that’s required is a pencil and a partner.
We’ve collected our favorite simple strategy games for players kids ranging from 2-teen…adults will love these too! Tic Tac Toe can be introduced to your youngest child, but once they become more spatially aware, the 3D version becomes more challenging! Try the 4×4 and your ready for anything!
Horse Race is an old game that makes your paper become a horse track and your pencil a horse, instantly transforming the simplest tools into another world of fun.
Sprouts builds spatial reasoning and strategy skills all while feeling like the game that keeps on going. The dot game is a classic and gets to be really fun the more dots you use as your game board! The scribble game can be introduced as early as age 2, but from our experience, teens and adults have just as much fun using their imagination to make the silliest scribble into a work of art!
These printable sheets can be printed out as much as you’d like, or you can slip it in a sheet protector and use a dry erase marker to play again and again! Or uploading to the iPad or tablet in a drawing app can make for fun digital play. But, the favorite way to play, is of course with just a pencil and paper.
We’ve included instructions on each page, but because it’s easier to learn by watching, we’ve included a video tutorial for all the games here.
We use these games at church, in the car, or when I just need the kids to play quietly. Oh, that’s right! Did I mention that none of these games require any talking??? Just a lot of thinking. But laughter is a given!
Let us know how you like these and how you best like to use them.