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Pen and paper games and activities

pen and paper games and activities
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Pen and paper games and activities

pen and paper games and activities
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This really is as simple as it sounds! These are all games and activities that you can do easily at home, or wherever you find yourself, with a pen and a piece of paper, and even that can be really flexible! It doesn’t need to be a pen, and there are loads of different options when it comes to paper. There is no additional equipment required today, all you need to play or do all these activities are:

Pen and paper: all you need for these fun games

If you don’t have a pen then alternatively a pencil, pencil crayon, felt tip, marker pen, wax crayon, piece of charcoal, in short, if you can make a mark with it then it will work. Similarly, any paper is fine and can be used and adapted for the activities here. For example, you can use printer paper, sugar paper, a cereal box, scrap paper, the back of an envelope, an old colouring book, a note pad or old diary, anything you can draw on will work just fine.


Squares

A competitive two player game using a pen and any piece of paper

toddler enjoying drawing activity with pen and paper

Object of the game:

Get the most squares

How to play:

Draw out a grid of dots on your paper (you’re basically creating the corners of the squares) Take it turns to join 2 dots together to create a straight line or one side of the square. If you put the 4th side on and create the square then put your initial in it. Try to avoid adding the 3rd side where you can so you don’t give away a square to the next player! Keep going till the whole grid is full of squares and there are no free dots left. Count up how many squares each person has and the one with the most is the winner.


Lines and shapes

A simple pen and paper activity for one or more people

Object of the activity:

 To create patterns, have fun and practice pen control

How to do it:

Create a random loopy shape on a piece of paper so that the lines cross each other and make addition shapes and there are no un-joined edges. You can then do this on your own or together. Take each internal shape and decorate it with a different pattern, I do this with my daughter and we take it in turns to fill a shape and talk about what patterns we are making.


Make a scene

A collaborative pen and paper game for two or more people. A big piece of paper can be handy for this one.

Object of the activity:

To work together to create a scene

How to do it:

​The first person draws an object on the paper and then players take it in turns to add to it and create a scene. For example the first person draws a cat, the next person adds a tree so the cat is now in a tree, the next person puts apples on the tree, then you add a ladder, a fire engine, grass, flowers, clouds in the sky and so on until you’ve created a big busy picture.


Heads, bodies and legs

A funny pen and paper game for two or more players. An A4 sheet works well because you can play 4 times with one sheet of paper but any will work fine.

Object of the activity:

To make a funny person or creature

How to play:

pen and paper games

If you’re using a4, fold it in half lengthways and then into 3 sections. Hold it so that just the top section is visible and then the first person secretly draws a head in that section. When they’re finished the fold the paper so only the middle is visible and hand it to the next person. That person draws the torso and arms in secret and then folds the paper so that only the bottom ​section is visible  and hands to the last person so they can secretly add the legs. Unfold the paper and reveal your funny creation. I tend to do this with a piece of paper per player going at the same time so we can all draw at the same time and small ones don’t get bored waiting. For older ones you can divide the person into more sections to create more of a challenge.


Origami

You will need:

A piece of paper
Maybe a pen depending on what you’re making 

Object of the activity:

To create 3d models from paper

How to do it

I’m going to cheat at this point as direct you to the video on the facebook page for frogs and penguins or youtube for other creations as I just can’t do written instructions for origami! I would highly recommend paper aeroplanes for experimenting with flight and fortune tellers for entertaining older children.


I hope this gives you some ideas for boredom busting activities that you can do with virtually no preparation or clearing up. These can provide entertainment from 5 minutes to an hour or so. I’d love to see how you change or adapt the ideas above and what other ideas and activities you and your little ones do with a pen and paper. ​


This series contain several blogs all looking at ways to keep the kids entertained with things you have to hand.
We have Things to do with wooden blocks, games to play with lego bricks, and alternative tech activities and more.


By Jeni Atkinson – CalmFamily Director and owner of Little Possums preloved

Jeni Atkinson

Jeni is a wonderful, compassionate and inspiring woman. She says “Just because our parenting is gentle doesn’t mean it doesn’t make a difference. The way we raise our children will impact how they feel about themselves & the choices they make as they grow up. I want to see things change in their lifetime, I want to fight back against the childist views of our patriarchal society.

I want to see a world where children are allowed their own autonomy; a world that lets them learn for themselves & make their own mistakes. I want a society where diversity in all its forms is celebrated; where neurodiversity, mental health, sex & sexuality, gender, politics & all these subjects that are shied away from, are talked about openly. I want a society where parents are inspired & supported to make the choices that work for them & their families. Oh, & to save the planet at the same time!”  

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Childhood play & learning, Family activities, Parents & families, Toddler play
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