7 Easy Games to Play on Paper

Easy to play and fun paper based games that you can play with your friends and family.

We have millions of apps and games available to download to our devices but sometimes it's more enjoyable and practical to kick back with a simple pen and paper game. It is also very easy to get distracted on mobile devices or finish the game fast by using a word solver tool but that’s not the case with the pen and paper medium.

They require very little to get started and can be a lot of fun, so let's take a look at some games you can play to get you started.

Tic Tac Toe

The pinnacle of pen and paper games, Tic Tac Toe, is a simple yet invigorating two-player game. To start, draw a grid of 9 boxes, using two vertical lines and two horizontal lines. One player uses X's and the other uses O's, who then take turns filling the squares with their symbols. The winner is the player who gets three symbols in a row, either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.


Hangman is a classic school-era game that is best played with two people or two teams. One player chooses a word and draws a dash on a piece of paper for each letter in the word, and the other player must guess what the blank letters might be. When a player correctly guesses a missing letter in a word, all instances of that letter are revealed over the dashes. When a player guesses incorrectly, they lose a life, and part of the hangman is drawn.

Players typically get five failed attempts before the hangman is fully drawn and the game is over, but players can adjust this to their own liking. If the hangman on the gallows theme is too strong for young children, you can consider using a different theme, such as a spaceman!


Anagrams are an amusing pen and paper distraction and can be played with one or more players. Players get just a random selection of letters and then must rush to make as many words as possible out of them. Players can make words of any length, and each letter in a created word is worth one point. A time limit of around two minutes will add a competitive element to this game.

Blind Drawing

A game best played by at least four players in teams of two takes turns drawing on a piece of paper over their teammates' backs, and the other player must guess what is drawn. All players draw the same thing that is decided on a card beforehand that only the drawers know.

Complete the Doodle

Complete the Doodle is a non-competitive game for two or more players. Players take turns making small additions to a doodle without expressing what they are trying to draw, which leads to some exciting and creative doodles being produced!

Dots and Boxes

Dots and Boxes is a paper-based game that is over one hundred years old and has served as a super-simple yet exciting game since its inception.

The game consists of an array of dots that can be either square or rectangle. Players take turns joining the dots with either one vertical or horizontal line at each turn to form a box. The player who completes a box gets one point and may take another turn, and the player with the most points when the grid is complete is the winner!

Word Search

A traditional word search is a great game to entertain bored children. Simply create a grid of equal dimensions horizontally and vertically, fill in your chosen words, and select random letters to fill in the blanks. Give players a list of the words they need to find and get them going. If you want to add a competitive element to the game, try timing them!

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Published on 05 Oct 2022
Author: Jordan