7 Pen and Paper Games Everyone Will Love Playing

7 Pen and Paper Games Everyone Can Play

Trying to keep bored kids busy? Hosting a games night? Or even stuck in a lift? There’s nothing like a pen and paper game to keep you entertained through any of these situations. They require very little preparation, can be played pretty much anywhere, and are surprisingly fun! 

We’ve picked a few of our favourite pen and paper games for you to enjoy whenever you’re in need of some simple, screen-free fun – whether that’s by yourself or with friends and family. 

7 of the best pen and paper games 

All you need to play these games is – yep, you guessed it – a pen and some paper. Obviously, we would always recommend carrying a notebook and pen with you so you’re always ready to play. However, a receipt or napkin will do if things are really desperate. Some of the more adventurous games we’ve picked also involve a pencil or coloured pens (we like to live life on the edge!). 


  1. Dots and boxes

This game can be played by two or more people and is easily adapted for kids or adults. Start by drawing a grid of dots on a piece of paper (or save time with a dotted notebook). A six-by-six grid – so six lines of six evenly spaced dots – is a good starting point for younger children. For a longer and more challenging game, draw a bigger grid e.g. 30 by 30. 

Assign each player a different coloured pen and take it in turns to draw lines between the dots. The aim is to create squares with your lines. Every time you complete a square, write your initial inside and play again (you get an extra turn whenever you claim a square). The winner is whoever has the most squares once all the dots have been connected. 

Our Favourite Dotted Notebooks

Agenzio Medium Soft Cover Dotted Notebook - Lavender, £14.00 - Shop here

Agenzio Medium Soft Cover Dotted Notebook - Mustard, £14.00 - Shop here

Agenzio Medium Soft Cover Dotted Notebook - Powder, £14.00 - Shop here

Agenzio Medium Soft Cover Dotted Notebook - Punch, £14.00 - Shop here


  1. Word search

We bet you haven’t done one of these in a while! A classroom classic, word searches are a great way to activate the brain and practise your problem-solving skills. Get those cogs turning with our stationery-themed word search. 


  1. Tic-tac-toe

Oh, we do love a bit of tic-tac-toe. The aim of this two-player game is to get three Xs or Os (whichever you are assigned) in a row before your opponent. Draw two vertical lines and two horizontal lines to create a grid of nine squares. Choose who will use Xs and who will use Os, then take it in turns to fill the squares with your symbol. The winner is the first person to get a vertical, horizontal or diagonal row of three. If you play multiple rounds, alternate who gets to go first. 


  1. Paper telephone

This game requires three or more players. Everyone starts with a piece of A4 paper and draws a picture at the top of it, keeping it hidden from the others. They then pass their paper to the player on their left, who captions the drawing. Everyone should fold the paper to cover the drawing, leaving the caption visible, before passing it to the left again. Each player then draws a picture to go with the caption, before folding the paper to leave only their drawing visible and passing it on again. Repeat this until the paper has been filled, then unfold every section to reveal what should be a rather amusing sequence!

Multi Soft Touch Ballpoint Pens - Pack of 5, £4.00 - Shop here

Rose Gold Mechanical Pencils - Pack of 6, £6.00 - Shop here

Pastel Barrel Fine Liner Pens - Pack of 5, £4.00 - Shop here

Happy Days Colouring Pencils Tube, £10.00 - Shop here

  1. Sim

Sim is a bit like dots and boxes. Start by drawing six dots in a hexagon shape, and then connect each dot to every other dot with lines drawn in pencil. Assign yourself and your opponent a different coloured pen and take it in turns to go over the lines between the dots. The aim is to avoid making a triangle with your coloured lines. The first person to complete a triangle with their lines loses the game. 


  1. Word scramble

How many words can you make out of the above letters? 

For an extra challenge, set yourself a time limit e.g. two minutes. If you want to compete against someone else, you can create a points system. Every eight-letter word is worth eight points, every seven-letter word is worth seven points, and so on. 


  1. Categories

We appreciate this may not sound very exciting but bear with us! There are two pen and paper games you can play using categories. The first is a creative activity you can do alone. Simply choose a category and see how many variations of it you can draw. Good examples include leaves, shoes, hairstyles, flowers and lamps. 

The second is a multiplayer game – you can play as individuals or teams. Choose 5-10 categories (such as films, pop stars, cities, vegetables, animals etc.) and write them across the top of a piece of paper. One player/team then picks a letter, and everybody has one minute to think of something starting with that letter for each category. Total each player/team’s points at the end of every round. A point is awarded for every correct word written down that no one else has. Then the next person/team chooses a letter and a new round begins. Do as many letters as you like, and whoever has the most points at the end wins. 

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