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5 creative games you can play with just a pen and paper

Notifications chiming. A tik tok video here and a meme there. Emails, chats and spreadsheets. With all the sensory overload happening, it can be a relaxing experience to sometimes just fall off the digital grid and go back to basics, like pen and paper.

Here are 5 simple and fun games you can play with pen and paper with your kid or a friend and take a break from screens.

1.Consequences

“Hilarious Barrack Obama met Muscular Minnie Mouse on Jupiter’s moon. He said shyly “Green eggs and ham are so delicious”. She said angrily “Not before Sunday of last year”.  In the end, they decided to go up the hill and tumble down after. “

Consequences is a game where creativity takes over scores and imagination tops luck. Each player starts with a blank sheet of paper and pencil. More the players, wackier the stories.

How to play

Each player starts with writing the name of a male along with an ingenious adjective on top of the page. Movie stars, authors, musicians, YouTube celebrities, fictional characters, a family member, a friend, a fellow player– the choices are endless.

Each player then folds down the top of their paper to hide what they’ve written, and passes it to the player on their left.

Each player then writes down the name of a female with an interesting adjective on the paper that’s just been passed to them. Then everyone folds over and passes their paper again.

The rounds continue till a story with the following structure unfolds.

  • The male character
  • The female character
  • where they met
  • what he said with an adverb:
  • what she said with an adverb:
  • what happened in the end (A.K.A the consequence)

Once the consequence has been written, everyone unfolds the paper they’re holding and takes turns reading their story aloud, usually to the sounds of helpless laughter at the ridiculousness of the stories that get revealed.

You can get as creative and elaborate as you want with the story formats. The crazier the better.

2. Fictionary

Bheestie – “ A bestie who eats like a beast!”

Fictionary is an amusing game of vocabulary skills that calls upon the power of imagination. The goal is to come up with fake definitions for funny and obscure words that actually exist.  All you need is pen and paper. A bigger group is always more fun.   

How to play

A player chooses an obscure and possibly funny sounding word randomly from the dictionary or an online list. Every player writes down their own definition of the word. Then all the players vote on the most plausible sounding definition. The one with most votes wins.

Here are ten funny obscure words to get you started.

Bum-clock

Snotter

Aglet

Rockchair

Smuth

Glossanthrax

Wow-wow

Woom

Molebut

Finochio

3. Complete the doodle

This is a simple yet versatile game. It can be played alone or with friends.  All you need to do is draw random shapes or doodles on a piece of paper. They need not make any sense. Then players take turns to draw on the doodle to turn it into something wonderfully intricate and whimsical. You stop only when you feel like it.

For example, a simple circle can turn into a spider’s web with a cat stuck in it with a lollipop in its mouth and fireworks happening all around it!

4. Connect Four

The popular board game can be easily converted into a simple pen and paper game with the same amount of fun!

Simply draw ten lines horizontally and vertically to create twenty squares. Then take turns drawing circles in an attempt to get four in a row. Use two colours for two players. Once the bottom row is filled, players must “drop” their circles on top of another. Players can either mark the circles with their initials or use X and O. The first to get four in a row wins!

5. SOS

Sometimes the simplest of games turn out to be the most fun!

SOS is played on a grid of squares of any size, usually 3 x 3. Two players attempt to label sequential squares either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally with the letters SOS. Once a player succeeds, they take another turn and continue until they cannot create any more. Players may play either an S or an O on their turn. To differentiate between players, they can use different coloured pens or mark a unique shape around their letters.  If neither player gets a SOS, the game is a draw.

These are some of our favourite creative pen and paper games to play when we want to go on a digital detox. What is your favourite pen and paper game?

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