Dots and boxes is a great indoor game that kids can play instantly with just a pen and paper. My older son (age 10) loves to play it. Dots and boxes appeals to his highly developed sense of spacial awareness and interest in logic games. His 6 year old brother still needs guidance. He understands the rules, but his impulsiveness leads him to make non-strategic moves.
My 10 year old is actually better than I am! One reason is that I am not as patient when it comes to games that require a lot of planning ahead (this is the main reason I dislike chess). He is much more interested in figuring out strategies than I am. However, that doesn't mean I don't enjoy it! Dots and Boxes is a great game for both kids and grownups. (Note: affiliate links included below)
How to play Dots and Boxes:
Object of the Game: To close as many boxes as you can.
Set up: Lay out a grid of dots. We like a grid of 4 by 4, but it doesn't matter. You can play with as few or as many dots as you like. We recently bought a cool notepad of dot paper with the intention of playing a huge game!
Each player choses a different color pencil or pen.
The first player draws a straight line between two adjacent dots. You can not draw diagonal lines.
The second player draws a line between two dots.
Play continues in this manner until eventually a player can close a box. After closing a box, player puts his initial inside to "claim" it. He then gets another turn. If he is able to close an additional box, he gets yet another turn, until he can not close any more boxes. Play then continues with the other player.
If the instructions are difficult to understand watch my video below. It's actually quite simple, but easier to understand if you can see the game in action.
Join me and other kid activity bloggers every Friday in January for a new indoor activity for kids. We'll cover, games, active play ideas, ideas for big kids and quick & easy ideas.
MORE QUICK AND EASY IDEAS:
- 60 I Spy Printables: the perfect on the go boredom buster
- 20 brain tickling waiting games for kids
- 5 Thinking Games for Kids
- Awesome but Ugly Easy Indoor Activities
- Indoor Family Games (no board necessary)
If you need a few more indoor game ideas after finishing a few rounds of dots and boxes check out the following from my fellow bloggers:
- Photo Memory Game at BPhoto Art
- Board Games that Nurture Creativity at Adventure in a Box
- Football I Spy Game at The Pleasantest Thing
- Noughts and Crosses with Toys at The Gingerbread House
- 7 Bean Bag Games at Study at Home Mama
- Alphabet Football Game at Sight and Sound Reading
Stay warm and have fun!