Chal­lenge your­self to no screens

The Queensland Times - - LIFE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS -

DO YOU think you could en­ter­tain your­self with­out an elec­tri­cal de­vice?

If you find your­self twid­dling your thumbs, in­stead of typ­ing with them, swip­ing with them or push­ing but­tons with them, grab a pen and some pa­per and play some good old fash­ioned games, like the ex­am­ple shown above – the dots and boxes game.

Al­most all pen-and-pa­per games have an on­line equiv­a­lent but see if you can play them with­out us­ing tech­nol­ogy.


If some­one is said to be twid­dling their thumbs, it means they do not have any­thing to do and are wait­ing for some­thing to hap­pen.

Pen and pa­per games Noughts and crosses

This game was first played in an­cient Egypt around 1300 BC. In­stead of pa­per and pen, each player had three game pieces they would move around the game board for an at­tempt at three in a row.

The pen­cil and pa­per ver­sion is a grid drawn on pa­per of two ver­ti­cal lines dis­sect­ing two hor­i­zon­tal lines. Player one puts an X in a box; player two pro­ceeds to put Os. The point of the game is to try to get three of your marks in a row or to block your op­po­nent from do­ing so.


The ob­ject of this pen-and-pa­per game for two is to hit your op­po­nent's ships on their grid by mak­ing strate­gic guesses as to where they are.

Both play­ers have pa­per with two grids each that are sec­tioned out 11 by 11; the top row marked 1-10, the side read­ing A-J.

Each player gets:

1 car­rier (5 squares); 2 bat­tle­ships (4 squares each); 3 de­stroy­ers (2 squares each); 2 cruis­ers (3 squares each); 1 sub­ma­rine (3 squares)

The play­ers shade or mark their own ships on one grid and then guess the other's co­or­di­nates (mark­ing down their guesses on the other grid). Miss=XHit=O

When one player hits all the squares of the ship, it's been sunk.


One player thinks of a word or phrase and writes blanks for ev­ery let­ter be­low an omi­nous-look­ing gal­lows with a rope.

The other player guesses letters un­til the word or phrase can be worked out.

For each wrong guess, a body part is added to the swinging rope. Six body parts are stan­dard: head, torso, two arms and two legs.

You have to fill in the blanks be­fore the per­son is drawn or you’re hung.

Draw it

You play this game by tak­ing turns with one or more peo­ple where one per­son draws a head, folds over the pa­per so no­body knows how the pic­ture is shap­ing up, then passes it to the next per­son to add more of the body and so on un­til you have a com­pleted the mon­ster or fan­tasy crea­ture. ✰An­other ver­sion is for play­ers to choose a word or phrase to com­plete the story.

JOIN THE DOTS: This is an­other of Elly Awe­some’a great ideas from her book How to feel awe­some ev­ery day. PHOTO: Contributed / Penguin Ran­dom House Aus­tralia

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