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Writing games – drawing games

Writing games have always been popular. Whether at home, in school or in the youth group – writing games can even bring less writing inspired kids to achieve a better performance level.

Writing games – drawing games
  • For the teacher: as a way of encouraging text work.
  • For the parents: for encouraging language and use of language.
  • In youth work: to encourage the social group into communicating with each other.

You can kill 3 birds with one stone. Therefore, have lots of fun with these writing games. A few drawing games are also included for a bit of variety. The games are suitable for youth work on a quieter evening, maybe when it is cold and raining outside. You will need paper, newspaper or magazines and a few pens.

Drawing games

  1. Drawing

    Place a book on the head and hold it in place with the hand. Take a piece of paper, place it on the stomach and begin to draw the given phrase (house, dog, head, people, countryside etc.) with the other hand.

  2. Draw a cow

    Draw a colourful cow while blindfolded.

  3. Writing with extensions

    Stick a felt pen onto a long stick with sticky tape (tent pole approx. 1 m long). Mark out an area where the writing should be placed and write a text.

  1. Paper tiger

    The game is similar to pictionary. Instead of drawing a word, the candidate receives a piece of paper and a pair of scissors. Now the player has to cut the given word (e.g. dog, cat, mouse, house, tree, sun etc.) from a piece of paper and hold it up. Will the group be able to guess which word has been cut out?

  2. Paper plane

    The team builds a plane from a piece of paper. Which airplane will fly the furthest? How long does the team need to fly the plane a certain distance? The team must always be thrown from the point where the plane landed. The flight path does not have to be on a field. It can be around a building or in a building.

  1. Portraits

    Paint/draw portraits of the group members. The others must guess who they are. How many suggestions are required?

  2. Connect four – but different

    A line is drawn on a piece of paper with squares. The next player draws a line which is at some point attaché to the previous line. The player who manages to close the square is allowed to place his mark in the square (cross, open circle, filled circle or initials). The winner is the player with the most squares.

  3. Folding picture – no.1

    Each child thinks of an object and draws it on the top part of a piece of paper. The paper is passed on to the right. This person looks at the object, folds the paper over so that the object cannot be seen and writes down what he has seen. The paper is passed on to the right again. This person now draws the object/phrase which has been written down. After 2-3 rounds, the first picture is compared with the final picture.

  4. Folding picture – no.2

    In the first round, everyone draws a head and neck. The picture is then folded over so that only couple of millimetres of neck can be seen. The paper is passed on to the right. In the next round, everyone draws an upper body down to the belly button on the paper. The paper is then folded over again so that the next person can add the lower body down to the knees. The paper is passed on again and the last picture is the knee down to the feet. At the end the picture is complete and can be unfolded. Some very funny characters appear.

  5. Silent postman’s knock

    This game is lots of fun for smaller children – at least my children enjoy it. However it can also be adapted into a nice game for older children too. Option 1: A number or letter is drawn on a child’s back with the finger. The child must guess the number, letter (or complete word). Option 2: 5-6 children sit behind each other in groups. The first person in line is shown a number, a motive (dog, cat, mouse, house, tree, bird, ...), or a word. The person now draws the item on the next person’s back with their finger. As soon as he thinks he has worked out what has been drawn, he then draws it on the next person’s back and so on. The last person in the line must now draw this phrase/motive/letter/number on a piece of paper and hand it back to the first person in the line. In the next round, everyone moves one place forward, the first player becomes the last player. The group with the best results wins the game.

  6. Battleships

    This is also an ancient game which is always suitable as a time filler, especially when two people do not know what to do. Each player draws a 10x10 box onto squared paper. The tops of the columns are filled with letters and the rows with numbers. Ships are then drawn into this playing area horizontally or vertically. There must always be one space left between ships. Five ships are available to choose from: A ship which is 5 spaces long, a ship with 4 spaces, a ship with 3 spaces and two ships with 2 spaces. By guessing the co-ordinates, each player tries to find the opponent’s ships. Each miss is marked with a point and each hit with a cross. If a hit is made, the player is allowed to take another shot. The opponent’s hits should be marked on your playing field with a different colour or a second field is drawn to keep better track of the opponent’s hits and misses.

Writing games

  1. The newspaper report

    The whole group has to write a newspaper report. Everyone writes a section of the report then folds the paper over and passes it on to the next: Who.... does what with whom.... the weather was.... he location was.... description of the place..... against what (who was there?).... what happened.... at what time.... other conditions.....

  2. The longest word

    The group must invent the longest word within 60 seconds and write it down.

  3. The announcement

    The whole group must write an announcement. Everyone only write a part of it, folds the paper over and passes it on to the next person: Who or what ?.... What material ? .... More description..... What happened with it ?.... Under which conditions ? .... At what price ? ....Offers to whom ? ....

  4. Writing

    One person holds a pen in their hand and does not move. The other person moves the paper around under the pen and tries to write a word. The most readable result is the winner.

  5. Writing with the feet

    Write a text with the feet. Who is quicker? Which text is more readable?

  6. Town, country, river

    It is an advantage to bring a prepared table with you. There is a category in each column. The last column is kept free for the points score. (The columns: town, country, river, animal, plant, job, car, first name, household object, body part, ...) The number of categories can be adapted to suit the age of children/youths. As soon as a letter is called out, a word beginning with this letter is entered for each category. As soon as the first child is finished and has called out “STOP!” everyone else must stop writing. For every correct entry, one point is awarded. There are two points for each word which no-one else has entered. The next round follows. The letters cannot be repeated, this means that 25 rounds are possible.

  7. Scrabble word creations no.1

    From one long word, as many small words as possible should be written down. (Youth-work: youth, work, out, wok, hot, etc ...)

  8. Scrabble word creations no.2

    Someone thinks up a sentence (e.g. a bible verse, a motto, and advertising slogan). All of the letters appearing in the sentence are written down all mixed up. The group must now try to work out the sentence from the mixed up letters. This will hardly be possible but can sometimes lead to funny sentences and combinations. It can be made simpler by sticking to a short sentence with not too many letters or if a clue is give about the subject of the sentence.

  9. Scrabble word creations no.3

    This is a little exercise in constants and vowels. Using two or three constants (H,S,T) further words are made by adding vowels. (HOSE, HUT, HAT, THE, ...). The most creative team wins.

  10. Scrabble word creations no.4

    Taking a bible verse, a motto or and advertising slogan, all of the vowels are removed. The remaining letters are placed next to each other. The task is now to add the correct vowels to the sentence. Which group will manage this the quickest?

  11. Scrabble word creations no.5

    Each of the players say one or two letters. E.g. the group names the letters a,c,b,s,t,h,r for example. The group must now make as many words as possible from the letters named. From these letters the words bat, cats, stab etc. can be made.

  12. The continuing novel

    Each person writes down a short story with 5-6 sentences. The last sentence remains while the paper is folded over to hide the first 4-5 sentences. The text is passed on the right-hand neighbour. This person continues the story. At the end, the whole story is read out. In order to avoid that any old theme is used, the theme can be decided at the beginning (e.g. night watch on the camp).

  13. Steno

    Pairs of children make up teams. All of the teams receive the same text. On the start signal, one child starts dictating a text to the other child. Which team is the first to finish? Which teams has managed to write the text down without any mistakes? If you have a type writer or several computers (in school) you can play the game with typing.

  14. Hangman

    A child thinks of a word. He draws out the spaces for each letter of the word. The other children now guess which letters are in the word e.g. they might guess that an “I” is in the word. If they guess correctly, the letter is written in the space. (CHRISTIANITY: _ _ _ I _ _ I _ _ I _ _ ). If the letter does not appear in the word, the child begins to draw a hangman. (Gallows, rope, head, body, left arm, right arm, left leg, right leg). After 8 rounds the hangman is finished. If the word has not been guessed before this point, the child has won. Then it is the next child’s go with a different word or phrase. This game is also good for learning a foreign language by using French or Spanish words.

  15. There is an answer to every question - but sometimes not the right one!

    Everyone sits in a circle. Every second person receives a piece of paper. Each person with a piece of paper writes down a question of their own choice, folds the paper over and hands it on to the next person on the right. This person now writes an answer on the paper. The sheet is then folded again so that nothing can be seen and passed on again. At the end all of the questions and answers are read out. In the next round, the children can swap roles. The ones who wrote the questions can now write the answers.

  16. Telegram style

    The group/class calls out 5-6 words of their own choice. The words are written down. The group/class must now make a telegram using these words and are only allowed to use the same number of extra words so that the telegram makes sense. (boarding school, party evening, Mr Miller, socks, eating, nights)

  17. Word salad

    The publishing company Miller has experienced a mishap. The shelf box with 20 (to 30) words of a short story has fallen over. The words are now laying about on the floor. Can the group manage to make up a new story from the 20 to 30 words? Preparation: cut out 20-30 words from a newspaper.

    Option: To ensure variation, each word must begin with a different letter.

    Option: In the first round of the game, each group must cut 20-30 words out of a newspaper which all begin with a different letter. The winning group is the group who is first to out cut all of the words. The groups are then informed that a short story must be made from the words.

  18. Placing and replacing

    Each group receives a piece of paper and a starter word (e.g. tree). Under the word “tree”, another word is written. The word is only allowed to have a maximum of two letters changed to make a new word. Which group will manage to most word changes.

    Option: It is easier if one letter is allowed to be added or if one letter can be removed.

  19. Drawing phrases on the back

    Two teams are put together. The first players in the lines are shown a picture at the same time. This picture is drawn on the back of the next person in the line (with the finger) who then draws it on the next person’s back. Will the last person in the line manage to draw the picture on a piece of paper or name the word? The game is similar to “silent postman’s knock“.

  20. Building words

    The group must think up as many words as possible in a certain amount of time, which can be made from the letters of a long word.

  21. Composite words

    Who can name some words which have animals in them? (birdcage, mousetrap, catkin, fishnet, …)

  22. ABC

    In this ABC game, the first person thinks of a word beginning with A. The next person thinks of a word beginning with B. They can’t just think up any olds words, the words must be kept in word families. You might want to name plants, animals, forenames, towns etc. The order of play can also be varied or you can throw a ball to decide who has to call out the word.

  23. Can you write your name?

    With a piece of chalk in his hand, the player stands on one foot. He swings his other leg around in a circle and tries to write his name on a blackboard with the chalk.


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