Dots and boxes printable is a classic game, designed to be played on pencil and paper for two players.
The game was first devised in the 19th century by a French mathematician called Edouard Lucas. The game has the original name of ‘la pipopiette’. You may also recognise the game by other names such as dots and boxes, pigs in a pen, dot to dot grid and boxes.
Dots and boxes is a great game to play on a rainy afternoon, in the car on long journeys, or, a way to get your child thinking a bit different mathematically without them realising it. It’s also a good way to take their eyes off a screen!
How to play dots and Boxes printable:
- Each player takes it in turn to add a line horizontally or vertically in between adjacent dots.
- The player who manages to complete a box, earns a point and can take another go.
- Colour in your box to keep track of which box is which players.
- The trick is, to avoid adding a third side to soon, allowing your opponent to make a box.
- The game ends when no more lines can be drawn.
What are the benefits of playing dots and boxes?
Playing dots and boxes helps to improve your child’s skill in the mathematical elements of spacial awareness, geometry and logic. To start with, your child may focus on simply forming boxes, without paying much thought to how the other player may claim their box. As time goes on, your child will start to think about where they plot their lines, to limit how many boxes are given away. This is where, you, as a parent or a second player, will notice an improvement in skill. It is well documented that children learn effectively through play.
If you don’t have much time, start by playing with a smaller grid, such as a 3×3 grid, or if you just want to start getting the principles of dots and boxes, a smaller grid is advised.
However, if you’re becoming more of an advanced player, or, want more of a challenge, or, want a way to get the whole family involved, then try the multiple dots and boxes grid below!
You can download your free PDF of dots and boxes HERE. Be sure to look around our website for lots of other free PDF games and learning material.