Playworks for every kid

Fun Games to Play with a Piece of Paper

Six ways to make a fun game for yourself with just a piece of paper.
January 30, 2014

Stuck inside or waiting on hold and looking for entertainment? This is a great time to recall some of your favorite childhood games that can be easily played with just a piece of paper. Here are four game descriptions to jog your memory.

Paper Football. Fold paper into three equal parts the long way. Fold the bottom edge of the paper up to a side edge forming a triangle. Continue folding triangles until a small flap is left. Fold the flap into the triangle. Done.

Paper football is played with two people on a long table. Each player gets four tries to slide the football across the table. A touchdown is score by getting the football to sit partially on and partially off the end of the table. If a player scores, they get one attempt to flick the football through their opponent’s finger made up-rights.



Fortune Teller. Often also called a cootie catcher, this is a folded paper game with handwritten fortunes inside. The fortunes are only limited by the creator’s imagination! Find out how to make a fortune teller online from a how-to guide like this one.

Trash Basketball. This is simple and fun. Wad a piece of paper into a tight ball and aim for your trashcan or other nearby target. Toss the paper. If it goes in, great! Pull it out and try again. If it doesn’t go in, grab the paper and try again. Of course the real fun is in running around cheering after you score.

Jumping Frog. With a little origami, you can create a very fun jumping frog for your and your child’s imaginative play. You may want to begin with a simple version, such as this one. Still instructions  for more complex (and higher jumping) origami frogs can also be found online.

Paper Ball. Also called an origami balloon, you can fold this ball use it for a variety games, such as Bubbles, Ball Toss Race or a simple target toss game. You can find several how-to guides for folding a paper ball, such as this one, online.

Paper Airplane. There are several ways to fold a paper airplane. You can start with one then experiment alternatives to see how they affect their flight.

Fold a piece of paper in half the long way then open it back up. Fold down both top corner of paper into the center fold line. Fold paper back in half and turn to the side with folded edge down. Fold down one flap of the paper from the top to form a wing. Flip the paper over and do the same with the other flap of paper. Open of the wings and gently throw the paper with point forward to see how far and how accurately your airplane flies.

What other games do you like to play with a piece of paper?


Have a pencil and paper? Try any of these fun paper and pencil games.