I love this game.  It is amazing just how simple and fun a game can be with only pen and paper.  The real trick is to make sure the hangman frame is not too small- the worst thing is when you complete your man and he can touch the ground!!
If you don’t remember how to play, it is simple.
Choose a word and don’t tell the other players.  Usually the word comes from a set, eg vegetables.
The person who has thought of the word should draw the hangman’s frame and write dashes which match the number of letters in the word.  I am using capitals to make it clear but this game would normally be done in lower case letters.
eg.    _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _
One of the other players then guesses a letter eg A
A  _  _  A  _  A  _  _  _
Have you guessed yet?
The next player, especially if a kid may guess Q.  As this is wrong, the other person would draw a head and below the simple diagram show Q (letter with a strike through).  This is really important for beginners as they easily forget which letters they have said.  At a more advanced age, a body part can be added for the stupidity of saying a letter you have already said, eg not paying attention!!
The game continues…  A player guesses  S
A  S  _  A  _  A  _  _  S
Every wrong guess means another body part is drawn, first head, then body, one arm, a second arm, a leg and finally a last leg.  When the last body part is drawn the game ends- you are DEAD!!!  The person thinking of the word is the winner and they think of a new one and the game starts again.

If the people guessing chose P and G …
A  _S  P  A  _  A  G  _  S

You are right, it is ASPARAGUS!!

This can also be played online in a huge amount of different sites.  Our of our kids' favourites is Hang Mouse.

The girls love hangman and it can be played almost anywhere and any time!  In the car, outside on the table, inside leaning on a book are just a few of the endless opportunities.
It reinforces spelling, letters, lexical sets, phonetics and all within the format of a game.  It can even be done with misspelt words as a sneaky but fun form of testing.  I think though, that the most important part is that it remains fun, no matter how often it is played.  It really is one of those timeless games.
Are there any similarly simple games that you are still happy to play?
I’d love to hear….



  1. Now this post brought back memories...I use to play hangman all the time. Loved the game as well. Thanks for follow! I am following you back. Have a great weekend!

  2. I play hang man all the time with my kids :) It is a great game when standing in lines or waiting for dinner at the restaurant.

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