Fences : a game for two or more players

This game is brilliant for long car or plane trips; it only needs a few materials, and not a huge amount of concentration. I think my brother and I managed to consume an entire car journey from Adelaide to Wagga (a long way) with this game one holiday when we were about 6 and 8.


You will need:
Two or more players
Pens or pencils and A3 or Letter sized paper
You could use graph paper to save yourself from having to draw rows of dots, or you can download and print off some pdf files we prepared earlier:
short game (least amount of dots): A4 : US letter
medium game: A4 : US letter
long game: A4 : US letter

Each player takes it in turn to draw one horizontal or vertical line between two dots (no diagonals) anywhere on the grid. When a player draws the line that closes off a one unit square, it gets marked with their initial and it becomes their square:

fences example

They will then get another turn.

If the line completes two squares both become theirs, but they don’t receive another turn.

fences example 2

When all the squares are fenced off, the initials of each player are counted up and the winner of the game is the person with the most squares.

19 Responses to “Fences : a game for two or more players”

  1. Dihtri

    Awww, I remember playing this game when I was a kid! Memories! 🙂

  2. Clarice

    Hello Claire,
    I have just found your new blog and am very excited about it. We are very hands on here at my home and look forward to all the cool ideas. Thank you Clarice

  3. Melanie

    I think we called this one “Paddocks”… and I don’t remember the rule about no extra turn given for completing two boxes… but it is a great game, and I’m loving Kiddley so far!

  4. Kiddley With Bright Ideas and Fun Projects - Parenting Ideas

    […] In the off chance you don’t know yet, a new site geared toward parents and kids, Kiddley has just launched. You can find many cool ideas of crafts and fun projects to do with kids. What attract me the most are its easy-to-follow-steps and some nice cartoons. The required materials are handy and easy to find: pencils and a piece of paper to play “fences”, washed potatoes and buttons to make some funny potato people. Great! Tags: Kiddley, Crafts, Fun Projects […]

  5. ghislaine

    I remember playing this game with my mother when I was little. I grew up in France and there it was called -quite simply- “Petits Carrés”, or Little Squares.

  6. irishmama

    We played this game as kids, I just showed my children it acouple of months ago and they loved it. I really love Kiddley. Thanks

  7. Rachael

    How fun! We call that game “Dots”. My boys love it!

  8. jenny vorwaller

    awesome! we played that game during church lots of times when my siblings and i were little, except we just called it, (hee hee) “the DOT GAME”

    🙂 im loving this new blog! yippeee.

  9. Jess

    We called it apartment buildings….oh such the new yorker i am.

  10. Julie

    Love this game! Thanks for putting together the files with the dots. This homeschooling Mom is loving Kiddley — great job!

  11. Aj

    In high school my friends and I called it the “Oh My Gosh Church Is SO Long and Boring; What Can We Do With Our Bulletins So As Not To Die From Boredom While Hearing About Trivial Things Such As Moral Living and Unconditional Love” game. But your title is much more catchy. 🙂

  12. Myra

    Thank you SO much for this. I had been trying for quite sometime to remember how to place this game and what it was called and I kept coming up short. Perfect game hours of entertainment. I loved this as a small child. Thank you and best of lucj with Kiddley. I have been a fan of yours for years and just can’t say enough how much I enjoy your work Good luck with the new baby coming soon!

  13. amy

    Love this game. I found a version online recently (click here), and trust me, you can still waste inordinate amounts of time trying to see how soundly you can beat the computer!

  14. Meredithva

    This blog is truly a work of art! Fences — I remember positively stalking one of my uncles to get them to play this game with me. Fortunately, he was a good sport!

  15. Joanna

    This game got me and my friends through many mind-numbing Latin lessons at school. The bigger the grid the better!

  16. Dani

    We called this game Dots when I was a kid. This is another great reminder of something to do on a no-TV day. BTW, I found your site from a post on Parent Hacks.

  17. Chelsea

    awww I played this constantly with my twin sister when I was young 🙂

  18. Jeremy

    I know this game as dots also. We were lucky a few weeks ago and found pads of dots pages already made in a store. In America they were in a dollar store. There were pre-made pads of dots and hangman. It’s a lot easier starting a new game when you only have to rip a new sheet off!

  19. karina

    I used to play this game too when I was growing up, and found it on the web a few months ago, so I taught it to my 5yo. There’s this one page printable little booklet you can take anywhere with you that I find very useful. See my previous post at

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