# Stick Figure Games for Kids

You don't need tons of toys, games or DVDs to keep children entertained; these stick figure games will spark your kids' creativity for hours. Use them to teach strategy, logic, math and art, or just to have a bit of fun. All you need is paper, pencils and a little imagination.

1. ## Vanishing Man

• A variation on the classic hangman game, Vanishing Man requires kids to draw their complete man/woman figure first. Once they start guessing letters to fill in the mystery phrase selected by the game leader, they erase one part of their person for each letter that's not in the mystery phrase. Can they guess the phrase before their figure vanishes?

For the classroom, set the amount of parts each student's figure can have, then divide the room into three or more teams. In this variation, the winner isn't the team that guesses the phrase first; it's the team with the most parts left on the figures. This teaches patience and strategy as kids must work together to decide when to guess; it doesn't help to know the answer if your team has the fewest parts left.

Vanishing Man can also be used as a math game as teams multiply their total parts left. They also must check the accuracy of their math at the game's end to see if the number of missing parts per team is equal to the number of missed letters in the alphabet.

## Flip Figures

• Take six to 10 blank index cards and cut them in half. Line them up and, with a pencil, draw a simple action sequence (waving arms, running, dancing, bouncing a ball) in order, changing the action of the figure slightly on each subsequent card.

Staple them together, flip the edge of your new book with your thumb and watch your stick figures wiggle.

Erase and adjust your pencil drawings until you have it just right, and then go to town with markers and colors to give your flip book a real kick.

• Divide a sheet of paper into eight equal sections. Draw eight simple, identical stick figures in the center of each section. Label each figure with a different career (for example, fireman, teacher, doctor), emotion (happy, sad, excited) or action (dancing, running, swimming, etc.).

Challenge the kids to add to the figures until they represent the word in each section. Once they're finished, gather together to share where their imaginations took them.

## Reconfigure Figure

• Draw dozens of different pieces of stick figures on blank index cards (short lines, long lines, multiple wavy lines, half circles, large circles, small circles). Give the pieces to the children to arrange into their own crazy stick figure puzzle, using as many or as few of the cards as they like. Then challenge them to explain the action or invent a story about their figure.

## Can You Figure That?

• Draw a complex stick figure (for example, with wild hair, performing a crazy action) with lots of parts on a piece of paper, then show it to the kids for one minute. Hide the original drawing and challenge the kids to duplicate the figure as accurately as possible.

This can be turned into a math game for the classroom as the figures are displayed and the amount of right/wrong/missing parts are counted and tabulated for each student. This can be easily translated into a fraction or percentage exercise.

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## References

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