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30 Days of Activities At Home With The Kids [Day One]


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Each day I’ll share a simple activity that you can do with your kids that will help pass the time. Sometimes these with be educational. Sometimes these activities will be family projects. Sometimes they will simply be entertainment options.

If you want to add some ideas to the list please do so in the comments.

You can see the full list of activities (updated daily through-out the 30 day series) at DaddysGrounded.com/30days/

Day One: The Dot Game

Anyone my age (30s-40s) will likely remember playing the Dot Game in elementary school. I used to spend hours on it at school, home, and the park. It’s a great game to be played with others or on your own.

Example game of Dots and Boxes on a 2 × 2 square board.

The game starts with an empty grid of dots. Usually two players take turns adding a single horizontal or vertical line between two unjoinedadjacent dots. A player who completes the fourth side of a 1×1 box earns one point and takes another turn. (A point is typically recorded by placing a mark that identifies the player in the box, such as an initial.) The game ends when no more lines can be placed. The winner is the player with the most points.The board may be of any size grid. When short on time, or to learn the game, a 2×2 board (3×3 dots) is suitable. A 5×5 board, on the other hand, is good for experts.

The diagram [above] shows a game being played on a 2×2 board (3×3 dots). The second player (“B”) plays a rotated mirror image of the first player’s moves, hoping to divide the board into two pieces and tie the game. But the first player (“A”) makes a sacrifice at move 7 and B accepts the sacrifice, getting one box. However, B must now add another line, and so B connects the center dot to the center-right dot, causing the remaining unscored boxes to be joined together in a chain (shown at the end of move 8). With A’s next move, A gets all three of them and ends the game, winning 3–1.


I’ve created a free printable sheet you can download and copy as many times as you want to play the game.

Did you play the Dot Game as a kid? When’s the last time you played it? Did you play with a pre-printed sheet or make a sheet on your own in class? Let me know in the comments.


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