Try these creative tic tac toe games for kids and boost developmental skills while you play!
What is the one game that your family can take anywhere and everyone will know how to play?
Tic Tac Toe!
Our family will whip up a quick game on a restaurant placemat, on a random scrap of paper or on a paper plate after a slice of pizza. All you need is a place to write and a pencil!
As I was browsing Pinterest last week, I came across this unique tic tac toe game and it got my creative juices flowing! I decided that I was going to come up with a few new, development boosting, tic tac toe games for kids!
15 Development-Boosting Tic Tac Toe Games
Here are 15 unique, and sometimes challenging, tic tac toe games that you can try with your kids that will target fine, gross and sensory motor skills!
1 || Marshmallows
Use two different colored markers to color the tops of marshmallows for game pieces. Draw a grid on a piece of paper and use the marshmallows to try to make your row of 3! Picking up those tiny mini marshmallows is a pincer grasp challenge for anyone.
2 || Stamps
Find a small stamp (this set has 24 different emojis) that represents your personality to make your mark.
3 || Vibrating Pen
If you have never used one of these, you’re missing out! This heavy duty vibrating pen can inspire even the most reluctant writer or artist! It comes with 5 ink cartridges in different colors and provides great tactile feedback as kids draw and write.
4 || Fingerprints
You be blue, I will be green! Use your index finger in isolation to create a mark in your chosen spot. Perfect for finger isolation practice!
5 || Water Bottles
Yep, you will need 10! Glue 9 of the water bottles in a grid pattern to a piece of heavy duty cardboard. Color 5 of the lids one color and the other 5 another color (see why you needed 10? :) Mark your spot by twisting the cap on a water bottle. Hand strengthening success!
6 || Sand, Sprinkles, or Flour
Fill a tray or sensory bin with one of these fillers and use a finger to draw the grid and Xs and Os. The tactile feedback is an added bonus to the fun of the game.
7 || Bubble Wrap
Want to really get the party started? Cut pieces of bubble wrap into squares. Lay them in a tic tac toe grid on the floor. Take turns jumping to a spot, popping the bubbles as you land. Show where you have already jumped by making your X or O on the bubble wrap with a marker.
8 || Bean Bags
Use painters tape to make a grid on the floor or sidewalk chalk to make one on the driveway. Place two “Xs” outside of the grid to indicate where players should stand. Start the game by having one child try to throw a beanbag into a square. Using a different color beanbag, have the second child throw to a square. Continue until someone wins (even if it’s the cat!).
9 || Golf tees, styrofoam, and pompoms
Have kids help to push 9 golf tees into a piece of styrofoam to create your tic tac toe grid. Then, the fine motor challenge begins! Kids choose several pompoms of one color as their game pieces and, when it’s their turn, carefully balance one pompom on top of a golf tee to mark their space.
10 || Stickers
Here’s a super low maintenance way to play that’s great for on-the-go. Grab some paper, a marker, and a pack of stickers and you’re all set for a game of tic tac toe during a therapy session or while waiting for dinner to be served!
11 || Cutting practice
This version is a great way to work on scissor skills! Create different shape templates (e.g. several circles, several squares) on paper. Assign kids one of the shapes as their game piece and, when it’s their turn, have them cut out the shape and place it on the game board (create a large grid with masking tape on the floor).
12 || Lego Bricks
Grab one of those flat green boards, use a couple of long, narrow Lego bricks to create your grid and have kids pick which color they would like to be in the game. For each turn, kids place their colored Lego brick in the space by pushing it down onto the flat board. A great grasping and hand strengthening workout!
13 || Crumpling paper
For another great way to build hand strength, have kids each choose one color of paper. For each turn, have kids squeeze and crumple their paper into a ball and place it in an empty space on the game grid.
14 || Vertical surfaces
We all know the benefits of working on a vertical surface, and playing tic tac toe is a fun way to have kids work in this position! Try an easel, marker board, chalkboard, or just tape a piece of paper to the wall!
15 || Weighted objects
Create your tic tac toe board on the floor (using painters tape if you’re inside or sidewalk chalk if you’re outside). Fill containers or small boxes with dry rice, sand, coins, bean bags, or other materials to weigh them down. Secure them with packing tape to avoid a mess! Tape colored paper on the top of each of the containers to create game pieces. Lifting and moving the weighted containers is great for strengthening and provides a dose of heavy work!
What are your favorite tic tac toe games? Share them in the comments below!
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