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Good tip to keep kids busy in a restaurant – better than tic-tac-toe

Author GreatDad Writers
Submitted 19-05-2006

Here’s a game you can play to keep kids busy while waiting in a restaurant for the food to come. I’m sure you’ll remember Fences : a game for two or more players.

This classic game is perfect to keep kids busy for long waits in a restaurant, since you can play it with still 90% of your attention on the rest of the conversation. It’s also good to keep kids busy during car and plane trips. 

You will need:

Two or players

A pen or pencil


Draw dots on a page, perhaps 20 x 20 to start.  When you’re done, you should see a big grid.  Ruled or even graph paper would be good to have here.

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,  you mark the initials of the person and it is considered “their” square.  Each player continues playing until he or she can close off no more boxes.

Eventually, it becomes impossible to add a fence without creating an opportunity for your opponent to finish the square.

.    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .

.    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .

|__|__.    .    .    .    .    .    .   

The game is over when all the boxes are completed and “fenced in.” Whoever has the most boxes filled

with their initials is the winner.