Family Games

DIY Giant Tic-Tac-Toe Game

By: Highlights Editorial
Kids playing tic tac toe with paper plates decorated with x’s and o’s.
minute activity
Ages 6+
Critical Thinking
Fine Motor Skills

Count, take turns, accept victory and defeat—it’s all part of this lively game, played indoors or outside, for kids of all ages.

What You'll Need

What to Do

  1. Use masking tape or chalk to make a tic-tac-toe grid on the floor (indoors) or the ground (outdoors).

  2. Decorate 5 plates with X’s and 5 with O’s.

  3. Staple each decorated plate to a plain plate to make disks.

To Play:

Stand 2 feet away from the tic-tac-toe grid. Take turns tossing the disks, one at a time. The first person to get 3 disks in a row wins that round. Play until you are out of energy!

A Trivia Note:

When a tic-tac-toe game is a tie, it’s often called a “cat’s game,” but no one is quite sure why. Some think this refers to a cat that chases its tail but never wins. Can you think of any other explanations for this phrase?

Extend the Fun

For younger kids:  Strategy doesn’t come naturally to little ones, so give them an extra turn at Giant Tic-Tac-Toe or practice on a smaller scale with a paper game of tic-tac-toe. Even if a child is too young to participate in an actual game, they can practice drawing X’s and O’s or bending chenille sticks (aka pipe cleaners) into those shapes.

For older kids: Raise the stakes! Make more disks and enlarge the game board into a 4 x 4 or 5 x 5 grid to increase the challenge. Who will be the first to get 4 or 5 in a row?

Whether to the pool, the playground, Grandma’s house or on vacation, you’ll find plenty of summer fun for kids. From hands-on summer activities for kids to their new favorite summer shirts and fun travel games to take along … let’s go summer!

Author Photo
By: Highlights Editorial