Hangman has been a popular spelling game for many years. It can be tailored to any age group by choosing appropriate words.

Age: Adults and older children

No. of players: 2 or more

Equipment: Thick black pen; One sheet of paper (per round). Alternatively, you could use a blackboard and chalk.

Time: 5 minutes+

Aim: To work out an unknown word before the 'Hangman' picture is completed.

1. One player chooses a secret word and draws a number of dashes on the paper to show the number of letters in the word.

2. The other players take turns to guess one letter at a time of the secret word. If the letter is in the word it is written in the appropriate place(s) on the dashes. If it is not in the word, the letter is written below the dashes and the first line of the picture is drawn.

3. The game continues player by player until either the word is guessed or the picture is finished (which will take eleven wrong guesses). The player who guesses the final letter of the word can choose a new secret word for the next round. If the picture is completed before the word is discovered, that player can choose another secret word for the next round.


Variation 1: A player who guesses a correct letter can keep choosing letters until they make a wrong guess. This means the first player who correctly guesses the secret word is likely to win that round.

Variation 2: If a letter occurs more than once in the secret word, it is only written once and must be guessed again. Make sure all players know you are using this rule before you play!

Christmas Hangman: Choose words associated with Christmas: stable; angels; star; manger

Easter Hangman: Choose words associated with the Easter story: resurrection; criminals; crucifixion; Passover

Thanksgiving Hangman: Choose words associated with Thanksgiving: feast; prayer; reunion; turkey

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