If the imagery in this traditional game bothers you, call it "Spider" instead. Replace the nine parts of a human body with nine parts of a spider (a body and eight legs) and replace the noose with a length of spider silk.

  • One pencil per player
  • Paper


  1. Draw an upside down L (the gallows) at the top of a sheet of paper. Write the alphabet at the bottom of the paper.
  2. This game requires two players.
  3. One thinks of a word and draws a blank for each letter in the word. (For beginning readers, use only four- or five-letter words.) The other player (the guesser) calls out one letter at a time.
  4. The first player crosses out that letter at the bottom of the page. If the letter appears anywhere in the word she chose, she fills in the appropriate blank(s). If the letter doesn't appear in the word she chose, she adds a body part under the arm of the gallows. (Use nine body parts in this order: head, neck, body, arms, hands, legs, feet, nose, eyes-mouth-ears.)
  5. The tenth and final addition to the gallows is a noose.
  6. The guesser must guess the word before the noose is drawn. If she does, she's the winner and gets to think of a word for the next game. If she doesn't, she must be the guesser again in the next game.

Copyright © 2001 by Patricia Kuffner. Excerpted from The Children's Busy Book with permission of its publisher, Meadowbrook Press.

To order this book visit Meadowbrook Press.


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