Some of the best and most popular video games are those Nintendo classics from the 1980s. This Tetris printable game is a fun screen-free way for kids (and adults) to play this family favorite.
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I’ve been wanting to make a paper Tetris game since I made my printable tangrams cards. Tetris is definitely my childhood favorite and one that I still play with my kids on our old NES console.
Even if your kids don’t play video games, this is a fun matching activity for kids of all ages. There is no reading required, just lining up the shapes in different ways to make them fit on the board. You can even incorporate this into a STEAM activity.
How to play Tetris
You can play the classic electronic game version online.
In the classic Tetris arcade and video game, each of the different shapes falls from the top of the screen towards the bottom. You can rotate it in any direction to get them to line up at the bottom. When a horizontal row is full, it disappears. If you leave a hole, it won’t disappear. The game ends when the screen is full.
Of course, it won’t work quite like that on paper.
If you’re playing solo then one set of pieces might be enough. You could print two sets and shuffle them to make it more challenging. If you’re playing with several people, I recommend printing one board and 3 or more pages of the pieces.
Put the pieces in a draw pile at the top of the board and let players take turns drawing a piece from the top of the pile and trying to fill the page from the bottom up. You can rotate a piece in any direction to make it fit.
As the board fills up, move the pieces down manually to make them “drop off” at the bottom of the page as in the electronic version. For a shorter game, just play until the board is full.
This would be an easy game to add to a road trip binder or take while traveling for some screen-free entertainment. A few readers have said they’re using this in a STEM or STEAM activity center in their classrooms.
Get the printable
This printable game includes seven pieces (fit twice on a page for a total of 14) and a game board.
I printed my game on 8.5×11 inch card stock. This makes each square about an inch across so you could scale it down to print smaller if you wanted the game to be tiny.
There are 2 ways to get this printable:
For troubleshooting tips and frequently asked questions, read the Printables FAQ Help Guide.
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