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Using Paper Battleship to Work on Pencil Control

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Last week I posted about regular (and mini) battleship games to work on fine motor skills and visual scanning, but have you ever played paper battleship to work on fine motor and writing skills?  Paper battleship is played the same way as regular battleship, but you have paper grids, and you have to use a pencil (or dry erase marker) to mark where your ships are, and where your hits and misses are.

paper battleship copy

Each player needs two grids on the inside of a file folder. You could laminate them and use dry erase markers, or just use a new paper grid each time you play. The grids have numbers across the top and letters down the side. I put duct tape at the corners of my file folder to hold it open while playing and make sure that the players can’t see the other player’s grid.

paper battleship in a file folder

On the bottom grid, you mark out the spaces that your ships are in.

  • Aircraft Carrier ——- 5 squares
  • Battleship      ——— 4 squares
  • Cruiser          ——— 3 squares
  • Submarine     ——— 3 squares
  • Destroyer      ——— 2 squares

paper battleship game board

Then you play the game by calling out the grid coordinates and making an x in spaces that are hit. You could use different colors for hits and misses, or use X for hits and O for misses. I think it would be fun to make the battleships out of play doh too, and place them on the spaces. I would make a little play doh ball for each square of the ship. Then you can squish them with a finger when they are hit. To practice more writing, you could have all the misses require the student to write a random alphabet letter in the square.

I have included both a color version (for laminating or putting in a sheet protector and using dry erase markers) and a plain black and white version for printing lots of and using a pencil with.  You can find the paper battleship in the shop under the free downloads section.



  • Fine motor
  • Handwriting
  • Visual perceptual
  • Visual scanning


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Fine Motor

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Tonya is a pediatric Occupational Therapist, and loves creating things to work on skills and solve problems.

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