Children must have at least a basic reading level to play this classic word game, so be ready to help with some of the logistics of this game for less advanced readers (make sure they have the proper number of spaces for letters and place the letters properly.)
On a chalkboard or large piece of paper, the person who is "It" draws a simple gallows or a big circle to reserve space for the figure drawing. "It" chooses a word and keeps it secret. Beneath the drawing space (or gallows), "It" places a short horizontal line representing each letter of the secret word. Leave room to write the letters on the lines.
Children then take turns guessing letters. If a child guesses a letter that is in the word, "It" writes the letter on any line representing that letter and the child continues to guess until he or she has either identified the word or guessed a letter not in the word, at which point it's another child's turn to guess a letter. Any incorrect letters earn the children a body part on the drawing. The child who guesses the correct word first wins, and becomes "It."
Traditionally, the hanged man is a simple, featureless stick figure. But you could make it a witch or other Halloween figure. For extra fun, let the guessing children decide what body parts and features get drawn. If the drawn figure is completed before anyone guesses the word, the current round of the game is over and the person who is "It" slowly writes in all missing letters. The first person to shout out the word then becomes "It."