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20 questions

No, this isn't an expanded version of Christina's "5 Questions".

I've already done 5 Questions this month

I was playing the 20 Questions game* with small groups of kids.

* Wikipedia article on 20 Questions

It's interesting how children's brains work. Some of them don't want to narrow down the options at all. One kid's FIRST question was "Is it a boat?"

Sometimes they had trouble with the fact that they couldn't control what the target object was.

"Is it man-made?"


"Is it a machine?"


"Does it use electricity?"

"Er, I think you already know the answer to that."

But he really wanted it to be a computer or a game console. It was cheese.

Kids know that their preoccupations are not shared by everyone. But it's a milestone when they can imagine what it's like NOT to have those preoccupations - when they can think "Hmm, some people don't spend as much time thinking about gaming as I do. Maybe if they choose something, it won't be an X-Box."

I had to play this several times, so I alternated between cheese and bread as the answer. Often they worked out that it was something you'd find in a kitchen, but they couldn't think of food. They went through cutlery, appliances and furniture first. And when they found it was food, their next questions were usually "Is it a fruit?" "Is it a vegetable?" so stereotypes need adjusting there.

If they got the first one right too quickly, I offered them a harder one: a ghost. None of them got even close.

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