Play Guessing Games with Kids
by Susan Stephenson
Guess how many. Fill a clear container with objects like jelly beans or LEGO blocks. Kids must guess how many there are, then count. Start with a few, and increase over time. Have kids do this often do develop spatial awareness.
Guess how much. This is great to incorporate into water play with kids. Have them guess how many small containers of water it will take to fill a larger one. They prove it by pouring. Or have kids guess the weight of objects and then weigh them. Or have kids raise their hands when they think ten seconds/1 minute/two minutes has gone by.
Guess my name. This is like the drama activity "Hot Seat". Have one person in the middle of a circle who thinks of a character from books, movies or TV. Others ask questions e.g. "Are you an animal?" which may only be answered with yes/no. Questions should help narrow the search down. Another version involves head bands (or sticky labels on the person's back) with famous characters written on them. As children mill around, they ask questions to try to determine the character's name.
A guessing bag. Like my story box post, only this time, kids need to guess what the object is inside a bag.
Guess what I'm thinking. Make it specific - guess what fairy tale character or spelling list word I'm thinking of. Kids ask questions to help narrow it down. Does the word have two syllables? Is the character poor? Option: Person who's "in" may only give yes/no answers.
Charades. This is a wonderful guessing game. Someone acts out/mimes a word and others guess that word. Words can be broken into syllables and then each syllable is acted out. Here are some online rules.
Guess the picture. In this simpler version of Pictionary, have kids draw something for a friend to guess. For a change, have kids "draw" letters of the alphabet with a finger on each others' backs.
Guess the taste. Have blindfolded kids guess what food they're tasting. (Be careful with allergies.)
Guess whose voice. Have kids close their eyes and teacher indicates one child who says a given phrase. Kids must determine who spoke.
Guess what's different. Have one child go outside and change something about their appearance. When the child returns, kids must guess what the change is.
Guess the animal. Give children a rhyming word and have them guess the animal. "I rhyme with log. I am a …"
Guess the number. Give kids clues about a number. "Some people think I'm unlucky." "I am more than eight but less than twenty." "I am made up of one ten and three ones." "I am a factor of 25."
Guess the questions. Give students an answer eg 6. Have them generate a list of questions that 6 might be the answer to: 8-2=? How many legs does an insect have? 2x3=?
Here's a couple of online guessing games for kids to try:
Boowa and Kwala's Guessing Game
Guessing games help kids to think critically, solve problems, develop skills in numeracy and literacy and generate ideas. If you have a great guessing game to suggest, please leave a description/link in comments.