Twenty questions

What it is: A guessing game for two or more players.

Best for: 2 players or however many more you want.

What you need: Just your brains. 🙂

How to play: One player (let’s call her Tasha) first gets to think of a noun (a person, place, or thing). Once Tasha has a noun picked out, the other players then get to guess by asking questions that can be answered with a yes or a no. If you’re playing by the strict rules, players only get to ask 20 questions, and if they haven’t guessed by then, Tasha wins. If someone does guess what the object is, that person gets to think of the next thing to guess.

So here’s how a sample game might go: Tasha picks the noun “fire hydrant.” Say she’s playing with one person, her friend Leroy. The game might go like this:

Leroy: “Is it a person?”

Tasha: “No.”

Leroy: “Is it a thing?”

Tasha: “Yes.”

“Is it alive?”

“No.”

“Could I hold it in my hand?”

“No.”

“Is it made of metal?”

“Yes.” …

And the game would go on like that until Leroy uses up his 20 questions or until he guesses what the object is. It’s a great game for filling up long hours on car rides or for playing on walks. And you can go by the 20-question limit if you want, but I never really have. We just ask and guess until someone guesses right, then it’s their turn. And if you’re playing with little kids or just playing for fun, you could allow hints, too, especially if it’s taking a long time to guess something.

We also usually play with concrete nouns, things that you could see, touch, or feel. If you want to allow or disallow abstract nouns (like honor, love, capitalism…), you should probably specify beforehand, either way.

Some of the hardest-to-guess objects I’ve played with are confetti, trash bags, stop signs, and…oh, fire hydrant. 🙂