What it is: A talking, guessing game, similar to green glass doors, but players think of their own rules rather than following the secret green glass door rule.

Best for: 2 to 8 players.

What you need: Nothing!

How to play: Similar to green glass doors, players try to discover what can be taken on a hypothetical picnic. One player starts by thinking of a rule for things that can go on the picnic; the other players try to guess the rule.

Say Julie and Todd are playing. Julie starts by thinking of a rule of things that can and can’t go on the picnic. The rule can be as complex or as simple as she likes. It can have to do with any attribute (color, shape, size, even the number of letters used to spell the name of the object). Here are some example rules Julie could choose:

  • Only yellow things can go on the picnic (bananas, the sun, dandelions, etc.).
  • Only things you can eat can go on the picnic (apples, oranges, pancakes).
  • Only things bigger than a person can go on the picnic (elephants, houses, the moon).
  • Only things that are spelled with five letters can go on the picnic (apple, grass, honey).

The rules could be even more complicated and relate to the person trying to go on the picnic, like these rules:

  • I can only bring items on the picnic that start with the same letter as my first name (so Julie could bring jam to the picnic, but Todd couldn’t, though he could bring a truck).
  • I can only bring items on the picnic that start with the same letter as the first name of the person sitting to my right (yeah, that one can get really complicated to figure out).

The player thinking of the rule can use his or her imagination and come up with something as complicated or as sneaky as they want; the point of the game is to keep the other players from guessing the rule.

Let’s say Julie picks the rule that only yellow things can go on the picnic. Once she has the rule, she starts the game by declaring something she’s bringing on the picnic. For example, she’d say:

“I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing bananas, and I can go.”

Then it’s Todd’s turn to guess something that he can bring on the picnic. He might say, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing apples?” Then Julie would shake her head sadly and say, “You can’t go.”

Play would continue, with Julie and Todd taking turns. Julie would usually say things that she could bring to the picnic, but she could give Todd some examples of things she can’t bring, too. Todd keeps guessing until he’s figured out the rule. Then it can be Todd’s turn to think of a new rule for Julie to guess.

It’s a great, entertaining game for long car trips or killing time. Since the rule changes with each round, it doesn’t get boring easily. And the level of difficulty can be easily adapted—just choose easier rules for younger kids and harder rules for older kids.

Variations: This game is a more adaptable variation of green glass doors.


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