Teaching how to analyze and guess

Children love guessing games. A favorite one is called “What’s in the Box?” It’s something that families can do anytime, anywhere to encourage children to analyze, narrow options, and make a reasonable guess. They will need to listen carefully when they shake the box and analyze what could fit in the box.

Find a few boxes of various sizes with lids that children cannot see through. Oatmeal boxes work well. Children can decorate the boxes to make them special. Children can cover the boxes, color with markers, and cover with stickers. Now it’s their game.

You can search round the house for common objects children use like cars, action figures, kitchen utensils, marbles, balls, small plastic storage boxes, a book, a lemon slice, peanuts, or a balled up piece of newspaper. At first children can help you collect the objects so they have a head start with clues and possibilities.


To start the game, secretly put something in the box and put the cover on tightly. Children can shake the box, turn it, and smell it, but the box must stay shut. Then begin giving hints. You can tell the color, size, use and many other clues, but only give one clue at time. Children can have as many chances as you want to guess what’s inside. They can ask a certain number of questions reducing the number with age.

After your child guesses what is in the box, another object goes inside. Maybe this time children will pick out the object from around the house and have you guess.

As children get a little older the game can change. It is much harder for young children to think of questions but older children love to figure it out in twenty questions.

Children of all ages love routine and this kind of activity. It might be played in the car every time you are headed to music class. It might be played first thing in the morning, while eating breakfast. Think of a routine situation in your life where this game would be fun to play and helpful to keep children occupied.


Activities like this get young children thinking and help to develop vocabulary skills. Developing routines for young children can also help build feelings of security.

Guessing games help children wait patiently in line.

Other games include Guess My Drawing? Take along a pad of paper and draw simple objects a little at a time while children guess. Look around the room and allow children ten questions to guess properties and finally the object chosen. The game is called “I Spy with my little Eye.”

For more activities with children go to grandparentsteachtoo.blogspot.com and wnmufm.org/Learning Through the Seasons live and podcasts; Pinterest, and Facebook.


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