20 Questions is one of the classic "I'm bored" games that parents keep in their repertoire. When kids are bored on a car trip or waiting in lines, this game can entertain them for an hour or more. One person thinks of an object, and the other person is allowed 20 questions to narrow down the object in question. A skillful questioner knows how to get closer to the object with each question. Start with more general questions, and finish with very detailed ones to finish off the questioning. If the correct questions are asked, the object can be discovered.
Animal, Vegetable or Mineral
The classic first question in 20 Questions is "Animal, Vegetable or Mineral?" Some people add "Other" to the list. This question narrows down the list quite a bit, and eliminates much of the world as possible answers. Craft all of your following questions based on the answer to this one.
A question about size is a good next step. All of the questions must be answered by yes or no, so ask a question like "Do you hold it when you use it?" or "Is it bigger than a duck?" This should narrow down the choices.
Does It Have Legs?
Asking whether something has legs can cover a lot of ground. Some animals have legs and others don't, so if the answer to the first question is "Animal", you will cut down that field of questioning. Other things have legs as well, like tables, chairs and trivets.
Narrow down your choices even more by asking if the object comes in different colors. This will help you to determine if something is generic or specific. Generic items, like books, can come in many different colors. Specific items, like Elmo on "Sesame Street," do not.
Narrow down whether something is man-made or naturally occurring by asking whether or not it has writing on it. Not having writing may not prove much, but having writing generally rules out naturally occurring shapes.
Working in sunny Florida, Anne Baley has been writing professionally since 2009. Her home and lifestyle articles have been seen on Coldwell Banker and Gardening Know How. Baley has published a series of books teaching how to live a frugal life with style and panache.