Each player will get a game board and fold up all their character pieces. They will choose a character by either circling it from the list on the bottom or making a mental note of it. Then they begin taking turns asking each other yes/no questions.
Based on their partner's answers, each player will fold down the characters that don't match their criteria. They will take turns with this, eliminating possible characters until only one remains - and if they did everything right, that should be the character the other person chose!
Older kids can enjoy the strategy element of figuring out which questions will yield the most helpful results. Basically, yes/no questions that apply to about half the characters still standing will usually help them win the game as fast as possible.
Younger kids may need some ideas of good questions to ask, so that they don't focus in one just one character at a time. Here's some ideas to get them started.
*Is your character a gumdrop? (or a cute monster)
*Is your character in the middle column? (Or 4th row, etc.)
*Is your character showing teeth?
*Is your character smiling with a half smile? (or full smile / open mouth smile)
*Is your character green? (pick any color)
This game can be easily stored in a plastic page protector - it's flat, relatively small, and there are no small pieces to lose! :)
Although I intended this to be a "just for fun" game, as I played it through several times with my own kids, I realized that this involved some pretty solid math skills.
*Categorizing: Kids will learn to group characters by different categories - color, shape, type of smile, etc.
*Position: Since both boards match, kids can ask if the other player's character is in a certain row or column, introducing an intuitive concept of graphs and tables.
*Logic: As kids decide which questions to ask, they will practice decision-making skills that work to optimize their chances of winning. Also, I've been impressed with the amount of deductive logic that comes into play as they figure out which characters to eliminate based on the Yes or No answers. (You may have to play this once through to understand what I mean here ... )
Check out my other Math Games in my Math Category (on the top left of the screen).