I took as a "model" the video posted on PASS Materials by Alexander. I have done almost the same thing with my daughter. I took five plush animals (bears expecially) not so different one from each other. I was the one thinking first of a toy, she was the first one trying to find out about the toy using questions. I put a rule on this game: no guessing. We also changed the toys that we were thinking about with others similar.

She asked me at the beginning question like "What's the color of the toys eyes?" that I could not reply with yes or no. So, I insisted that I only can respond with yes or no.

I realised thet she has done better this time and I was proud because she was using new "elements" on her questions. She tried to see what makes each toy different, what is the distinctive element. She was good at it. For example: a scarf, a star on the ear, if it stands on two feets, if it has the fingers delimitated etc.

She put more than four questions before giving an answer.

18 Jul 2013, 01:27
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A very important part in what Renata wrote is connected with getting the child to think about the strategy. Here the motivation is important as well, ie why would a child be interested in the strategy? Here a mediator could be useful as well. For example, there could be some clever professor / super robot / cartoon character... (another toy?) who can be consulted about the questions. This would give you a chance to help your daughter with some ideas and make it part of the game.

Could I also ask you to share the actual dialogue between you and Teona, at least for some of the objects. It would be very helpful for a possible discussion of the strategy.
Thank you for the ideas, Renata! It is really interesting.
Good experience, Simona!
I had my nephew coming to visit me (he's 10 now) and I was also playing yes/no with him. We were guessing the word (a secret thing each of us imagined in turn) . It was interesting. We were going to the city centre so I offered to play. He knew the game but called it 'soft-hard'. The first questions he asked were 'is it soft? is it hard?'. After 5 questions like this he lost motivation and said the game is too difficult. I replied that it is not but maybe he's just asking the wrong questions. We dropped the game since I didn't want to discourage him but on our way back I offered it again and he agreed but said it will be him thinking of a secret word. I guessed his first word pretty easy so he got curious how I did it. I explained in brief the main strategy (asking good question - 'killing' as many wrong answers as possible - and referred to some of the questions I asked him). So we started playing almost each day (not for long but still we were coming back to the game). And I should say I failed to guess a few times realising that at some point I fail to come up with good questions myself. But then we thought together which questions should I have asked to guess the word. For instance, at some point we saw that it is useful to ask where exactly the thing is used (ground/air/water, etc.). Even though we were not playing a lot, after a week he was asking more and better questions then during the first days and was really happy when he managed to guess the word my mum came up with and did it really quickly (in around 10 questions). He even started giving instructions how to ask good questions. We called the game 'The champion of good questions', which sounded motivating to him:) So it was an interesting and thinking experience even for me:) Of course, with a 4 year old child the task will be less challenging (it cannot be guessing any word) so I like your beginning and I am sure making the game a regular experience will definitely help both children and their parents:)