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20 questions

Guess the animal, vegetable or mineral in 20 turns by working together and asking the right questions.

You will need

  • Pens or pencils
  • Scrap paper

Before you begin

  • Make sure you’ve risk assessed your meeting, and also have a COVID-19 safe risk assessment that’s been agreed by your line manager. You can check out more detailed guidance here
  • You could prepare some cue cards with simple questions on them (eg ‘Are they human?’ ‘Are they smooth?’ ‘Can you eat it?’). This is in case anyone can’t think of a question to ask during the game.

Safety checklist

Use the Safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional coronavirus-related controls to think about may include: 

  • Set up a hand washing station that you can use throughout the session.
  • Standing in a circle is a good way to make sure everyone can still see each other and stay least two metres away from each other too.

Run the activity

  1. Everyone should get into groups of between two and five people.
  1. Choose a volunteer to go first. That person should think of an animal, vegetable or mineral.
  1. The person who has chosen should tell the rest of their group whether the thing they’ve thought of is an animal, vegetable or mineral.
  1. Between them, each group should take turns to ask the person who chose the object a question, until 20 questions have been asked. Each question should have a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer. In this time, everyone in the group should use the information to try and guess the animal, vegetable or mineral.
  2. Each round lasts until 20 questions have been asked or the object is guessed. If someone guesses correctly what the animal, vegetable or mineral was, they can choose the next object. If no-one guesses correctly, the chooser can have another turn.


It was important for those asking the questions to think carefully about what they asked. With a limited number of questions, what information did you need to get out of the chooser? What kind of questions did you ask first? Remember that every problem has a solution and that you just have to be creative to find it. Can you think of any people who might have to ask questions in this way as part of their job?


All activities must be safely managed. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.