Name that Number!: A Guessing Game

3.8 based on 112 ratings
Updated on Sep 18, 2012

Use this fun and lively guessing game as a way to help reinforce number concepts while keeping your child entertained. It’s perfect to play during restaurant waits, car rides, or anytime you have a few extra minutes to kill. In the grand tradition of “I Spy,” “Twenty Questions” and the other guessing games you may vaguely recall from your childhood, this is a do-it-anywhere, no-equipment-required diversion.

What You Need:

  • Just yourself and your child

What You Do:

  1. Think of a number from 0- 10. Tell your child she'll have ten guesses to figure it out.
  2. As she makes guesses, you'll give “higher” and “lower” responses to help steer your child to the unknown number. A typical game might go like this: Parent: I'm thinking of a number between 0 and 30. Child: Is it 20? Parent: No, lower. Child: Is it 10? Parent: No, higher. So now we know it's between 10 and 20....Like that, with encouragement until your child lands on target.
  3. As your child's ability and confidence grow, change roles so that you're the one guessing the number and your child gives the clues.
  4. Eventually, increase the range of numbers to 0-50, or change the range to start with a higher number, such as 30-50.

Kids will likely focus on the fun of the guessing, and the added delight of tricking mom or dad with clues. But they're also learning a key preschool math concept: how to compare, describe, and order numbers by more or less. If the game is too hard at first, you can give extra support by jotting down a quick number line for your son to reference when he needs a hint. If it's too easy, you can limit the number of guesses your child can make, or challenge her to guess the number within a certain time frame.

Samantha Harpring was a classroom teacher for 16 years and has spent the last several years writing curriculum. She is the mother of two energetic boys, ages 7 and 10.

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