Guess the animal game: why it’s good for children

This game involves guessing what animal the other person is pretending to be.

Playing this guess the animal game with your child gets her using her imagination. It also encourages her thinking skills as she tries to work out what animal you’re pretending to be. It’s good exercise too, as you both hop, crawl, wriggle or canter around.

And it’s a fun way to connect with your child.

What you need to play guess the animal

You can play this game anywhere, but an open space like a garden, park or playground will give you lots of room to move. Books with pictures of animals can spark ideas for your child.

How to play guess the animal

  1. Ask your child to choose an animal.
  2. Ask your child to think about the way the animal moves. Look at pictures in a book together, if your child isn’t sure.
  3. Encourage your child to move like the animal he has chosen.
  4. Try and guess what the animal is.
  5. Take turns to move like different animals. You could crawl like a spider, hop like a hare, slither like a snake, or gallop like a horse.
  6. Ask each other questions to help you guess. For example, ‘What noise does it make?’, ‘What does it eat?’, ‘Is it fast or slow?’, ‘Is it little or big?’ or ‘Do I like it?’

Adapting a guess the animal game for children of different ages

If your younger child doesn’t want to stop pretending to be the animal when it’s your turn, that’s OK. Just follow her lead, and join in. Maybe you can both be slithery snakes or jumping bunnies.

Your older child might enjoy trying to ‘trick’ you with obscure or very specific animals, like an armadillo or a clown fish. If the game is going on too long, you can try setting a limit on the number of questions you can ask before the other person has to tell you the answer.