20 Questions


Click on the image to download your free set of cards

Recently we have enjoyed playing the game 20 Questions – A LOT.   The colder, wet weather drives us indoors and games such as this take front seat for a while until better weather returns.  It is a fun game that can improve problem solving, builds language skills as well as deductive reasoning and creativity.   It is a game that challenges you to think outside the box and delve into the mind of another by asking the right questions — such a simple game and it really does demand you to think.

It is a really old game and there are many and varied rules.  Here are the rules we have been playing.  The kids are 7, 8 and 11, so that should give you some idea as to how you can adapt the rules to suit your situation.   The cards make play easier in the beginning, as the idea of the game is to think about and improve questioning techniques to elicit useful information.  We have played this game without cards only to have the kids take ages to think of something and then either forget or change their mind halfway through.

There are 24 cards and 6 categories to choose from.

Print out your free cards today.  

I have also included a blank set so you can add to your cards with your own favourite objects, books and food etc.


Can be played by 2 – group of people

1. Shuffle the cards

2. 1 person takes a card – Each card has the category on the back if you have printed them double sided.

3. The person who takes the card says the category.

4. Each person gets to ask a question about the word written on the card up to 20 questions or you might vary this – see note below.

5. Once a person know the answer, they wait for their turn to say the answer.

6. The adult takes the next card, or it could be pass to the next person and play continues.


To begin with if you have never played, the adult is best taking a card and guiding the questioning- try not to make your questions to specific to begin with.

Once everybody gets the hang of it, each person in turn takes a card.

Sometimes it might just take a couple of questions, other times it might take all.  If you get to 20 and nobody knows you can always continue for a while or everybody has a guess.

We do not play the yes / no format.  Some questions require a yes / no however other questions like how many legs? Needs an exact answer.

So it might go something like this:

Me:  “It is an object.”

Child:  “Do we own it?”

Me: “No.”

Child: “Can it be bought from a shop?”

Me: “Yes.”

Child: “Is it bigger than our table?”

Me: “No.”

Child: “Does it have wheels?”

Me: “Yes.”

Child: “How many wheels does it have?”

Me: “One.”

Child: “Where is it used?”

Me: “In the garden.”

Child: “Does grandad own one?”

Me: “Yes.”

Child: “Does he use it a lot?”

Me: “Yes.”

Child: “Does grandma use it?”

Me: “Sometimes but not as much as grandad.”

Child: “Does grandad put soil in it?”

Me: “Yes.”

Child: “It’s a wheelbarrow!”

Me: “Yes it is, let’s have another go!”


PRINTING – The cards are set up to be printed on A4 paper.  There is a back and a front to each card.  There are 8 sheets in total.

When printing, print pages 1-5 first — as pages 4 and 5 are the back of the card pile. Then flip pages 4 and 5 to print pages 6 and 7 as the front of each card stating each category.

I love playing games together, it is always a time to connect.  It can be hard in this busy world to find time to play together.  When do you find the time to play?

Have fun xxx

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