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  • Writer's pictureShulamis Cheryl Mayerfeld

Back to School Game: Show or Tell

Updated: Aug 29, 2022

In homes all over, there is the classic - and kind of boring - post-school conversation. We’ve all heard it, we’ve all partaken in it as some point or another, and we’re all pretty much unsatisfied with it. Kids come home from school, walk in the door, and the conversation that unfolds sounds like this:

Parent: How was school today?

Kid: Fine.

Parent: What did you do?

Kid: Nothing.

Parent: Nothing?! Did you learn anything?

Kid: I don’t know. I guess so.

Sound familiar? Is this a typical exchange in your household? Well, in place of this boring conversation, try this fun game instead. “Show or Tell” is a great game to play with siblings of all ages. It’s an awesome way to make the after school discussion between parents and kids more interactive, more productive, and a whole lot more fun. This can also help encourage children to bring up their thoughts and feelings around wearing masks and any other COVID-19 modifications at school that may feel new and strange.

What you will need:

  • 1 Sand game/egg timer

  • Several sheets of paper (white or colored)

  • Crayons and/or markers

  • 1 Cardboard tube from a paper towel roll

  • 1 Large bowl

  • Several pieces of small scrap paper

How to play: Before game time, prepare a variety of specific questions that are written on each piece of scrap paper. Some examples are:

  • My favorite part of the school day was __________

  • My least favorite part of the school day was _________

  • At recess I _________

  • My teacher is so __________

  • I felt excited about ___________

  • I felt upset when ______________

  • At the start of the day I felt _______ at the end of the day I felt _______

  • Something interesting I learned was ___________

  • The kids in my class are ___________

  • My seatmates are ______________

  • I wish school was more ___________

Fold up the pieces and place them all in the large bowl. During each turn, the player picks a piece of folded up scrap paper from the bowl and reads it out loud (young players may ask a parent or sibling of reading-age for help reading the question). The player then chooses one of 3 ways to Show or Tell the answer:

  1. Draw it out.

  2. Act it out.

  3. Tell it loudly using the cardboard tube as a megaphone.

Use the timer to time each turn to insure that each player has an equal about of time. During each turn, the other participants try to guess or repeat the answer that the player Shows or Tells. Remember, there are no wrong answers! No matter how silly or outrageous a response is, all answers are welcome.

Tips for Parents: Join in on the game by answering the questions with responses from when you attended school as a child.

The objective of this game is for the children to express in a fun and specific way the various elements and occurrences of their day. Keep this goal in mind and be flexible with the rules as is appropriate and tailor the game so it works best for your family.

Make it your own! For example, if having all the players shout out the answers is too chaotic and leads to arguments, instead take turns guessing/repeating each player’s answer. You may also allow players to exchange question cards if they have a hard time answering it and consider inserting a few open-ended “freebie” cards wherein players can Show or Tell anything about their school day.

I am now offering remote sessions for adults and children from the comfort of your own home. Reach out for a free 15 minute consultation!

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