Choose the Stone

Choose the Stone is a game of logic played by children in the African country of Liberia. It is played outdoors with stones but could easily be adapted as an indoor game using game pieces.

Age: All ages

No. of players: 2 or more

Equipment: 16 stones (or similar) with a number from 1 to 16 marked on each

Time: 5-10 minutes per round

Aim: To choose the correct stone.

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1. To play Choose the Stone, the children line up 16 stones into two rows with 8 stones in each row. They number the stones 1 to 16.

2. The first player turns around with his back toward the game while the others choose a stone, but do not remove it.

3. Once the stone is chosen, the player turns around and tries to guess the stone which the other players have chosen.

4. He is allowed to ask four times, "Which row is the stone in?" After the other players answer him he can move the stones around to help him guess the correct answer. After the first answer, the player might move all the odd-numbered stones. The next time he might move around something else to help him work out the answer.

Sample: The chosen stone is number 11

    1st try:
    Question: "Which row is the stone in?"
    Answer: "It is in the bottom row."

    2nd try:

    Question: "Which row is the stone in?"
    Answer: "It is in the top row."

    3rd try:

    Question: "Which row is the stone in?"
    Answer: "It is in the top row."

    4th try:

    Question: "Which row is the stone in?"
    Answer: "It is in the bottom row."

    The player says, "The number is 11" which is correct. (See if you can follow the logic for why the stones were moved each try.)

5. After the fourth try, the player gets to choose the stone. If he guesses the correct stone he receives one point. The winner is the player who has the most number of points after an agreed number of rounds.

Source: Adapted from "Games Around the World" UNICEF New York

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