There are many names for the game, including “Who am I?” and Guess the Famous Person. It is simply known as the Tape Game. It’s a lot like HedBanz but also a lot like Twenty Questions. To guess the identity of the mysterious person whose name is taped to their foreheads, players ask each other yes/no questions.
This game is easy to play and requires only painter’s tape, permanent marker, and a permanent marker. (A neon color tape and a black marker will give you a better contrast. Learn how to play and why this game is great for neurodivergent brains.
How to Play the “Who Am I?” Game (also known as the Tape Game).
- Place a three-inch piece of painter’s tape on each player’s forehead.
- Write on the tape the name of a famous person, or character that the tape-wearer could guess. You can think of a well-known actor, actor, politician, or historical figure.
- Everyone sits or stands in a circle. To guess the name on their forehead, the tape-wearer cannot ask any questions other than yes/no. The tape-wearer can ask another question if the answer is yes to the question. If the answer is no the next player can ask questions or guess their identity on their forehead.
- When they have correctly guessed the answer, players can tear their tape (triumphantly).
[Read: The Best Board Games for Kids with ADHD]Here’s a real-time example of the Tape Game:
Tape wearer #1 doesn’t know that Lizzo is written on his head.
Tape wearer #1 – Am I an Actress?
Tape wearer #2 doesn’t know that Bernie Sanders is written on his head.
Tape wearer #2: Am I a politician?
Tape wearer #2: Am I liberal?
Tape wearer #2: Am I Joe Biden?
Tape wearer #1: Am I a singer?
Tape wearer #1 – Am I Taylor Swift?
Tape wearer #2: Am I Bernie Sanders?
[She rips off the tape and enjoys watching others flail with their guesses.]
[Read: 15 Clever Gift Ideas for Kids with ADHD]
Tape wearer #1 – Do I play an instrument?
Tape wearer #1: Am I Lizzo?
[Off goes the tape!]
The funny part about answering questions is the inadvertent comments and facial expressions. The audience or players might disagree about fundamental details such as age, nationality or supernatural powers. This causes confusion for the person trying to guess the name Baby Yoda, or the soccer legend Pele.
Why the “Who am I?” game is great for kids with ADHD and learning differences
For my ADHD students
This game encourages concentration, awareness and language processing. It also helps with self-regulation.
- Players must pay attention to the responses of other players to their questions. Players must pay attention to the responses of other players. This will give them valuable insight into the secret character. This happened to me when E.T. I placed my head on the table and asked if it was male.
- Players must remember all the clues they have collected and organize their thinking to accommodate any new information. (Wait! Now I hear that I’m not human!
- Players must not reveal the identities of other players or give unnecessary hints to their friends, unlike my friend who couldn’t help herself and pantomimed pointed ears when my husband was Spock.
For my Autistic Students
This game taps into the perspective-taking and gestalt principles.
- It’s not about assigning an obscure identity to a player. It’s not fun to do that. The fun part is choosing someone within their purview. This requires consideration about the player’s history, age, and other factors. I wouldn’t recommend Nelson Mandela to an 8-year-old or Eminem to an 80-year-old.
- When answering yes/no questions from others, players must think in the “big picture”. Oprah is technically paid to write, but she’s not known as a writer. If someone asks Oprah, “Am I an author?” I must know that a “yes”, answer would lead the questioner down a very different road.
For my Language-Disordered Students
This game is great to improve your semantic categorization skills as well as your lexical development.
- To further narrow their choices, players begin their yes/no questions by asking for broad categories such as gender, race, or profession. (Don’t list all the handsome actors like my husband: “Am I Brad Pitt?” George Clooney? Idris Elba?”
- Players learn vocabulary that allows them to ask questions about fictional characters, athletes, and famous people. Teacher or leader can focus on morphosyntactic skills like verb conjugations (“Does he …?” not”), subject-verb inversions (“Am i …??”). not “I’m …?”), Modal verbs (“can” or “would”, could, could”) This would also be great for English language students, although it has different purposes.
Another great thing about this game is its ability to adapt to a variety of abilities. For students with cognitive and/or communication difficulties or players who cannot read or are unable to write, it is possible to tape images or stickers to the forehead. For example, if the guesser has an image or sticker of a dolphin on his forehead, other players will be able to guide their responses by using this visual reference.
The game is funny for older people like myself. Some people forget all the information when it comes to the next turn. I am unable to name every celebrity known to man. Many of us don’t know the icons kids assume we know, such as Enderman, the Minecraft character. This was incorrectly guessed by an older woman (ahem). This is why I think this game could be made more enjoyable and less humiliating. I will be working on a revision of these rules quickly!
Next Steps: Games for Children with ADHD and LD
- Free Download Family bonding activities for ADHD families
- Read: The Attention Games — Keeping Focus Through Fun
- Read: Games and activities that sharpen executive functions
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