Ender Wiggins
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Riddles and silly humour can usually make kids laugh. But what about when the kids are the ones making the riddles? We recently played several sessions of Why Did the Chicken...? with kids and the results were surprisingly good. Not that we're about to publish a new book of riddles any time soon - but we did have lots of smiles and laughs. Here's the story ... and some of the riddles!

Session #1: a dozen teen girls

The first session was with a group of about a dozen 12 to 13 year old girls. To accommodate the larger numbers, we played in groups of 3-4. Each round we had two judges, who each chose two of their favourite answers, with the proviso that they couldn't pick ones that their own group had written. This scoring system seemed to work quite well, and I'd recommend using it in a group setting. Admittedly they came up with some lame answers (but in the right setting with the right people, even the lame answers can be awfully funny!), and not everyone quite got the intent of the game, but they all loved it and had a great time.

Sessions #2 & #3: the family

The second and third sessions of the game were played with our immediate family, i.e. kids ranging in age from 6 through 14. This time we played the game non-competitively. We all wrote as many answers as we wished within the 2 minute time limit, and did reading and judging in turns (including picking our two favourite riddles), but we played for fun rather than keeping track of points. We had some good laughs, and it worked well. It was a bit much for the youngest at times (although she loved taking her turn to read the answers and to be the judge), but even the 9 year old had her answers picked a few times. We found that the best way was to read all the answers on the first pass without making any comments, and then on the second pass have the judge pick his two favourites. We also had the rest of the group indicate which their favourites were, and identified the writers - this made it a win/win for everyone. In this context perhaps a casual rather than competitive context works best - this game isn't really about winning anyway!

Selected riddles

So what kinds of crazy riddles might a family come up with? Or a bunch of teen girls? Well let me warn you in advance, we have a slightly wacky sense of humour! But here are some of the questions and and answers that made an appearance in the games mentioned above:

Q. What do a ballerina and a college student have in common?
● They both prefer going dancing to doing real work
● They both have at least 10 pairs of shoes

Q. What do a turkey and an electric guitar have in common?
● They both make an awful racket when plucked
● They both make lots of noise when you connect them to high voltage electricity

Q. What did the otter say to the moon?
● What are you doing in my pond?
● Can you do a moonie?

Q. What happened at wedding of a witch & Santa Claus?
● Which (Witch) Santa?
● They got ex-spelled
● Her nose got stuck in his beard when they kissed

Q. Why is a mosquito afraid of a guitar?
● Because it doesn't have blood

Q. Why does a firefly hate a frog?
● Because whenever they meet they get into sticky situations

Q. Why does a dragon love an author?
● More books to burn!
● Because authors make dragons go on exciting adventures
● Because paper makes a good fire for roasting marshmallows
● Because they are both full of hot air
● They are delicious to eat when you add onions & carrots
● Because they run in circles when you light their pants on fire

Q. What happened when a pilot turned into glue?
● I don't know, you got me stuck there!
● He got himself into a very sticky situation
● The plane was stuck in the air for a long time
● He lost his job for being too sloppy

Q. Why is a marshmallow better than a barber?
● It's very difficult to pop a barber into your mouth
● Have you ever tried roasted barber?
● Because a marshmallow tastes better
● They don't cost $20 to visit
● Everyone likes marshmallows
● They come in packets of 25
● They don't smell like singed hair when you roast them

Q. Why is a UFO better than a hawk?
● Because the UFO is vegetarian
● Because it glows in the dark
● Because UFOs freak out old ladies who see them
● Because it doesn't poop out of the sky
● Because they are unidentified and hawks aren't
● Because it doesn't require natural gas for flying

Don't think these are funny? I'm not offended. Maybe you just needed to be there! (Although I'm sure that folks can come up with much better answers - if you can, by all means please share them in this thread!) The fact is that we had a great time, and that's really what counts! Hopefully this gives a small idea of the fun that was had. I can't see myself playing Balderdash with younger kids any time soon, but at least they can join in with the zaniness that is Why Did the Chicken...?!
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Curt Collins
United States
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I love this game too. You should try it with a bunch of sick adults... A very different game... Though I can appreciate clean as well as not so clean humor.

What's the difference between a submarine and a ninja?

If a submarine were up your (butt) you'd know it!
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