The Five Things Game

The Five Things Game follows on really nicely from The Looking Game. Its something that we’ve only recently started being able to do. It’s a step more complicated but it’s also a step more interesting. We tend to play it when we’re out and about, on the bus, or waiting in a cafe, and it’s a great way to pass the time. It also quite good as a conversation starter. 

What you’ll need

  • Just your brains!


  1. Choose a category, it could be anything, some examples are:
    Things that you can see (an easier one)
    Things that you can eat
    Things that make you happy (Tough!)
    Things that can grow (The one Small choose for us today which fits nicely with Spring!)
    Things you can sit on
    Things that light up
  2. Work as a team to list five things that fit into the category
  3. Keep track by counting them on your fingers or by snapping photos if that’s easier
  4. High fives all around if you can get to five!
  5. Take it in turns to think up new categories.


The Five Things Game is perfect for developing a big vocabulary. One of the most important parts of being able to explain our point of view to each other is just having the words available to us. For Small especially the more he can expand on the words available to him the easier his day becomes. I can see how frustrating it is for him sometimes to not quite be able to express himself and I’m always glad to find something that can help us with that.

Learning the categories that an object fits into and not just the name of the object is a big deal too. It’s usually surprising to learn what Small would think of as a category (Things that grow!) and what he decides fit into it. Sometimes he notices something that I wouldn’t have thought of.

This game is also a great way to start moving from reciting numbers to counting actual things. In schools they call it developing one to one correspondence. It’s being able to find out how many of something we have. This game can, when we’re ready, move beyond counting objects to counting abstract things too. Like five things that make you happy.

Small usually needs lots of gentle reminders with this game. By the time we’ve counted two things we have often already forgotten the first thing we listed. Or not known if we’ve got five yet. That doesn’t matter though, it is just a game! And it’s about practice. Practicing the things that make life a bit easier.


You can follow the Sprouting Sense Facebook page here: It’s packed full of easy activities, play ideas, recipes and book reviews. 

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