Parallel – Guess what it is

In this variation of 'Build the hidden figure', the children get to explore the excitement about building a secret figure and the fun part about guessing together.
The task

We each build a small model that we come up ourselves while having guessing timeouts. The aim of the activity is to create a playful environment between us.

Parallel – Build the Hidden Figure We create a motivating framework for the children. 



Suggestion for introduction

We create a motivating framework for the children. 

For example, we can say: ”The activity is about building and guessing figures. We have about 15 minutes to finish building something. We cannot tell each other what we are building but we can still talk. Every 5 minutes there will be a timeout, where we try to guess what the other is building. It is not a competition and therefore there is no points for a right guess. When we are done, we show each other our models.

We practice building something together and we all try to use our previous experiences to reflect on our play. Maybe we will learn something new about each other today, like how we can make it fun for us to guess.”


The activity can be adapted to the framework of one lesson and varied according to the time available and the children’s prerequisites.


We use small Lego sets that we are familiar with, or wooden blocks, colored cubes, magnetic tiles, paper, or something else. We can mix materials as all that matters is the material motivates us.

During the activity

During the play session, the children encounter challenges and successes, where we can stop and help spot what is difficult or what is going well. We can do this in several ways:

Reflection routines 

When we get the opportunity to reflect together with the children on what challenges or discoveries arise along the way, we can use one or more reflection routines. It could be, for example, a learning metaphor with a social strategy that we practice, an emoji that describes the feeling we have right now, or a rating of how well we think the building is going. In this way, a reflection routine can help to show and put into words the experiences that the children have during the play session.

Facilitating questions

We can ask facilitating questions to the children along the way, as they naturally arise in the building process. In this way, we facilitate the play session so that we continue the play and at the same time learn something from it. For example: 

  • I see that you have stopped building. I wonder how we can continue from here? 
  • I see that you have encountered a challenge. Should we try to solve it together? 
  • Try to notice what you are doing right now. Do you think this is a collaborative strategy? 
Show and Tell

Finally, in the play session, we give a Show and Tell of our construction, so that we have the opportunity to share our experiences, reflections, and feelings about the construction process.

First, we talk about our model and the process of building it. During the Show and Tell, we can use reflection routines and reflective questions to support the discoveries that have been made. For example:

  • What went well? 
  • What was difficult?
  • Is there anything that you want to do differently the next time we build and guess?
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