Knife & Fork – Research-Backed At-Home Activities – Bay Area Discovery Museum

Knife & Fork

When the whole family is inside together, sometimes silent games are the best kind! In this activity, your children (or combinations of children and adults) work together to spontaneously and silently create a “set” of items. You’ll see how creative—and silly!—they can be when they have to express an idea through body language alone.

Learning Goals

  • Come up with Ideas and Try Them Out
  • Learn to Collaborate

Materials Required

  • No materials are required, just a pair of people (i.e. you and your child, siblings, or the whole family!)


  • Start by working together to brainstorm and write down a list of as many pairs of items as possible, such as:
    • Knife and fork
    • Peanut butter and jelly
    • Cereal and milk
    • Wood and fire
  • If two siblings are working together, you can act as the ‘leader’ and call out a set from the list for them to act out.
  • If it’s just you and your child together, you can write each pair on a separate piece of paper, and put the pieces in a hat or bag. Draw out a piece of paper at random to determine which set you’ll act out.
  • Each person in the pair acts out the set by moving their body to become one of the items, without planning or talking to their partner.
  • Keep playing until you’ve acted out every set from your list.

For Younger Children

  • Find examples
    • Gather the actual sets of items from around your house or look at photos to use as a model for your child.
  • Think aloud
    • After you make the pair of items silently, try doing it using words to describe your actions. Examples:
      • I am pretending to be the sun so I am making my body into a round, circle shape.
      • You were pretending to the moon, and your body looks like it's in the shape of the letter “C”.

Tips for Adults

  • Use descriptive terms: Talk about what you saw that helped you guess what each of the items was.
  • Reflect with your child on the process, asking what it was like to have to work with someone else silently. What were the different ways you communicated? What helped you understand what your partner was thinking?

Support BADM during COVID-19
Bay Area Discovery Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing children with research-backed early learning experiences that inspire creative problem solving. We need your help now more than ever.

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