Game that can be educational, fun, and a snap to make. What is Jeopardy?
Ladies and Gentlemen…This Is Homemade Jeopardy!
My kids are enamored with Jeopardy! I’m not sure how it happened but my, 8 and 11 year olds clamor to watch Jeopardy most nights of the week. This is one of the few TV shows that I can say my kids gain something worthwhile.
My son, the 11-year-old, can answer many questions and my 8-year-old jumps in with many too. Both kids asked if we, meaning me, could make our own version of Jeopardy! that the entire family could play together and would count towards homeschooling.
I agreed. Then I wondered, how could I make this happen without making myself crazy? It took about an hour to put the entire game together, not as long as I thought, and now we have a template to create more games on any subject.
Our homemade Jeopardy! can be used to help the kids study up on any school subject or just be a fun way to test their knowledge. I can also see this as being a fun road-trip game – in mini form, a great rainy-day game, game night with friends, a tool to study up for a test, even a potential school presentation project.
The kids came up with the idea of choosing an information/educational book for me to base the questions. Then, we would all read the book together to create a more even knowledge base for our family that ranges in ages from 8 to 43.
The Magic School Bus series of books was an obvious choice, jam packed with science data and facts. Kait, my 8-year-old, said she wanted a space-themed game because, “I’m really good at space questions.” I asked the kids to gather a few books on a subject that could be used for an entire game of Jeopardy! and they could vote on it.
A trip to the library and a pile of books later, the kids decided on Big Cats, a DK Eye Wonder book, that we already own. My kids love animals, cats and dogs top the list, and both have enjoyed learning about the big cats since they were wee ones.
The game board was quick to prepare from a large sheet of poster board with a pre-printed grid to easily draw my columns with a marker, and sticky notes. With the sticky notes, we can pull the dollar value from the category once it’s been called so everyone knows which values are still open and we can switch the board from Regular Jeopardy! to double Jeopardy! in the time it takes to go through a commercial break.
For our game, I chose to create the board with five categories across the top and the Jeopardy! standard five dollar values for each category running from $200 – $1000. I read through the book and pulled information that I thought would make for some great all-level questions and plugged those into a text table. Click here for my Big Cats Answer and Question Board.
The kids were let loose to read through the book together and cram for their Jeopardy! game. Jason read while Kait took notes.
Each player, both kids and my husband, had a notepad and pencil to keep track of their own score – a little math thrown in there – and to write down their wager and question for Final Jeopardy! Kait had her own cheering section in Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head.
This Is Jeopardy! Our five categories today are: “Size Matters”, “It Makes Sense”, “Habitat”, “Family History”, and finally, “Potpourri” with a variety of topics in the category.
Kait began, having picked the correct number between 1 and 10. Jason took an early lead with dad quickly taking up second place.
Cats are often kept as early warning detectors of these natural phenomenons.
What are earthquakes or volcanoes?
Jason jumped further ahead of the other contestants having chosen one of the two hidden daily doubles. He wagered $1,000 in the category of “It Makes Sense”.
The function of the Jacobson’s organ.
What is to “taste” smells.
During our contestant chat early in the game, we learned that Kait’s favorite Barbie outfit is the wedding dress, Jason’s most challenging command to teach the puppies has been “come”, and David’s favorite volcano websites are those with Live Cams.
After our commercial break, Kait jumped into the running and took control of the board. She grabbed a solid footing in second place, nudging out her dad, by twice choosing the high dollar value answers and giving the correct question. My little strategist!
Only Bengal tigers give birth to this rare type of tiger, few of which exist in the wild.
What is a white tiger?
This being our first foray into homemade Jeopardy! I only put together one round of regular Jeopardy! answers and questions along with one Final Jeopardy! answer in the subject of Senses.
The Flehmen response allows cats to combine these two senses. Cue the Jeopardy! theme song.
David having the lowest score began the Final Jeopardy! round betting all his winnings, $2,800, and giving the correct response of, “What are taste and smell?”
Kait, in second place also wagered all her winnings but came up short with her question of “What are hearing and smell?”
Jason, in first place, went conservative with his wager, knowing that with his $6,400 going into Final Jeopardy! that he was a pretty sure win. He bet $1,000 on his winning response bringing his total Jeopardy! winnings today to $7,400.
Kait also awarded Jason a metal for winning our first-ever home game of Jeopardy!
We’ll certainly put on another game of Jeopardy! Next time I’ll create a Double Jeopardy round as well. The kids have already picked out “space” as our next theme…to the Magic School Bus!! BEEP! BEEP!
To create your own game board, click here for a blank grid to get you started.
What subject do you think your kids will enjoy?