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I have a 6-year old niece who is beginning to understand the English language (our native language is Spanish). A few days ago I came up with a short riddle and I want to try it before giving it to her.

What is it like to live in the middle of nowhere?

It's like living here in the first place or there in the second.

It feels like living in Hamburg but not in Germany.

Do you have some advice on how to make this riddle understandable, and enjoyable to her?

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  • $\begingroup$ What do you exactly want? Do you want us to improve it? Give our opinion if its good for kids? $\endgroup$ – BlueFire Sep 22 '16 at 2:16
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling.SE! Take the tour, you will earn another badge. It seems like this question is primarily opinion based, and as of now is not a good fit for a Q&A site. $\endgroup$ – Matsmath Sep 22 '16 at 7:04
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    $\begingroup$ @Matsmath: No, it's not opinion-based. It's a perfectly fine riddle. $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Sep 22 '16 at 19:36
  • $\begingroup$ @BlueFire I am trying to figure out if this riddle is good for kids (especially bilingual ones) and what kind of improvements would you make otherwise. $\endgroup$ – Dev Magpie Sep 22 '16 at 22:10
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It's pretty obvious to seasoned puzzlers that the answer is

The letter 'h'. In the middle of "nowhere", the first letter in "here", and the second in "there".

Can't speak for what a six-year-old will think of it, but it works.

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  • $\begingroup$ That's what I got, too - it is even in Hamburg but not in Germany. $\endgroup$ – Megha Sep 22 '16 at 2:10
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If you are looking for advice, I'd say that very few of the six year olds I have known would get this. When you say "What is it like to live in the middle of nowhere" it is difficult for a six year old to figure out that your question actually has nothing to do with what it is like. I usually find it best to stick with something that can readily be interpreted as its actual meaning. Making the leap from the meaning of the word to the spelling of the word is usually hard enough at that age.

Rhymes work well at that age. They remember them and repeat them which can help with solving the riddle. If you can work your niece's name into the rhyme, she will love it even if she can't solve the riddle.

Keep it simple. Try to make it personal. Off the top of my head:

You'll find me in nothing or something or other.
I'm not in your sister, I am in your brother.
I'm not in your grasp, I am in your hand.
I'm there when you crouch but not when you stand.
I'm heard in your height but not in your weight
Hurry and guess me before it's too late.

Write it out for her so she has a chance to see the h's. Maybe be prepared with something extra in case she's struggling:

Here's a little help
If you're having a hard time
I hope you hear the hint
In this happy helpful rhyme.

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  • $\begingroup$ Great advice! I will definitely use it. Thank you! $\endgroup$ – Dev Magpie Sep 22 '16 at 22:08
  • $\begingroup$ Nice riddles! :D $\endgroup$ – Feeds Jul 22 '18 at 10:16

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