When you’re looking for simple party games that kids will enjoy, consider a classic round of Charades. You can play this game using little to no equipment, play competitively or just for fun! This game will have your little ones laughing as they watch their friends try to act out scenes without speaking. Not to mention the educational benefits. Read on to learn how to play charades and for some ideas that kids will love acting out.
All About Charades for Kids
Participants take turns to act out the title of a TV show, movie or book. The goal is to have the other players guess the title you’re acting. The only catch is that you can’t speak, or for hardcore players, make any sounds at all.
Traditional categories are TV, movies and books. The common gesture for TV is tracing a square in front of you. For movies, mime winding up an old camera. For books, make your hands into two sides of a closed book, then open it. Other categories you could use with children are candy, school subjects, friends or people they know and sports. Feel free to let them get creative here and come up with their own gestures for the extra categories.
While the actor doesn’t speak, the rest of the players speak as much as possible! The actor indicates how many words are in the title by using their fingers, then they signal which word they’re acting out. You don’t have to act out the words in order. Some people choose to create a gesture for ‘The’, such as making a T shape with both hands. You can also pull on your ear to mean ‘sounds like’. This means that you act out a word that sounds like the one in your title.
Sometimes people choose to act out a recognizable gesture from the movie, such as an action or dance. To make this easier, add in a gesture meaning ‘all the words’. That way, players know they are guessing the whole title rather than individual words.
Players can divide into in teams or play as a whole group. In teams, one player must act out the title, while only people on their team can guess. If everyone plays together, one person acts the title out and the first person to guess the correct title gets a point. One way to stop any cheating is to write some titles down on pieces of paper and have the performer draw one out of a hat.
Charades is a fun game for kids but also has developmental advantages. They will learn to think outside the box when presented with a problem, as the actor and someone who is guessing. They will learn to be creative with limited resources and develop their non-verbal communication skills. This game also helps people work together by collaborating with their team to guess the answer.
Seven Charades Titles Kids Will Love
Your kids could choose to act out this popular superhero movie in one of two ways. Either by acting out something Spiderman would do or by acting out ‘spider’ then ‘man’. In the first scenario, the actor can curl their hand into a fist with the index and pinky fingers extended. They then throw the hand forwards, as if they were spinning a web. Everyone will be sure to guess this way! In the second scenario, they could make a spider with their hand and point to a man in the room.
It seems easy enough to act out feeling frozen; hug your arms around your body and chatter your teeth. But who will be the first to go one step further than ‘cold’ and manage to get to ‘frozen’?
- Alice in Wonderland
This one can be difficult unless you have someone named Alice in the group! One good idea could be to act out the characters such as the grinning Cheshire cat, the Mad Hatter or the always late White Rabbit. One thing is for sure, they can have a lot of fun with this one.
This one seems so simple but you’d be surprised how difficult it can be to guess. The player will usually act this one out by pointing upwards. But there will be a few cries of ceiling, sky, aeroplane, and birds, before someone does manage to guess the simple title.
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid
It should be easy to act out ‘diary’ and ‘kid’. The performer can mime writing in a book and then point to themselves. But that might take the fun out of this one. To make it a little more difficult, they could try acting out ‘wimpy’ first, which can be more challenging than you think. Once someone guesses that word, they’re likely to guess the whole title right away!
- Harry Potter
For this one, kids can have a little fun with ‘sounds like’. Waving around an imaginary wand and tracing a lightning bolt on the forehead are too easy. Instead they could use ‘sounds like’ for the first word and try to act out ‘hairy’. Then for ‘Potter’ they can try and make a pot, but there may be several guesses of items such as cup, bowl and bucket first.
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar
‘Hungry’ won’t be too hard to guess, a simple hand on the stomach and pained look should get the actor there. But, the challenge will come with trying to act out ‘caterpillar’. Do they attempt to act like a caterpillar itself or break the word down into its syllables, such as ‘cat’ and ‘pillar’?
- Monsters Inc
Kids are sure to love acting out the ‘Monsters’ part of the title, roaring and doing a scary face. But once everyone has guessed that word, the ‘inc’ part won’t be so straight forward.
- Jungle Book
Acting out ‘book’ will be a breeze, after all, there’s already a dedicated gesture in the game. The tough part will be acting out ‘Jungle’. They could pretend to be a monkey, elephant or a tree. Or they could do a ‘sounds like’ and act out juggle.