Supplies: Paper, pens, printer, scissors, bowl, animated guests
Tried and true, Charades is one of the most popular party games because it is challenging, entertaining and never the same game twice. You can make up your own charades or purchase charade games for dinner parties and game nights. Charades can also be easily adapted to play Pictionary, if you would rather draw that act.
While you can have ordinary charades, we have always found it interesting to do theme or at least mix in themes in our game nights. Sometimes we base all the words off of a letter of the alphabet, other times movie titles, songs, graduation, weddings or based around an event or time of year. Not every charade must match the theme but it is fun to have unique charades that can add to a theme or special occasion.
We offer instructions on how to play charades, tips and different charade games you can purchase.
Charades Game Prep
a. Think about the game that will be playing charades and theme or general charades. Then decide which you want for your party.
b. Coming up with the charades. There are a few options.
We recommend a minimum of 40 charades for small groups and a rule of thumb we use is 6-8 charades per person. Remember it is always better to more charades than to few. Ideas for coming up with charades.
1. The host creates a list of 75 – 120 charades for the game. This works best when there is a theme.
2. Guests contribute charades – Each guest writes 6 – 10 charade cards for the game. This works best for playing letters of the alphabet and general charades.
3. Purchase charades or find a list online. Use this as your base and add additional charades as needed.
Common Charade Categories:
Book Titles, Movies, Plays, Quotes & Phrases, Song Titles, TV Shows
FYI – Charades are normally 4 words or less, sometimes 5 – but we don’t recommend over 5 words.
If you get stumped for ideas for charades, get a list of action verbs and then match with various nouns. Sometimes they make sense “Dancing Queen” and other times they don’t “kicking tree.” Our thought is always have fun, think of unique words and words that would be fun to act out.
c. Once you come up with your charades, you ‘ll want to print out your charades and then cut up the paper so that there is one charade per slip of paper. Once you have your charades, fold the slips of paper in half and place in a bowl.
This Christmas Charades for Kids is perfect for weekend gathering, boy and girl scout groups, sport teams and more – basically any time a group of kids need something to do and want to have fun during the Christmas season this game will work.
Plus this Charades game also can be played Pictionary style as a drawing game or a 20 Questions Game. So while you may purchase it for Charades, you can use it for several types of holiday games.
How to Play Charades
Simply put, charades is played by pulling a charades card and then the player acts out the word or phrase, without talking, as their teammates try to guess the word or phrase they are acting out. Points are then awarded if the team guesses the charade within the time frame.
a. Pull out your bowl with your charades cards.
If guests are going to make up charades, hand out slips of paper and have the guests write down the charades / themed charades. Once guests have written the charades have them fold each slip in half, collect them and mix them up in the bowl.
b. Divide your group into teams. In most cases you’ll have two and sometimes three teams.
c. Decide which team goes first. Randomly pick, Flip a coin or pull a card from a deck and high card wins.
d. A player from the first team stands in front of the group and selects a charades card from the bowl. They open the slip and read the charade without letting the team see it and place the slip to the side during game play.
Charade Tips before Play Begins
1a. At the start of play, hold up the number of fingers that is equal to the total number of words in your charade.
1b. Next, signal which word you are trying to get them to guess. Two fingers means “second word.”
1c. To signal how many syllables are in the word you are working, lay the number of fingers on your arm.
2. Category Identifiers
Song: Pretend to sing, Movie: Crank an old fashioned movie camera, TV Show: Use fingers to outling a tv frame, Book: Opening a book, Theater / Musical Title: Pull a rope, like a stage curtain, Quotes: Make air quotes.
3. If something sounds like something, pull on your ear or use your hand to create a cup around your ear.
4. If teammate guess one of the words correctly, the player acting out the charade can nod and then can go to a another word.
e. Once the player has read the charade slip, the timer is started. In most cases 1 minute is used for each charade, if you want to be more competitive you can reduce the time to 45 or even 30 seconds.
f. During the set time, the player must act out the charade card and have their teammates guess the charade. The player cannot talk or make sounds. (If players do speak, they get a warning or lose their turn.)
Scoring: If the Charade is guessed in the time frame – the team scores 1 point. If not – zero points.
g. Once a player’s turn is over, then a player from the next takes their turn grabbing a charade and acting it out. This process continues until all players from each team have taken their turn acting out a charade.
h. Play two rounds and then the team with the highest score wins or play to a specific point total like 12, 15 or another amount.
Charades Variation – One Group Play
You can play charades as one group if you want.
In this version, one person is chosen to go first and start the game by selecting the first charade. They are allowed up to 2 minutes to try to get the players to guess the charade.
If someone guesses the charade, they earn 1 point and then they are the next to act out a charade. If no one guesses it, no points are earned and you must randomly select someone to go next.
Play to a predetermined point total, so first person to 4, 5, or 7.
Charades Variation – Speed Charades
Speed charades is played in teams, but instead of doing one charade and then letting the other team take their turn a player has 2 minutes to try an get their team to correctly guess as many charades as possible. The player must get the first charade correct in order to select another charade.
After two minutes, play stops and you count up the number of charades completed and that total is scored. Then the next team takes their turn.
Play continues until every team member has taken a turn giving the charades. The scores are tallied and the team with the most charades wins. You can play one or more rounds.
Below are some ready to play themed and seasonal Charades games.