Charades for kids are a source of endless entertainment. But they can be educational too. Here’s how to play—and a cheat sheet of ideas for when you do.
Anybody who has got their heart rate up trying to guess the three-word title of a movie in a high-stakes game of charades knows how fun this game can be.
But charades for kids goes beyond its status as a wildly entertaining party game.
According to Unicef Kid Power, this fun activity has developmental advantages too.
Whatever side of the game they’re on, kids learn to think outside the box, stretch those creative muscles, and improve both their verbal and their non-verbal communication.
It also has all sorts of other advantages, like helping them work as part of a team, boosting their confidence, and helping them practice listening and turn-taking.
Use it as an icebreaker, a party favorite, or a way to pass the time when it’s raining outside.
You can even play it online, involving friends and relatives from faraway places.
And if at this point you’re like Eek, I think I need a quick recap on how the game works, don’t worry.
We’ll take you through it.
In this article 📝
- How to play charades
- How do you do charades for kids?
- Can a 5-year-old play charades?
- What are some good charades ideas?
- 170 charades ideas for kids
How to play charades
When it’s your turn, you act out a concept (a movie, a book, an idea, an activity, a place—to name a few possibilities).
The catch? You have to do so in total silence.
The person who is “on” can give their audience some ideas about the category of charades they’re acting out.
(Open your hands in the shape of a book to show that it’s a book. Pretend you’re operating a film camera to show it’s a movie.)
You can also give clues about how many words and syllables you’re tackling.
The rest of the group has to guess. Whoever does, goes next.
You can do it in teams and tally up points for the number of correct answers.
Or you can do it as a group, and everyone wins. (More on this below.)
How do you do charades for kids?
The rules of how to play charades for kids are similar to those for adults.
Also, this is your game—full permission to adapt the rules as you see fit.
It can help to create a stack of cards, each with a suggestion on them.
Anything from a store-bought index card to a piece of scrap newsprint will work.
If the kids are old enough, you can write down the word.
Pictures work just as well.
And we’ll give you ideas on what to put on those cards below.
Then, you have options:
Divide the players into two groups.
For every correct answer, a point.
One player at a time
Someone is on.
They get to act out their card.
Whoever guesses is on next.
As a group
This may work best for younger kids or as an icebreaker for older kids.
You can use this as a fun interlude between other games or activities, or as a warm-up to a grander charades marathon.
Offer a suggestion that everyone acts out at once.
Everyone acts like a gorilla peeling a banana. Everyone shows us a rockstar.
Or even everyone shows us what an angry face looks like.
The possibilities are really endless.
The key is to get them moving and having fun.
You can use a timer if you like, particularly for older kids. This can add a fun sense of urgency to the task.
And if you don’t have time to make cards, we have a hot tip: you don’t have to.
You know what works well? Whispering in ears.
This can also add a fun air of secrecy. 😉
(And remember, if you’re in need of suggestions, your cheat sheet is below.)
Can a 5-year-old play charades?
This is the best part about charades—you can adapt kids’ charades for even the youngest players.
Some ideas for easy charades for kids include acting out animals, activities like brushing your teeth or driving a car, or emotions such as excitement.
What are some good charades ideas?
Our charades categories for kids include:
- Fairy tales
Choose whatever works best for the age group that you have.
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170 charades ideas for kids
- Brushing teeth
- Reading a book
- Writing a book
- Having a picnic
- Cleaning your room
- Catching a fish
- Tying your shoe
- Waking up in the morning
- Robbing a bank
- Riding in a spaceship
- Playing the piano
- Flying a kite
- Putting makeup on
- Mopping the floor
- Driving a car
- Getting dressed in the morning
- Hot dog
- Corn on the cob
- Track and field
- Horse riding
- Formula One
- Ice skating
- Roller skating
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
- How to Train Your Dragon
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Toy Story
- The Incredibles
- Monsters, Inc.
- Ice Age
- Inside Out
- A Bug’s Life
- Treasure Planet
- Finding Nemo
- Ice Age
- The Princess and the Frog
- High School Musical
- Happy Feet
- Big Hero 6
- The Muppets
- Beauty and the Beast
- The Little Mermaid
- The Aristocats
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid
- The Little Prince
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
- The Gruffalo
- The Cat in the Hat
- Charlotte’s Web
- The Tale of Peter Rabbit
- The Twits
- Winnie the Pooh
- Elephant and Piggie
- Peter Pan
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar
- Where the Wild Things Are
- Captain Underpants
- Angelina Ballerina
- Fairy tales
- Little Red Riding Hood
- The Three Little Pigs
- Goldilocks and the Three Bears
- The Emperor’s New Clothes
- Sleeping Beauty
- The Ugly Duckling
- The Princess and the Pea
- The Elves and the Shoemaker
- Letter carrier
- Grocery store worker
- Construction worker
- Factory worker
- Amusement park
- Shopping mall
We wish you hours of endless entertainment!
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