Charades is a hilariously fun pantomime game that your entire family can enjoy. With a little bit of modification to the rules, even the youngest of kids can participate. One of the biggest draws to this game is that you can play Charades anywhere – family game night at home, while in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, and to pass time on long car rides (as long as you aren’t the one driving!) Learn how to play Charades and give it a try the next time you’re looking for a fun way to bond with your family and friends. You’ll be hooked!
How to play Charades
Decide on teams.
Charades can be played with just four players, but the way this game works, the more the merrier! Choose your teammates competitively – the better someone knows you, the bigger advantage you’ll have.
Write out words or phrases on pieces of paper.
You can buy pre-made Charade phrase cards or use Post-it-notes, scrap paper, napkins…whatever you have laying around. Don’t let your opponents see what you’re writing! Keep your intended audience in mind as you write. For them to be able to guess, they’ll need to know about your topic. The most common categories include popular quotes and titles of books, movies, TV shows, and songs. You’re not limited to those categories, though. Charades is a very adaptable game.
Next, fold up the papers or shuffle the cards for the opponents to draw at random. If using papers, put them in a jar, bag, or anything else you’ve got handy to reach into and pick from. Exchange your containers with the other team.
Set a time limit.
One of the things you learn fast when you play Charades is that a game can continue all night if you let it. Time limits are important! Usually, 2 to 3 minutes is sufficient, though when playing with small children, you’ll want to give more time (or less if they lose attention easily.)
First, let your team know your category. Common gestures include opening hands as though reading to indicate a book title and pretending to sing for a song title.
Next, indicate the number of words in the title with your fingers. This one’s pretty self-explanatory. One finger is one word, two is two words, etc.
For each word you are acting, hold up the fingers for the sequence of words. One finger for first word, two fingers for second word, etc.
“On the nose.”
When your team guesses correctly, they are “on the nose.” Indicate this by pointing to the person and then pointing to your nose. When your team guesses the phrase correctly, you get a point. Then the turn goes to the other team.
If time runs out before the answer is guessed, your team gets no points and it is the other team’s turn.
There are many variations of Charades and depending on your team, you can set up the game to be more competitive. A huge benefit to learning how to play Charades is the versatility. The more you play Charades, the faster and better at it you’ll get, too, so play often to give yourself a competitive edge!