Charades are a classic party game. You’ve probably played it many times yourself. You might not think of it as a game for the kids, but it is perfect for all ages. Charade games require lots of imagination and little equipment. Next time you host a long play date or a child’s birthday party, teach the kids charades and keep them occupied for hours.
If you have kids of various ages, distribute them evenly between the two teams. You may pit boys against girls or keep them in family groups or choose randomly. Just make sure all the big kids aren’t playing against all the small kids. If your groups are big enough, you can ask for volunteers to act out the charades, to avoid the spotlight on particularly shy kids. If anyone wants to sit this one out, ask him to keep score or time.
You can make the game as simple or as complicated as seems appropriate for your kids. If your kids are young and are still learning the game, you may want to let an occasional verbal clue slip out, so as not to overwhelm the kids. Older kids can be held to a stricter regimen. Don’t allow words, sounds or signs to come into play.
The choices of acted words or phrases are crucial to the fun and success of your game. Older kids may want to come up with options for themselves, but for all age groups, you might find it most useful to invent a list of words or phrases and write them on slips of paper. Each player can choose one slip and act out the item. Little kids should do single words or ideas while older kids may find titles and phrases a satisfying challenge.
If your party has a particular theme, incorporate it into the game. For instance, you can choose sea life for an ocean theme or items a royal needs for a girl’s princess theme. Even a certain time of the year can inspire the clues. Back-to-school time suggests office and school supplies; summer recommends beach or vacation items.
Make the game tougher for older or more experienced players with certain challenges. Lengthen the phrase and require teams to guess the whole thing. Set out a timer and require kids to guess the clue within 60 seconds. Hush the opposing team from helping the other team, but give them one chance to guess if the guessing team can’t get it before the timer chimes.
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