Charades (Grades K-5)

Get moving with a guessing game that takes your whole body to play!

Charades is a classic game to play with family or friends. You can even play it on a video chat if your family or friends are far away! Here’s how to play: 

In a game of charades, you can use your body — but no sounds, including talking, singing or humming — to act out a character, a title, an idea or a saying.

If this is your first time playing charades, it helps to pick a category that everyone can agree on. The other people playing will call out guesses of the thing you’re trying to act out. 

Ways To Play

There are a few different ways to play charades. One way is to simply act like the person, animal or thing. For example, if your clue was “Elephant,” you might walk on all fours, or swing your arm like a trunk. 

Another way to play charades is to act out each word of a title or phrase. If you are playing this way, you have to give your audience some clues: 

  • Is the phrase the title of a book, song or movie? Act out opening a book, holding a microphone or cranking your arm like an old-fashioned movie camera. You can go over these symbols with everyone before you begin. 
  • Does the phrase have more than one word? Hold up your fingers to show how many words are in the phrase. 
  • Point to your ear to show that what you’re about to act out “sounds like” the word you want people to guess. For example, you could point to your head if you wanted people to guess words that rhyme with “head”
  • To let people know their guess is right, you can tap your finger to your nose, or just nod your head, but remember, you can’t speak or make any sound. 
  • Once people have guessed the first word, hold up two fingers to let them know you are starting the second word. 

You can find more tips for charades clues here: Charade Clues and Gestures