It can be hard finding a game that’s suitable and challenging enough for the whole family.
We have a HUGE list of outdoor games for the whole family here!
Since readers loved those so much, we thought we’d give you more games the entire family can enjoy!
Charades is one of the games that parents love for their children to play. It’s a fun party game that kids of all ages can enjoy!
Charades require quick thinking, creativity, and it doesn’t leave a yucky mess to clean up.
This is a game that’s great for building teamwork between families and friends!
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How to Play Charades
If you’ve never played charades, here’s how you do it.
Split up into two teams.
Ideally, each team will have the same number of people so no team has an advantage.
Write words or phrases on paper.
The words and phrases can be almost anything.
Generally, popular categories include names of songs, book titles, movies, and television shows.
When you’re playing with children, you might want to add cartoons to the category mix.
Place paper into a bowl or pile.
Each team member should fold the slips of paper and place them into a bowl or pile.
Choose the starting team.
Pick which team goes first.
Have a player from that team draw one of the slips that the other team has written down and act it out for his teammates.
Keep Score During Charades
To score a point, the team must correctly guess what’s on the slip before the time agreed upon by each side elapses.
Make sure you have a stopwatch handy so you can keep an eye on the time — that way the game is fair for both teams.
A good rule of thumb is to give players three minutes to figure out each answer.
Choose the Winning Team
The winner can be determined in one of two ways — the team that guesses the most charades correctly or the total time needed to figure out all the answers combined.
If you go with the total time, you’ll need to keep precise track of how long each answer takes and tally it up at the end. Or, if you want this to just be a fun, family game…you can opt out of keeping score.
Tips for Using Some Common Gestures during Charades
To make things easier, you’ll need to know some basic shortcuts that will help each team with their guesses.
Here are some of my favorites!
Better Charades Game Tip #1:
To let your teammates know how many words your answer has, you’ll hold up the number of fingers that corresponds to how many words there are.
For example, if you drew the book, The Grapes of Wrath, you’d hold up four fingers.
Do this at the start of your turn.
Better Charades Game Tip #2:
If there’s a keyword you want to act out first, use your finger system to let players know.
If you want to act out the second word, hold up two fingers right after showing them how many words there are.
Better Charades Game Tip #3:
To let your teammates know it’s a book, unfold your hands, just as you would to open a book.
Movies are generally indicated by pretending you’re cranking an old-time camera.
To show you’re talking about a television show, you’d draw the shape of television in front of you in the air.
For a song, you’d act like you were singing.
Giant List of Charades Ideas
Let’s dig into ALL the charade game ideas NOW!
Easy Charade Ideas for Beginners and Young Kids
This category is best for young children or for complete beginners.
You might need to do easier concepts, like sports and animals, for kids to feel successful at charades.
Adding a category all about emotions is great for pre-school children who won’t have the most sophisticated acting skills yet.
Although the concepts or ideas won’t be sophisticated, you’ll be surprised at how hard your child laughs when it’s your turn to pretend to be something silly like an elephant.
Sports and Activities Charade Ideas that are Easy
- Jumping rope
- Playing drums
- Guitar playing
- Brushing teeth
Easy Charades Ideas: Famous Characters
- Cookie Monster
- Peppa Pig
- The Incredible Hulk
- Donald Duck
- Captain Hook
- Elsa from Frozen
Easy Charades Ideas: Emotions
Easy Charades Ideas: Popular Movies
- Star Wars
- The Emoji Movie
Easy Charades Ideas: Musical Instruments
- Drum Kit
Medium-level Charade Ideas or for Tweens and Teens
For more experienced charades players, you can crank up the difficulty level some.
These ideas will be challenging, but not overwhelming.
When you’re playing with the family, these are more suited for junior high-aged children.
Movies for Medium Level Charades
- The Lion King
5. The Princess and the Frog
6. The Little Mermaid
8. The Nightmare Before Christmas
9. Diary of a Wimpy Kid
10. Peter Rabbit
12. Night at the Museum
15. Pirates of the Carribean
16. Lego Movie
17. Inside Out
Musical Instruments for Medium Level Charades:
- Electric Bass Guitar
- French Horn
Characters for Medium Level Charades
1. Robin Hood
2. The Grinch
4. Spider Man
6. Sherlock Holmes
7. Fancy Nancy
8. Winnie the Pooh
9. Snow White
Books for Medium Level Charades Ideas
Books are always a favorite topic in classic charades!
1. Where the Wild Things Are
2. The Cat in the Hat
3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
4. To Kill a Mockingbird
5. The Wizard of Oz
6. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
7. Goodnight Moon
8. The Giving Tree
9. Stone Soup
10. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
11. Charlotte’s Web
12. The Tale of Peter Rabbit
13. Little Women
14. Anne of Green Gables
16. The Secret Garden
17. The Snowy Day
18. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
19. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
20. The Jungle Book
21. Diary of a Wimpy Kid
22. The Little Engine That Could
23. Stuart Little
25. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
26. Curious George
27. Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer
28. Fahrenheit 451
29. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
30. A Series of Unfortunate Events
Songs for Medium Level Charades Ideas
2. The Adams Family
3. Baby Shark
4. Let it Go
5. It’s the Hard Knock Life
6. 99 Bottles of Pop
7. A Whole New World
8. Part of Your World
9. Under the Sea
10. Fly Me to the Moon
11. The Wheels on the Bus
12. Do You Wanna Build a Snowman
13. You’ve Got a Friend in Me
14. My Favorite Things
15. Do Re Mi
16. I’m a Little TeaCup
17. You are My Sunshine
18. Bicycle Built for Two
19. Baby Bumblebee
20. Climb Every Mountain
21. It’s a Small World After All
22. I Love You, You Love Me
23. Itsy Bitsy Spider
Television Shows for Medium Level Charades Ideas
1. Paw Patrol
2. Blue’s Clues
3. Mickey Mouse Club
4. Doctor Who
7. Thomas the Train
8. Sesame Street
9. Fancy Nancy
Video Games for Medium Level Charades Ideas
- Super Mario Odyssey
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- Candy Crush
- Animal Crossing:cNew Horizons
- Mario Kart
- Rocket League
- Luigi’s Mansion
- Stardew Valley
- Hollow Knight
- Sonic Mania
- Donkey Kong Country
Advanced and Hard Charade Games Ideas
You and your family had better put on your thinking caps for these ideas.
These ideas are harder to act out and to figure out.
You’ll feel like a genius when you can pull some of these off.
Song Charades Ideas for Advanced Charades
1. God Bless the USA
2. Stop in the Name of Love
3. Don’t Worry Be Happy
4. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
Books for Advanced Charades Ideas
1. Robinson Caruso
2. Pride and Prejudice
3. Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
4. Anne of Green Gables
5. A Wrinkle in Time
6. Lord of the Flies
7. White Fang
8. Charlotte’s Web
Movies Ideas for Advanced Charades
3. Home Alone
4. Sound of Music
6. Old Yeller
7. King Kong
8. Ice Age
9. Finding Nemo
10. Smith Family Robinson
11. The Mighty Ducks
12. Toy Story
13. Inside Out
TV Shows for Advanced Charades
1. Pioneer Woman Cooking Show
2. Cupcake Wars
3. Unsolved Mysteries
4. Andy Griffith
5. Little House on the Prairie
7. Fixer Upper
People for Advanced Charades
1. Albert Einstein
2. President Donald Trump
3. Abraham Lincoln
4. Jeff Bezos
5. Michael Phelps
6. Tim Tebow
7. Patrick Henry
8. Michael Jordan
9. Leonardo Da Vinci
10. Walt Disney
11. Dabo Swinney
12. Kate Middleton
13. Arnold Schwarzenegger
14. Mr. Rogers
15. Benjamin Franklin
16. George Washington
17. Oprah Winfrey
Characters for Advanced Charades
2. Big Bird
3. King Arthur
5. Sherlock Holmes
7. Luke Skywalker
Different Ways to Play Charades
- Reverse Charades: In this version, one person guesses while the rest of the team acts out the word or phrase. It’s a fun twist on the original game.
- Themed Charades: Choose a specific theme for your charades game, such as “Disney movies,” “superheroes,” or “food items.” All the words or phrases should relate to the chosen theme.
- Action Charades: Instead of words or phrases, players act out specific actions or activities. For example, they might mime “baking a cake” or “mowing the lawn.”
- Movie Charades: Play charades using only movie titles as the words or phrases to guess. This can be a great option for movie buffs.
- Song Charades: Use song titles as the words or phrases to guess. Players can hum or sing a few bars of the song, but they can’t use any lyrics.
- Animal Charades: All the words or phrases in this version are related to animals. Players must act like the animals they’re representing.
- Silent Charades: In this variant, players can’t make any noise, including no miming of sound effects. This adds an extra challenge to the game.
- Partner Charades: Instead of acting alone, players work in pairs. One person acts while the other guesses, and they take turns.
- Guess the Sound Charades: In addition to miming the action, players can make sound effects related to the word or phrase they’re acting out.
- Charades with a Twist: Add a twist to the game by using props or costumes. Players can use simple props to enhance their gestures and make the game more entertaining.
- Online Charades: Play charades virtually using video conferencing tools. One player can act while others guess through their screens.
- Team Charades: Divide players into teams, and each team takes turns acting out words or phrases. The team that guesses the most correctly wins.
Make Charades a Fun Family Time
Playing charades gives you a way to have a fun family night, and it’s totally free, which makes it a good option for cash-strapped families.
We have an entire stash of ideas for a fun, family night here! Including games and snacks ideas!
Need a Quick Version of Charades?
Try this popular game called Speed Charades.