How To Play Charades With Kids

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One of our favorite things at our house is family game night! It is usually an evening filled with laughter and it really brings our family closer together. We all look forward to the next time we get to gather and enjoy the fun!

The biggest challenge with family game night is that sometimes finding games that are age appropriate for ALL of our kids can be difficult. Some games are too hard for the younger kids and others are too boring for the older kids.  

How To Play Charades With Kids

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This is one reason we love playing charades! The rules are simple to explain and easy to carry out. And even better: you can easily adapt it to fit all ages. There are so many great charade ideas for all ages so everyone can have an amazing time.

Want to add charades into your family game night, but unsure how to start? We’ve got you covered with all the tips and tricks to make your next charades night fun for the entire family!

Why Play Charades?

Not only is charades easy AND fun, it also helps develop a kid’s creativity and can help them build confidence. It can take a lot for kids to get up in front of groups of people, what better way to help them learn how than in front of their own family?

Another thing we love about this game is the potential for a relaxed family evening or for a heated competition. This game can be played by simply taking turns acting out a variety of things OR you can split into teams and make it a full-blown contest. 

There is also no limit to how many rounds each person plays. Each person could complete just one word or phrase before moving on to the next player, or you can see how many correct guesses one actor can get in a certain time frame. Whatever way you and your family play, you are sure to make memories that will last a lifetime!

How To Play Charades

Charades is a simple, cost-free game that requires little to no preparation. Someone is given a word, phrase, or movie, song, or book title and they must silently act it out to get everyone else to guess it.

One trick that can help make it less daunting for the guessers is to use hand motions to narrow down the possible answers. This makes it easier for the guessers to see whether you’re acting out a song, book, or movie.

For example, iIf what you are acting out is a song, pretend to lead music. If you are acting out a book title, pretend to read a book. And if you are trying to get your audience to guess the title of a movie, pretend to crank an old-time camera.

Another trick that may prove useful is indicating the number of words in the title or phrase. Do this by simply holding your fingers to indicate how many words are in it. Following that, hold up fingers to indicate which word you are trying to pantomime.

For example, if you are trying to get your audience to guess the song title “Let It Go” you might start by pretending to lead music. Once they guess that it is a song, you may hold up three fingers to indicate “three words.” After they have guessed the number or words, you may hold up three fingers again to indicate “third word.” You would then do some actions to get them to guess the word “go.” 

Once the guessers have guessed correctly, move onto the next word (or the next player, depending on how you’re playing).

Tips For Playing Charades With Younger Kids

When playing charades with younger kids, it might be best to narrow down the possible choices for what they can act out. Perhaps you want to do “Bible Charades” or “Disney Charades” or “Animal Charades” as a means of making both the guessing AND the acting less overwhelming. The key to choosing topics is to find something that will interest your kids!

In addition to simplifying the possible choices, younger kids may need some help in knowing how to act to get others to guess. Make sure to offer help when they need it – just make sure you don’t guess if you already know the answer!

If your kids can read, you can write out some words or phrases for them to act out on small slips of paper. Put them in a bowl and let everyone choose a word at random.

But let’s not exclude kids who can’t read quite yet! If your kids can’t read, they can be given a topic and be allowed to choose whatever word or phrase they would like. There is really no wrong way to include every family member in the fun.

Charades Word Lists For Kids

Looking for a quick way to start your next game of charades? We’ve got some of the best charade ideas separated by topic for you right here! Feel free to add whatever you want to these lists – they are just meant to get you started!


  • Brushing your teeth
  • Cleaning the toilet
  • Playing tennis
  • Putting on lotion
  • Playing the piano
  • Getting dressed
  • Driving a car
  • Playing video games
  • Square dancing
  • Doing laundry

Phrases And Sayings

  • All’s well that ends well
  • Kill two birds with one stone
  • A cat has nine lives
  • Beggars can’t be choosers
  • An apple a day keeps the doctor away
  • Easy come, easy go
  • Actions speak louder than words
  • Curiosity killed the cat
  • A chain is only as strong as its weakest link
  • Don’t bite off more than you can chew

Disney Characters

  • Elsa
  • Gaston
  • Dory
  • Wall-e
  • Mr. Incredible
  • Ariel
  • Flynn Rider
  • Maui
  • Buzz Lightyear
  • Dumbo


  • Elephant
  • Wolf
  • Goldfish
  • Chameleon
  • Octopus
  • Bird
  • Lion
  • Whale
  • Dog
  • Shark

Movies For Kids

  • The Fox and the Hound
  • Spiderman
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Brave
  • Mulan
  • The Princess and the Goblins
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Anastasia
  • Tangled
  • Moana

Books For Kids

  • One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
  • Where the Wild Things Are
  • Hop on Pop
  • Goodnight Moon
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
  • The Giving Tree
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon

What is your favorite thing about charades? Tell us in the comments!

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