Family Charades Ideas

By Ann Daniels
Charades is a game the whole family can enjoy.
Charades is a game the whole family can enjoy.

Charades is an entertaining and interactive game that families can play at home, at a hotel, in a long line at theme park or pretty much anywhere. Not only is the game sure to induce laughter, but it’s also educational as children develop communication and memory skills while playing.

How to Play Charades

To prepare for the game, divide the players into two teams. Each player writes down one phrase to act out on a slip of paper. Fold the slips of paper and put them in the corresponding team’s bowl. Draw images or cut out pictures from magazines if there are children playing who are too young to read or write. When playing the game, a player chooses a slip of paper from the opposite team’s bowl. The player acts out the words and syllables with non-verbal actions. Team members must guess the phrase within an agreed-upon time limit. Play the game until each team member has had a chance to act out a phrase. Keep score of correct guesses to determine the winning team.


Write down different names of animals for family members to act out. Choose animals that are easy for young players, such as dog, lion or rabbit. Write down animals that are more difficult to act out when older children are playing, such as anteaters or polar bears. Expand this category to include insects, such as butterflies, bees and mosquitoes. This category is ideal for a game night after a trip to the zoo. Family members can act out all the animals they visited to reinforce the learning that took place at the zoo.


In addition to being entertaining, acting out feelings can be used as a learning experience for children. Teach children how to recognize feelings and act them out through facial expressions and actions. Write down familiar feelings for young children, such as sad, happy, hungry and mad. Players will have to get creative to act out more complex feelings, which can be written down when older children are playing. Write down feelings such as perplexed, sympathetic and optimistic.

Other Ideas

Write down simple actions for young family members to act out, such as singing, vacuuming or cooking. Older children have a larger vocabulary, so you can also include phrases in the game, such as “milking a cow,” “going on a date” or “first day of school.” Movies, television shows and books can also be included in your charades game. Write down things you have watched or read together as a family so everyone feels included and has a good chance at guessing the right answer.

About the Author

Ann Daniels has been a professional writer for more than 10 years. Her work has been published in many national health and wellness publications. Daniels holds a Master of Arts in communications from the University of Colorado at Boulder.