How to Play: Charades

Filed under: Activities: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Activities: Big Kids, Activities: Tweens, Activities: Family Time, Kids' Games

Two words: Charades rule! Credit: Getty Images

What you need: At least six players, slips of paper, pens or pencils and a hat or box.

How to play: Players are divided into teams of three or more. Each player receives several slips of paper and must write a word or phrase for the other team to guess on each slip. Slips are kept secret and placed in the hat or box. One team is chosen to go first, and that team selects someone to be the actor. The actor picks a slip out of the box or hat and must act out the word or phrase without talking. The object of the game is to use physical language to convey the meaning to the team. If the team cannot correctly guess the word or phrase within the time limit, that team receives no points and it becomes the other team's turn. The game continues until all players have had a turn at being the actor.

The rules: Rules can vary about which words or phrases are allowed; however, the secret phrases are often confined to names of books, movies, TV shows and songs. The actor cannot make any sounds or lip movements. Nor can the actor point out objects that are in the room. The actor is allowed to make any gestures other than blatantly spelling out the word or phrase. The guessers can ask questions to which the actor can respond by nodding or shaking his or her head.

How to win: The team that guesses the most words or phrases by the end of the game claims victory.

What else you need to know: There are many standard signals than can be used in Charades, such as pretending to open a book for book title, cranking a movie camera for movie title and drawing a rectangle in the air for TV show title.

Related: Celebrity, Twenty Questions, I Spy

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.