An All Time Favourite
Fun Party Game.

Charades is a fun word guessing game. You can play this fun party game at kids and adult parties. It is suitable for all occasions.

How To Play

  • Divide your guests into two teams. Each team takes turns. 1 player in the first team has to physically act out a word that the other team has selected and written on a piece of paper.
  • Phrases can be used instead of just 1 word, but they need to be commonly used, and usually they come from books, movies, songs or poetry.
  • Since the person acting out the word cannot speak or make any sound what so ever, they must use signals and gestures to make their teammates guess what the word or phrase is.
  • They cannot spell out the word with their finger.
  • They can make non verbal responses like nodding if their team is getting close to identifying the word or phrase.
  • The team members can ask questions.
  • A set time of usually one minute sometimes two, is used so you will need a timer.
  • Only when the exact word or phrase, as it is written on the paper is guessed, does the game end. If the word or phrase is discovered within the time frame set, then that team win a round.
  • The second team then has their go. The same rules apply. Each person in the teams rotate until everyone has had a turn acting out the word or phrase.
  • Use a flip chart or notepad to keep track of which team wins a round and which one doesn't. The team winning the most rounds when everyone had had a turn acting out a word/phrase, wins.
  • There are a number hand gestures that are typically used during this party game which is best explained in the video below.

    Charades is the perfect party game, great for both kids and adults parties.

    Check out this video which explains how to play the charades game, including some of the typically used gestures.

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    Common Signals Typically Used To Play The Game Of Charades.

    To establish the context of the word/phrase use the following:


    The player stands with hands on hips.


    The player pretends to hold a paper and pretends to read the poem.


    The player pretends to be the animal by making their actions, (hopping like a rabbit, jumping like a kangaroo)

    Book Title

    The player unfolds his/her hands as if they were a book.

    Movie Title

    The player pretends to crank an old-fashioned

    A Theatrical Play Title

    The player pretends to pull the rope that opens a theatre curtain, or places both hands out, palms facing the audience and touching at the thumbs, and draws them apart like a theatre curtain.

    Song Title

    The player pretends to sing.

    Television Show

    The player draws a rectangle to outline the TV screen.

    Quote or phrase

    The player makes quotation marks in the air with his/her fingers.


    The player makes a circle with one hand, then points to it, as if pointing to a dot on a map.


    The player points to his/her wrist as if he/she was wearing a watch. Alternatively, he/she holds his/her hands up beside his/her head and makes "spirit fingers" (waving fingers back and forth frantically) simulating confetti or a crowd in the background.

    Computer Game

    The player uses both hands out stretched move thumbs like using a game pad.


    The player holds his/her hand out, palm down, horizontal to the ground (as if holding a computer mouse). He/she then moves his/her wrist around as if moving the cursor in the computer.

    Other Charade Gestures Used Include:

    Sounds Like

    The player uses their hand to tug at their ear lobe.


    The player points to their eye.

    Small or Smaller

    the player holds their thumb and index finger close together but not touching.

    Larger or Larger

    The player opens their arms out stretched as far as they can.

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    "Thank you Katherine, love your site. I used your suggestions for my 4 year olds birthday party last week. 15 Kindergarden kids! My sister does face painting so we did that. I had a pass the parcel using nursery rhyme music I had a candy between each wrapping of paper which worked well. Finally I did some balloon games. They loved it. I especially liked your idea of having a story time at the end of the party, it worked well, my sister read the stories and I organized the parents as they arrived to pick up their kids. My little girl loved her special day and I think it was the games that made it work so well. Planning my sons 7th Birthday for next month now"

    Sandra, Atlanta, USA

    Just a quick note to let you know that I followed your instructions for running party games at my sons birthday party and it went really well. I did 3 games and the most popular was the obstacle course. I had 10 boys ages 6-10 and once they had played with the course I had set out they then started to create their own ideas for obstacles and rearranged the course making it harder and harder. This 1 game kept them entertained for over an hour.

    Jess, From New Jersey.

    Thank you for the Easter games ideas, they went down a treat. We did the Easter egg hunt and I had pin the bunny ears. Really good.I like your web site its well written and got great ideas.

    Maggie B, Hamilton, Canada

    Thank you for your baby shower games ideas, I'd never done one before so had no idea where to start. They worked well and my friends loved it.

    Kim, Sydney.

    I had a housewarming last week and we played your game know your suburb. it was very entertaining and we learnt so much just in preparing for the game, great idea thanks.

    Shelly, Manchester, UK

    Thank you for your feedback, I really appreciate it. If you want to make a comment please feel free to contact me here.

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