Charades Ideas for Kids of All Ages - the Ultimate List (130 Ideas)
Since you are an awesome parent, I guess you try to spend as much time as possible with your kids and their friends, right? Birthday parties, sleepovers, play dates; you do them all. In that case, I'm sure you're familiar how frustrated kids get when they are bored – and how easily things start to bore them. When that happens, it’s time to bring out the big guns. Charades offer an excellent distraction, and it is something you can enjoy as well. Adapting the game for kids of various ages is easy, just keep in mind that they won’t insist on the rules as much as you might. That’s perfectly ok; the purpose here is to keep them entertained and sociable.
Everyone enjoys a good game of charades!
Image courtesy of www.justjared.com
What Are Charades? And How To Play?
Even though we are quite sure that most of you are familiar with the concept of charades – chances are you played it yourself as a kid, and we are sure some of you enjoy a good game of charades even now – it bears repeating for those unfortunate parents that are unfamiliar with this magical way of entertaining kids.
Charades is a guessing game whose object is to successfully communicate a word or a phrase to the rest of your team by acting it out. Speaking and mouthing stuff is not allowed. Here is how it works. Players divide into teams and one person from the team has to act out a word or a phrase to the rest of their team. They have a limited amount of time to do so, however, and a certain level of prowess is needed to be a charades champ.
The opposing team members usually know the phrase that’s being acted out – it helps to keep things fair – but there are modified versions of the game where only the person acting it out knows it. This enables all players to have a go and cuts down on the wait. If you are playing with kids we recommend the later version; sometimes it’s simply impossible to explain a three-year-old that it is not their turn! Keeping score is simple. If your team guessed the phrase, you get a point.
The phrases are usually picked from categories familiar to all those participating. Movies, celebrities, songs, actions, and books are all allowed, but when playing with kids you will want to limit the categories to those you know will be familiar to them. In the past, the players would write down phrases on a piece of paper and then pull them out of a hat. Today, you don’t have to bother. Simply open up an online phrase generator, and you will have access to a bunch of charades ideas for kids!
Adapting Charades for Kids
If you are playing with children, consider the best ways you can adapt the game to them so they find it a worthwhile occupation and, what’s more important, fun. Playing with children under three years old is somewhat challenging; not all toddlers can understand the concept and you will have to really put in an effort for them to participate in a meaningful way. This is not to say that it is impossible. Some three-year-olds will be able to grasp the essence of the game if you keep the phrases limited to their favorite toys, cartoons, and TV shows. Most kids this age will get more of a kick out of trying to guess a phrase than acting it out, so be prepared to work hard at keeping the game going and keeping it fun for them.
Image courtesy of www.ogosport.com
Slightly older kids will be prepared to participate more actively. You will have to give them some leeway, however. Allowing for more time and letting them hint at the phrase if their team members are not the best at guessing works like a charm in preventing fits of rage and frustrated tantrums. Also, playing the ‘free for all’ style of the game is best suited for kids of all ages. They can divide into teams but if everyone gets a go you will cut down on moaning – he already went, it’s not her turn, you’re not on OUR team, that sort of moaning – significantly; plus, it’s more fun for everyone involved.
List of Ideas for Playing Charades
Image courtesy of itunes.apple.com
Cartoons and Cartoon Characters ideas
The best way to engage small kids with charades is to present them with an opportunity to act out their favorite cartoons and cartoon characters. Some of the more popular cartoons today are:
- Dora the Explorer
- Bob the Builder
- Ben Ten
- ALVINNN!!! and the Chipmunks
- The Adventures of Puss in Boots
- Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!
- Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales
- The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show
- Star vs. the Forces of Evil
- Transformers: Robots in Disguise
- Ultimate Spider-Man
- and the list goes on and on!
Kids TV Shows Ideas
You can expand on the categories by adding in TV shows as well. These work better for slightly older kids, ones that graduated from cartoons to educational kids’ shows.
- The Muppet Show
- Hannah Montana
- Sesame Street
- Signing Time
- The Aquabats! Super Show!
- How The States Got Their Shapes
- Sid the Science Kid
- Curious George
- Pee Wee’s Playhouse
- Whatever else your kids like to watch
Kids Movies Ideas
We all love to gather as a family and watch movies together. Here are some childrens movies you can use for your next game of charades. Often the kids are better at acting these out than their adult opposition!
- Monsters, Inc.
- Monsters Vs Aliens
- Wreck-It Ralph
- Finding Nemo
- Big Hero 6
- How to Train Your Dragon
- A Bug's Life
- Toy Story
- The Incredibles
- The Lion King
- Rio 2
- The Princess and the Frog
- The Muppet Movie
- Inside Out
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
- Peter Pan
- Lady and the Tramp
- The Jungle Book
- Sleeping Beauty
- Alice in Wonderland
- Beauty and the Beast
- The Little Mermaid
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame
- Lilo & Stitch
- Winnie the Pooh
- The Tigger Movie
- The Fox and the Hound
- The Good Dinosaur
- 101 Dalmatians
- Robin Hood
- Rise of the Guardians
- Penguins of Madagascar
- Flushed Away
- Kung Fu Panda
- Bee Movie
- Puss in Boots
Popular Kids’ Songs and Singers Ideas
Acting out videos of popular songs can be a lot of fun for certain kids, especially if they are musically inclined. If this is one of their predominating interests then by all means, include popular songs as a category. Just make sure that everyone playing is likely to know you top 10 picks!
- Taylor Swift
- Selena Gomez
- Katy Perry
- Demi Lovato
- Miley Cyrus
- Harry Styles
- Niall Horan
- Liam Payne
- Zayn Malik
- Justin Bieber
- Uptown Funk
- You Are My Sunshine
- Hot Dog!
- Chicken Dance
- Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Theme
Again, expand the list with anything that is currently popular, and the kids are listening to.
Kids’ Book Ideas
This is a category for kids in school – or those ‘brainiacs’ that are reading at the ripe age of five! This one can be tricky, however; not all kids read the same stuff and not all kids read, period. Use it when you are confident that everyone participating in the game has the habit of curling up with a good book.
- Harry Potter
- Charlotte's Web
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar
- The Secret Garden
- Pippi Longstocking
- Lord of the Rings
- Where the Wild Things Are
- The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
- The Princess Diaries
- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
- A Bear Called Paddington
- The BFG
- The Cat in the Hat
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid
- Fantastic Mr Fox
- The Gruffalo
- James and the Giant Peach
- Little Miss Sunshine
- The Lorax
- Mr. Tickle
- The Secret Garden
- A Series of Unfortunate Events
- The Tale of Peter Rabbit
- The Twits
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar
- Winnie the Pooh
As a side note, we wholeheartedly recommend you get your kids hooked on books by Terry Pratchett! They’ll thank you for it for the rest of their lives!
It’s Not All Fun and Games – Charades Are a Learning Opportunity
Charades are a great way for kids to learn and develop. Since kids learn best if we add an element of fun into the whole process, it is safe to say that charades will help them develop their communication and socialization skills.
If you insist on adhering to the rules – and are good at getting kids to follow your example – then this is a great opportunity to teach them discipline. Older kids are better at this, however, save yourself the time and the frustration and don’t try it on three-year-olds.
One of the most important benefits of charades is that it teaches children teamwork. They get to experience how quickly problems get solved if they cooperate and pull together. A game of charades is character building and a great way to teach kids how things work – or should work – in the world of grownups.
Printable Cards of Charades Ideas for Kids
You can download the ideas listed above in PDF format by clicking the links below. You can print them and cut them up to use for a physical game. If you'd prefer to go green, head to the next section!
- Download a printable list of songs & singers for kids charades
- Download a printable list of books for kids charades
- Download a printable list of movies for kids charades
- Download a printable list of TV shows for kids charades
- Download a printable list of cartoons & characters for kids charades
- Or, use our online kids charades ideas generator!
Charades for Kids Ideas Generator
If you would prefer to go green and use an online tool to come up with ideas to play charades with your kids, then use a generator like this one. It contains all of the ideas above, plus 100s more. One other useful feature is it reveals how many words are in each idea, ideal for younger children.
Now Go Play With Your Kids!
Charades are a source of great fun for the entire family and there is simply no reason not to adapt the game to kids. Charades ideas for kids of all ages are everywhere around you. Since we are certain that you know what makes your child tick, we imagine that you won’t have any problems coming up with them. If you hit a snag, you can always turn to this generator which includes 100s of ideas there. The important thing to keep in mind is that kids put fun first, so make sure that you deliver on that promise!
Have any more ideas to be added, or any feedback and suggestions on this piece? Please get in touch here. We're looking forward to hearing from you.