Charades for Kids – Rules and Ideas

I am sure that everyone reading this already knows what charades is. You wouldn’t have found us otherwise! Charades for kids though is a very different beast. The mayhem and chaos goes to a new level. But if you need a game that can entertain your kids and their playmate for hours then charades is the game that you are looking for.


How to Play Charades?

You will need to prcharades for kidsepare some material:

  • A timer or a stopwatch. You can use your phone for this.
  • Pre-cut blank slips of paper for making an improvise charades card. 
  • A notepad for scorekeeping.
  • Two baskets, hats or any container for the filled up slips.

After you prepared the materials, follow the steps below:

Step 1 – Pick Teams

Divide the kids into teams. Ideally, each team need to have at least six members each.  If you cannot satisfy this number, just make sure that each team has the same number of team members.

Step 2 – Prepare the Clues

Put the two teams in two separate rooms and give them equal number of blank strips. Each team will write phrases or words on the blank strips of paper. You can involve the parents to guide the kids and make sure what they are including is manageable for the age group of the players. 

You can suggest favorite movies, cartoon character, television shcharades preparationows, superheroes, songs. Anything goes, but it will help to set some general rules on what to write on the strips of paper. Here’s some example of the rules that you may want to consider:

  • Set the maximum number of words that’s allowable. It could be seven words or two or three, depending on the age of the children.
  • Make sure that no foreign words.
  • Names that are not familiar to the kids should be excluded. Family members of a player is an example of this where others in the group may have no idea who that person is. 

As much as possible use super popular names that any kid would know; Harry Potter, Frodo… you get the idea. 

If you are working with young children, it is best to show them some examples, or prepare some charades cards that the children can readily use.  For young children, you may be better off having all prepared picture cards for the game.

Step 3 – Fill the Containers

After the topics have been decided, place them all inside the designated containers. Label each container if needed, or color code it to avoid any confusion.

It is important to remember that each team has to have the same number of topics to choose from.

Step 4 – Show Examcharades demo for kidsples and Practice until Ready

Now that you have all the materials ready – charade cards, timer, and notepad, you and the kids need to actually to review hand gestures commonly used in playing charades.

If this is the first time the children are playing, it is best to show them how to use hand gestures in charades. Give examples if necessary.

Common Charades Hand Gestures: 


  • Song – Pretend to hold a microphone and mouth the words to a song. 
  • TV show – Draw a TV shaped box in the air. 
  • Book – Open both palms up as if you are holding and reading a book.
  • Movies – Imitate a camera man holding, and cranking, an old fashion movie camera.
  • Place or location – Draw a circle on your palm and point on it as if you are pointing to a specific location.
  • Person – For non-specific person such as a teacher, doctor, fireman and even a witch. The actor just needs to stand properly and put his or her hands on the hips.

Words and Syllables

  • How many words Hold up how many words there are using your fingers.
  • Choosing the word to mime – With your total word fingers still raised, point to the finger in order that you would like to target. For example, if you have a three letter word and want to act out the second word, you would hold the finger in the middle.
  • Big word – Hold up the thumb and index finger and spread them apart as far as you can.
  • Small word – Hold up the thumb and index finger as close as possible to each other without the fingers touching each other.
  • Sounds like This means that the word that the actor is about to act sounds like a more common word. There are two common ways to do this. First, you can tug your earlobe or cup your whole ear.
  • Stop – Sometimes, actors just want to the players to stop guessing and to start acting out another part of the phrase. To signal the other players, the actor needs to put his or her both hands up with palms facing all the players.

Check out the video below for a demonstration for some of the most common hand gestures:

General Rules for Playing Charades

  • No blurting out of words or giving silent clues by doing lip movement.
  • Acting out or pantomiming similar sounding words is allowed.
  • Set up how long each kid can act out a phrase or word. It can be anywhere between 3-5 minutes.
  • Each member of the team needs to be given the chance to act out a topic or word. No member is allowed to act out twice unless all members of the team had the chance to act out. If there are still any remaining charades cards, you need to start from the beginning again, but don’t be too rigid here. Its just a game… 
  • Every actor is allowed to act each phrase with any gestures that they like.
  • Decide on a signal to make when a member of the team guessed the words.
  • Avoid making any unnecessary noise such as booing, clapping or whistling.
  • The guessers of the team are allowed to ask the actor but the actor can only confirm “yes” or “no” by nodding. Any blurting of words means automatic disqualification and the team loses a point.
  • An equal number of charades card for each team is necessary.
  • The actor cannot tell the other members of the team what is written on the charade cards.

Some Easy Charades Ideas for Kids

You can mix things up between either words, or picture, depending on the age of your players. Younger kids may find it easier and more fun to just use pictures. 

Easy Object Pictures

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child charades ideas dog flower charades ideas for children kids charades clock

Easy Action Pictures

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Emotion Words














Animal Words

















Kids Movies and Characters

Harry Potter

Captain America


Iron Man

The Lord of the Rings

The Hobbit


Alice in Wonderland

The Angry Birds


Doctor Strange

Finding Dory



Finding Nemo

Beauty and the Beast

Have Fun!

The possibilities for charades are endless. Of course, it is best to use words and phrases that are appropriate for the child’s age. You don’t want to have a dozen kids that are frustrated because they cannot guess a single word. Remember that the game charades needs to be entertaining, fun and educational at the same time.