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Charades is a fun game which most people know how to play. But just in case, here are the rules, plus lots of ideas for themes or word lists.

How to Play Charades


You will need to start wit a list of words or phrases. See below for lists which are ready for you to use. If your meeting has a theme, you can choose phrases related to that theme. Have each word or phrase printed on a slip of paper.

Alternatively, you can have each player write a common word or phrase on a slip of paper and use those. You have to be a little careful of this approach with youth though. Some may submit impossible or even inappropriate ideas.


  • Your words or phrases on slips of paper
  • A container to draw the slips of paper from
  • A 2 minute timer
  • A way to keep score, such as a pencil and paper

How to Play Charades

  1. Divide the group into two or more teams.
  2. Choose a person from one of the teams to go first. He or she draws a slip of paper with a phrase.
  3. Start the timer.
  4. The player uses actions only to act out all or part of the phrase to their team. These are common actions the actor can use:
    • To indicate how many words, hold up that number of fingers.
    • After indicating how many words, hold up one finger to indicate the first word, two for the second, etc.
    • To indicate that the word sounds like what is being show, tug your ear.
    • To indicate that it is a book, open your hands in front of you like a book.
    • To indicate a song, cup your hands in front of your mouth
    • To indicate a movie, pretend to turn a crank.
    • If someone guesses part of the phrase correctly, point at him or her.
  5. If the team guesses the phrase correctly before time runs out, they get a point.
  6. The next team takes a turn using a new word or phrase.
  7. Each team should have an equal number of turns.
  8. The team with the most points at the end wins.

Suggested Themed Lists for Charades

Use just one of these or combine them. After you cut them up, you can remove any which you think will be too difficult for your group.

More Resources

Talent Comm Game A Talents Game
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Talent Comm – A Talent Game

Talent Comm is a talent game which lets players interact based on their personal gifts for communication. Some people communicate through words, others through pictures, and others through actions.


This is like charades with drawing instead of acting. This version has multiple teams playing at once to keep everyone engages, but you can also play with only one team guessing.

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