Resources > Charades Ideas for Kids of All Ages - 240 Ideas (Updated 2021)

Charades Ideas for Kids of All Ages - 240 Ideas (Updated 2021)

By Ciarán.

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.

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Everyone enjoys a good game of charades at Christmas!

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Table of Contents

  1. What Are Charades? And How To Play?
  2. Adapting Charades for Kids
  3. List of Ideas for Playing Charades
  4. Kids Actions Ideas
  5. Animal Ideas
  6. Cartoon Character Ideas
  7. Cartoon and TV Show Ideas
  8. Movie Ideas
  9. Songs and Singer Ideas
  10. Book Ideas
  11. Video Games Ideas
  12. It's not All Fun and Games
  13. Printable Cards of Charades Ideas
  14. Charades for Kids Ideas Generator

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!

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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.

Kids playing charades

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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 any complaints – he already went, it’s not her turn, you’re not on OUR team, these sort of complaints – significantly; plus, it’s more fun for everyone involved.

List of Ideas for Playing Charades

Kids Actions ideas

This is more for the younger age group. Depending on the action, young kids should be able to pick up on these quite quickly! If you would like a full list of action ideas, you can check out our article on Charades Action Ideas.

  • Sleeping
  • Yawning
  • Brushing teeth
  • Running
  • Drinking
  • Eating
  • Listening
  • Smelling
  • Shaving
  • Washing
  • Driving
  • Thinking
  • Calling someone on the phone
  • Watching TV
  • Swimming
  • Stretching
  • Jumping
  • Cutting hair
  • Looking through binoculars
  • Reading a book

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Animal ideas

Again, this is more directed at younger children, but only if you use very common animals! If you would like a full list of animal ideas you can have a look at our article on Charades Animal Ideas.

  • Lion
  • Dog
  • Cat
  • Pig
  • Elephant
  • Tiger
  • Mouse
  • Cow
  • Sheep
  • Horse
  • Giraffe
  • Monkey
  • Chicken
  • Duck
  • Seal
  • Bee
  • Parrot
  • Gorilla
  • Snake
  • Shark

Cartoon Character ideas

One of the best ways to engage small kids with charades is to present them with an opportunity to act out their favorite cartoon characters. These work better for older kids that can move on from actions and animals.

  • Dora the Explorer
  • Bob the Builder
  • Ben Ten
  • Puss in Boots
  • Scooby-Doo
  • Spider-Man
  • Peppa Pig
  • Bugs Bunny
  • Mickey Mouse
  • Daffy Duck
  • Popeye
  • Charlie Brown
  • Donald Duck
  • SpongeBob
  • Patrick Star
  • Shaggy
  • Tom Cat
  • Elmer Fudd
  • Snoopy
  • Fred Flintstone
  • Jerry Mouse
  • Tweety Bird
  • Porky Pig
  • Woody Woodpecker
  • Yogi Bear
  • Buzz Lightyear
  • Woody
  • Tasmanian Devil
  • Goofy
  • Angelica Pickles
  • Tommy Pickles

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Kids Cartoons and TV Shows Ideas

Your child's favourite characters have to come from somewhere right? Some cartoons and TV shows your child might know are:

  • The Muppet Show
  • Hannah Montana
  • Sesame Street
  • Jessie
  • Signing Time
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks
  • Transformers
  • The Aquabats! Super Show!
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars
  • The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show
  • How The States Got Their Shapes
  • Sid the Science Kid
  • Clangers
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil
  • Curious George
  • Pee Wee’s Playhouse
  • Ask the StoryBots
  • Beat Bugs
  • Paw Patrol
  • Invader Zim
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Shimmer and Shine
  • Anamaniacs
  • Search and Explore
  • Timmy Time
  • Word Party
  • The Stinky and Dirty Show
  • Hey Arnold
  • Dexter's Laboratory
  • Rugrats
  • Jackie Chan Adventures
  • Teen Titans Go!

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!

  • Frozen
  • Monsters, Inc.
  • Monsters Vs Aliens
  • Tomorrowland
  • Wreck-It Ralph
  • Cars
  • Finding Nemo
  • Brave
  • Big Hero 6
  • Bolt
  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • Shrek
  • Wall-E
  • A Bug's Life
  • Ratatouille
  • Up
  • Toy Story
  • The Incredibles
  • The Lion King
  • Rio
  • Rio 2
  • Aladdin
  • The Princess and the Frog
  • The Muppet Movie
  • Tangled
  • Maleficent
  • Inside Out
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Peter Pan
  • Lady and the Tramp
  • The Jungle Book
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Tarzan
  • Pocahontas
  • Mulan
  • Cinderella
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • The Little Mermaid
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Hercules
  • Lilo & Stitch
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • The Tigger Movie
  • Dumbo
  • Bambi
  • The Fox and the Hound
  • Frankenweenie
  • The Good Dinosaur
  • 101 Dalmatians
  • Robin Hood
  • Pinnochio
  • Rise of the Guardians
  • Penguins of Madagascar
  • Flushed Away
  • Kung Fu Panda
  • Madagascar
  • Turbo
  • Bee Movie
  • Puss in Boots
  • Megamind
  • Epic
  • Moana
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Spies in Disguise
  • Smallfoot

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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 your top 10 picks!

  • Taylor Swift
  • Selena Gomez
  • Katy Perry
  • Demi Lovato
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Harry Styles
  • Niall Horan
  • Liam Payne
  • Zayn Malik
  • Justin Bieber
  • Ariana Grande
  • Stitches
  • Uptown Funk
  • You Are My Sunshine
  • Hot Dog!
  • Chicken Dance
  • Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Theme
  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
  • The Ants Go Marching
  • Five Little Ducks
  • 7 Rings
  • Gangnam Style
  • Drivers License

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 and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Charlotte's Web
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  • The Secret Garden
  • Inkheart
  • Pippi Longstocking
  • The Snowy Day
  • Where the Wild Things Are
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: 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
  • Matilda
  • Mr. Tickle
  • Code Name Bananas
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit
  • The Twits
  • Green Eggs and Ham
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • The Hunger Games
  • Goodnight Moon
  • Anne of Green Gables
  • The Ickabog

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!

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Kids Video Games Ideas

Video games can be a big part of a child's life nowadays - if you want to try and coax them off the screen for a while, why not try using their favourite games? If you'd like more gaming ideas, you can check out our article on Video Game Ideas for charades.

  • Mario Kart
  • Minecraft
  • Animal Crossing
  • Super Mario
  • Marvel's Avengers
  • Team Sonic Racing
  • Tetris
  • Plants Vs Zombies
  • The Sims
  • Pokémon
  • Final Fantasy VIII
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Ratchet and Clank
  • Kingdom Hearts III
  • Untitled Goose Game

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.

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Printable Cards of Charades Ideas for Kids

You can download our printable list of kids charades ideas by clicking the link below, while our full range of printables are available here - have fun! Or if you'd prefer to go green, head to the next section!

Printable Charades Cards

100s of charades cards ready to print. Free and paid options available to support this site :)

View Printable Charades

Or use our online 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.

Generate Charades Ideas for Kids Now!

Charades Ideas Generator for Kids

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.

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