Charades is a word-guessing game that's acted out in pantomime by players at parties or other gatherings.
Step 1: Review common charades gestures. Cranking an old-time movie camera means the answer will be a film title. Making a rectangle with your thumbs and index fingers indicates a TV show. Holding up fingers indicates number of words; laying fingers on your arm indicates syllables in a word; and tugging on your ear means ''sounds like.''
TIP: Remember, the person acting out the charade can't speak or make any kind of sound, and can't point at objects or people in the room to give clues.
Step 2: Pick a neutral player to keep score and time the charade rounds, using a stopwatch, a timer, or a watch with a second hand.
Step 3: Break into separate rooms by team to write down a charade phrase, title, or subject on a given number of index cards. Each team folds up an equal number of cards and puts them in their basket or bowl.
TIP: Charade subjects may be phrases, quotes, titles, or the name of a famous person.
Step 4: Choose a member of your team to stand up in front of the group and act out the answer.
Step 5: Each team rolls a die. The team with the highest roll goes first, and that team's actor draws a folded index card from the other team's basket or bowl. Give the actor a minute to review the charade phrase before timing begins.
Step 6: The player acts out the first syllable or word on the card for their teammates. When a player on the team guesses correctly, the actor indicates to their team that they are correct by placing their index finger on their nose. Then they move to the next word until their team guesses the right answer or runs out of time.
Step 7: Alternate teams when the timekeeper indicates the round is over. The timekeeper marks one point per correctly guessed charade per round. The first team to reach 10 points wins!
FACT: In 1800s England, charades was popular among the rich and famous, including authors Charlotte Bronte and H.G. Wells.