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Telephone charades

What it is: Just what it sounds like: a cross between the game telephone and the game charades!

Best for: Group of about 5 to 8 people.

What you need: You’ll need actions or events to act out, whether they’re ones that you think up on the spot or have written down ahead of time (see the charades post or the word generator for some lists of things you can act out, or the end of this post for some printables). You’ll also need to play somewhere indoors with an enclosed room that players can leave.

How to play: First, choose a player to start the acting—we’ll call him Tyler. He goes first. Then the rest of the players choose a pre-defined order. Silently to himself, Tyler thinks of an event or action to act out (or draws one from a bowl or something). Say it’s capturing a wild snake. He doesn’t tell anyone what his action is. Then everyone leaves the room except for the next person in line, like Shannon.

Tyler silently acts out the action for Shannon while she watches. But while Tyler is thinking he’s acting out this:

Shannon might see something like this:

She’s not allowed to ask questions or guess or talk; she can only watch. After Tyler’s done or a predetermined time has passed, Tyler sits in the room and vows to stay silent (or leaves, if he doesn’t have enough willpower). Then the next player, Jill, enters. Shannon then acts out for Jill. But while Shannon’s thinking she’s acting out this:

Jill might see this:

As you can imagine, the actions change more and more with each step.

At the end, the last person, like Bill, has to guess what he thinks the event is, and then you can all laugh at how different it was from the original idea. And everyone in the middle can say what they thought the action was, too. You don’t really keep score or anything; just play for fun. So pick someone new to be the first person and start a new round!

Variations: If the game feels too slow or easy for you, you could set up a speed version where players only get 10 seconds or so to act out for the next person in line. That could increase the difficulty (and hilarity). You could also set up a sheet or a blocked off corner of the room so players don’t have to actually leave the room, just run behind the sheet, also making the game move a little faster. And for other acting games that are maybe a little less quiet and slow, check out charades, celebrities, and in the manner of the adverb.

Printables: I think this game would work best when played with specific actions, like the example capturing a wild snake. Or it would probably work well with harder charades words, as long as they weren’t too easy. So included below is the hard words list from the charades post, as well as a new list I made of actions. Try playing with either! And for more printable word lists, check out the charades post, or use my online word generator for word lists on the computer – or download the free app for electronic word lists on the go! I added the new actions list to the word generator, too, under the game “Charades.” Happy playing!

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3 Comments

  1. Serene replied:

    I like this website!! I’m trying to pick out some ideas for a Sunday School. And “The Game Gal” has made everything so much easier for me! Thank you!

    November 24th, 2013 at 6:35 pm. Permalink.

  2. The Game Gal replied:

    Thanks Serene! I’m so glad to help. Hope your Sunday School games go well!

    November 25th, 2013 at 8:20 am. Permalink.

  3. Sara replied:

    I love this game played it st my little sisters (14 years) birthday party and she loved it telephone charades is awesome

    December 22nd, 2013 at 1:19 am. Permalink.

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