Fourth of July word list

Happy Fourth of July! Whether your weekend plans include barbeques, family reunions, or fireworks (or all three), maybe you’d like to celebrate Independence day with a good game of pictionary, catchphrase, or charades. To help, I’ve created a printable Fourth of July word list! Just click the link below, print out the list, cut along the dotted lines, and enjoy! The first page contains more common, easy words, while the second page contains some harder words.

Also, I’ve added the word list to my word generator if you’d rather access the words online than print and cut them out. Just choose “Holidays” for the game and “Fourth of July” for the category. Watch for more holiday word lists coming soon!

Use the words for whichever game you want! Hope you have fun, and happy Independence Day!

Printable-markerFourth of July Pictionary Word List

Paper telephone

What it is: A funny variation of telephone, played on paper instead of out loud. It’s a great game for creative teens or adults and can be quite entertaining. It’s always been a favorite among my family and friends.

Best for: Group of about 6 to 10.

What you need: Each player will need a piece of paper and a pencil or pen to write/draw with.

How to play: First set up the game by sitting all of your players in a circle indoors. This game might be hard to play around a table because each player needs to keep their paper secret from their neighbors, so playing in a living room on couches and chairs works great.

Then hand out paper and writing utensils to all the players. Have everyone write his or her name in small print at the bottom right of the page.

Everyone starts by writing a sentence at the top of his or her paper. It can be something random, true, abstract, from a song lyric, or about someone in the room. Here are some examples:

  • The kids all danced around the large oak tree.
  • The dog chased the carefree butterflies to the end of the rainbow.
  • If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gumdrops, oh what a world it would be!
  • Ted can’t find the right shoes to wear to prom.

Once everyone has a sentence at the top of his or her paper, everyone passes their paper to the player to their right.

Then everyone illustrates the sentence give to them with a small picture right underneath the sentence. So, for example, if Mary were given the sentence “The kids all danced around the large oak tree,” she might draw something like this:

Once everyone has finished drawing their sentences, everyone folds the top part of the paper over so it covers the first sentence, but not the picture. Then again, everyone passes their papers to the right.

Now everyone receives a paper with just a drawing visible, and everyone writes the sentence that presumably could have led to that picture (usually with some humor thrown in). For example, Bob, given the above picture, might write this sentence underneath: “Once there was a family of tree huggers.” Then everyone folds over their paper so only the last sentence is visible and passes the paper to the right.

And that’s basically how the game works. Everyone continues alternately writing sentences and drawing pictures, always covering up everything but the latest sentence or picture and passing to the right. Continue writing and drawing until you run out of room, or until everyone gets his or her paper back (that’s why you wrote names at the bottom at the beginning).

After everyone’s done writing and drawing, everyone unfolds the paper he or she has and begins to read and laugh at all the sentences and drawings, especially how in the world the first sentence turned into the last one. Then you can go around the circle one by one as everyone reads a paper out loud, or you can just pass them around so everyone can see the drawings clearly.

And then play another round!

Strategies: Really, the point of the game is to evoke laughter, so good strategies include being creative and off-the-wall with your sentences and pictures. Oh, and don’t worry, no artistic talent is required. It’s always kind of funny (or against the rules, depending on your viewpoint) when someone writes a sentence about a picture and throws in something that wasn’t there before, just to heighten the random factor. And when we play, most papers inevitably end up about people in the room, even if they don’t start out that way.

Example game

This game might be hard to visualize if you’ve never played it before, so here’s an example from a real-live game, to show you how one sentence can turn into a picture that can turn into a totally new sentence and on and on:

The kids all danced around the large oak tree.

Once there was a family of tree huggers.

After watching Fern Gully, Mrs. Mullen’s fourth grade class hurried out to the playground for a live reenactment.

The boys saw a picture of a girl and ran frantically to the park.

Many thanks to my sister and cousins for letting me use their artwork. :)

Going on a picnic

What it is: A talking, guessing game, similar to green glass doors, but players think of their own rules rather than following the secret green glass door rule.

Best for: 2 to 8 players.

What you need: Nothing!

How to play: Similar to green glass doors, players try to discover what can be taken on a hypothetical picnic. One player starts by thinking of a rule for things that can go on the picnic; the other players try to guess the rule.

Say Julie and Todd are playing. Julie starts by thinking of a rule of things that can and can’t go on the picnic. The rule can be as complex or as simple as she likes. It can have to do with any attribute (color, shape, size, even the number of letters used to spell the name of the object). Here are some example rules Julie could choose:

  • Only yellow things can go on the picnic (bananas, the sun, dandelions, etc.).
  • Only things you can eat can go on the picnic (apples, oranges, pancakes).
  • Only things bigger than a person can go on the picnic (elephants, houses, the moon).
  • Only things that are spelled with five letters can go on the picnic (apple, grass, honey).

The rules could be even more complicated and relate to the person trying to go on the picnic, like these rules:

  • I can only bring items on the picnic that start with the same letter as my first name (so Julie could bring jam to the picnic, but Todd couldn’t, though he could bring a truck).
  • I can only bring items on the picnic that start with the same letter as the first name of the person sitting to my right (yeah, that one can get really complicated to figure out).

The player thinking of the rule can use his or her imagination and come up with something as complicated or as sneaky as they want; the point of the game is to keep the other players from guessing the rule.

Let’s say Julie picks the rule that only yellow things can go on the picnic. Once she has the rule, she starts the game by declaring something she’s bringing on the picnic. For example, she’d say:

“I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing bananas, and I can go.”

Then it’s Todd’s turn to guess something that he can bring on the picnic. He might say, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing apples?” Then Julie would shake her head sadly and say, “You can’t go.”

Play would continue, with Julie and Todd taking turns. Julie would usually say things that she could bring to the picnic, but she could give Todd some examples of things she can’t bring, too. Todd keeps guessing until he’s figured out the rule. Then it can be Todd’s turn to think of a new rule for Julie to guess.

It’s a great, entertaining game for long car trips or killing time. Since the rule changes with each round, it doesn’t get boring easily. And the level of difficulty can be easily adapted—just choose easier rules for younger kids and harder rules for older kids.

Variations: This game is a more adaptable variation of green glass doors.


What it is: A commercial game by Hasbro, but you can also play your own version without buying it at the store. It’s a talking guessing game, good for lots of people.

What you need: Words to guess (either written down on strips of paper, or perhaps generated by a handy online word generator someone made) and a timer.

How to play: The point of the game is to get your team members to guess the target word by explaining the word to them out loud. The trick is, you can’t say the word (or any variant of the word) or you lose the round.

So to start, prepare a bunch of words or phrases on slips of paper (see below for some pre-made printable word lists, or use my online word generator). You could divide these into categories (famous people, foods, sports, household items, animals) or just mix them all together.

Put your papers into a bowl or hat and then situate all your players. Divide everyone up into two teams and have everyone sit in a circle, alternating members from each team (if you can find a way to divide teams like boys versus girls, then it’s good because it’s very easy to remember who’s on your team).

Choose one player, like Marty, to start. Marty takes the bowl of words, draws one, and immediately starts to describe it while at the same time someone starts the timer (for as much time as you all choose). As soon as Marty starts describing, his team members can start shouting out guesses (while the opposing team stays silent/watches the timer). Marty can say anything as long as it’s not the word written on the paper or any variant of the word. (The opposing team members sitting next to Marty can look over his shoulder and make sure he doesn’t say any words he’s not allowed to.)

Say Marty’s first word is baseball bat.

He could say:

“A long wooden thing you use to play a sport!”

However, he could not say:

“A long wooden thing you use to play baseball!”

Or even:

“A long wooden thing you use to hit a ball!”

Because he can’t say any variant of anything written on the slip of paper. Marty could get creative, though, and say something like:

“The mammal that has wings and is black and flies around at night eating insects!”

And when his team members shout, “bat!” he could say:

“Okay, that same word, but used to describe something long and wooden you use in a sport!”

As Marty’s team members guess, he can provide feedback and keep talking, as long as he doesn’t say any word on the paper.

Speed is definitely the key, because Marty’s goal is to get through as many words as he can before the timer runs out. Each word his team guesses correctly gets them a point. When the timer runs out, pass the bowl to the next person in the circle, and they get a turn to draw words and describe them while their team guesses. Play moves like this around the circle, with lots of describing and shouting out answers involved. It’s a lot of fun. :)

The team with the most points in the end wins. You can have players just save their papers until the end to count points, or have someone write down the score after each round, for those players who like to know they’re winning (or not).

Strategies: Since speed is so important in this game, the faster you can give hints that will help your team members guess, the better. Well-known phrases or song lyrics are great, for instance. For example, if the word were snowman, instead of saying: “Something kids build in the winter that’s in the shape of a human…” you could just shout: “Frosty the…” and everyone would (hopefully) immediately shout “Snowman!”

Variations: You can choose to allow or prohibit skipping words (say if you draw one that’s just way too hard to describe or a word you don’t know the definition of). If you’re playing with younger players, maybe skipping passing is a good idea. But if you’re hardcore, maybe it’s not.

Also, you could play with a shorter time limit (maybe 10 seconds or so) and let each player describe only one word per turn. If they guess it, great; the turn ends, the team gets a point, and it’s the next players turn. If they don’t, too bad; no points for them that round. Just experiment to find out the best time limit for your group.

One fun rule to make it more challenging is to try to get people to guess the word by saying as few words as possible, like one or two. You could get more points the fewer words you used, if you really wanted to keep score.

Oh, and once I was playing catchphrase with my family and it was getting a little easy, so my sister suggested that each person had to use a random pre-selected word in each clue. The word we chose was “banana.” So, for example, if the word was baseball bat, we’d say something like, “This is kind of shaped like a banana in that it’s long and skinny…” Or if the word were tiptoe, we’d say something like “If you’re in a room with a lot of banana peels all over the floor, you might walk like this.” It was a kind of fun way to keep the game interesting, creative, challenging, and a little silly.

Printables: For your catchprase-playing pleasure, here are some ready-to-go word lists for you! Just click a list to open it, print it out, and then cut along the lines to create pre-made paper word slips. Or, for an even bigger list of words, check out my online game word generator, perfect if you’re playing with a laptop, iPod, or iPad handy.

Printable-markerCatchphrase Word List – Easy Words

Printable-markerCatchphrase Word List – Easy Words 2

Printable-markerCatchphrase Word List – Medium Words

Printable-markerCatchphrase Word List – Hard Words

Printable-markerCatchphrase Word List – Animals

Printable-markerCatchphrase Word List – Food

Printable-markerCatchphrase Word List – Household Items

Printable-markerCatchphrase Words – People

Printable-markerCatchphrase Words – Travel

Hopefully these word lists help you out, but if you like playing catchphrase, I’d recommend buying the electronic version of the real game. It’s a lot easier to play and keep score, and it has a ton of words. It makes the game a lot more fun. (And if you buy through that link, you’ll help support the Game Gal :))

Introducing the word generator!

Now I’d like to introduce a new feature of my blog that I’m really excited about:

That’s right, a word generator for games! I think that people have found the word lists in the Pictionary post helpful, so I thought it would be neat to make longer word lists. And now with the help of a very tech-savy husband, the Game Gal has a generator that will give you these words to play games like pictionary, catchphrase, or charades. Just choose which game you’re playing and a category word list, click “New Word,” and voila! The word generator will give you one word at a time to act out, draw, or guess. Head on over and check it out!

Click here to go to the game word generator

You can use the word generator on a computer, laptop, iPad, or iPod as you play games like pictionary, catchphrase, or charades. Give it a try! And I’d love to hear how it goes—let me know in a comment what works for you and what doesn’t.

Happy playing!