Charades Word Lists for Kids

, M.Ed. English Education
Updated January 25, 2021

Having word lists available while playing charades will reduce the time it takes for kids to think of topics on their own and you can make sure the list is tailored to the age of the children. You can either give the children a list of items, words or phrases or help them brainstorm categories and words before they begin playing.

Word Lists for Charades

When making a word list for charades, it is best to think of some broad categories or themes and fill in age-appropriate words from there. Kids of all ages can enjoy a fun game of charades, but younger children might get frustrated if the words are too hard. The following categories contain lists of words that are ideal to use as inspiration for all age groups.


Making a list of words or phrases that reflect a specific activity is not only fun, but can also be simple for younger kids to act out. The following are some examples of activities that work well for charades:

  • Brushing teeth
  • Building a sandcastle
  • Dancing
  • Driving a car
  • Opening a gift
  • Playing baseball
  • Shoveling snow
  • Swimming
  • Skateboarding
  • Tying a shoe
  • Walking a dog
  • Yoga

Animals and Insects

Animals and insects are fun categories for charades. You can make a list of animals and insects that can cause some laughs and are easy to act out. Some examples to consider include:

  • Bumblebee
  • Bird
  • Cat
  • Cow
  • Dog
  • Fish
  • Giraffe
  • Horse
  • Monkey
  • Rabbit
  • Spider
  • Snake


Books are a good route to go down when making a charades word list for children. Just make sure that the title is easy to act out for the age group and the book is well-known among the children. Some ideas to consider for book titles are:

  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
  • Angelina Ballerina
  • Captain Underpants
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid
  • Elephant and Piggie
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  • Holes
  • Princess Cupcake Jones and the Missing Tutu
  • The Cat in the Hat
  • The Giving Tree
  • The Gruffalo
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  • Where the Wild Things Are

Fairy Tales

Adding in some fairy tales to the game of charades can be exciting for younger kids. Below are some popular fairy tales to add to your word list:

  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Chicken Little
  • Cinderella
  • Goldilocks and The Three Bears
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • Rapunzel
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • The Boy Who Cried Wolf
  • The Emperor's New Clothes

Famous Figures

Depending on the age of children, adding in a list of famous figures, dead or alive, can make the game a little more interesting. The following are some famous people to consider:

  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Albert Einstein
  • Amelia Earhart
  • Barack Obama
  • George Washington
  • Isaac Newton
  • Neil Armstrong
  • Vincent van Gogh

Famous Places

Adding some famous places to your charade list can take the game to the next level. This category is definitely more suitable for older children. Some locations to include are:

  • Buckingham Palace
  • Eiffel Tower
  • Grand Canyon
  • Great Wall of China
  • Mount Everest
  • Mount Rushmore
  • Niagra Falls
  • Seattle Space Needle
  • Smokey Mountains
  • Statue of Liberty


Children of all ages can enjoy acting out a favorite food. Foods that are easy to demonstrate by eating a certain way are great to add to the list. Some ideas of foods to include in your word list are:

  • Banana
  • Bubblegum
  • French fries
  • Ice cream cone
  • Jello
  • Pizza
  • Popcorn
  • Sandwich
  • Spaghetti
  • Taco


Movie titles are another fun idea to consider for charades. Kids of all ages can enjoy acting out the title to a favorite or well-known movie. Some examples to consider are:

  • Babe
  • Bambi
  • Boss Baby
  • Cats and Dogs
  • Finding Nemo
  • Frozen
  • Home
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • Moana
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Spiderman
  • Superman
  • The Karate Kid
  • The Jungle Book
  • The Lego Movie
  • The Lion King
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Toy Story

Songs and Singers

Kids are sure to have a blast acting out a favorite song or pretending to be a singer. The following are some ideas to consider for songs and singers:

  • Bruno Mars
  • Justin Bieber
  • Katy Perry
  • Michael Jackson
  • Rihanna
  • Taylor Swift
  • Can't Stop the Feeling
  • Let it Go
  • Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
  • You are My Sunshine

Sports and Players

An easy category for kids of all ages is sports. If you want to make it more challenging add in some famous athletes:

  • Archery
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Skiing
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Serena Williams
  • Michael Jordan
  • Babe Ruth
  • Usain Bolt

Television Shows

Kids can have fun acting out a favorite TV show or character. Make sure you use a list of shows that are known by most kids and are not difficult to act out. Some ideas include:

  • American Idol
  • Bob the Builder
  • Curious George
  • Dora the Explorer
  • Go, Diego, Go
  • Lab Rats
  • Liv and Maddie
  • Sid the Science Kid
  • Spongebob Squarepants
  • The Wiggles


Before playing, giving each child the chance to write down ideas for each category (movies, television, books, music, etc.) will get them excited for the game. Another benefit to having younger children brainstorm the word list is that they will more easily remember the words. Remember to keep the charades ones that are fairly easy to act out and are well known. Anything too unusual will be difficult to act out and guess and the kids might become bored or frustrated.


How To Play

Once you get a good list of words, playing the game is quite simple. Divide into teams to make it more competitive, or just take turns. One person picks a word or phrase (from those you just wrote down) to act out and the other players guess what they are acting.

As you can't speak, there are actions to mime that will give some clues. If the word or phrase is a book, put your hands together and unfold them like opening a book. To indicate a person, stand up with your hands on your hips. For a song, pretend to sing. For a movie, turn you hand in front of your face like operating an old-fashioned camera. For a TV show, draw a rectangle with your fingers. If it's a phrase hold up fingers to show the number of words. Put your finger and thumb close together to indicate a small word like "a" or "the;" move them far apart for a very long word. Touch you ear to indicate the word sounds like another, easier-to-act-out word.

Some examples of some easy charades to act out are:

  • Banana: the child can stand up and show it is a food by putting their hand towards their mouth. Next, they can pretend to peel down the sides of a banana then take an imaginary bite.
  • Swim: the child can use arm motions to mimic that of swimming strokes. They can also make a splashing motion to show water or waves.
  • Superman: the child can stand up with their hands on their hips to show it is a person. Then, they can put their hands out in front of them in a flying position. They can also make the letter "S" in the air or on their chest.

More Charades Lists and Game Ideas

Move on to harder lists of charades clues for older kids or adults with our challenging charades word lists. You can also get into the holiday spirit with our Christmas charades ideas including a printable word list.

Once you've had your fill of charades, have more word fun using our hard, but fun, hangman word lists or pictionary words for all ages.