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Family Games: Charades

What's Your Sign?

It is important that all players involved know certain hand signals.

  • Movies: Use one hand to shade your eyes and the other to pretend you're winding the film of a camera—squint one eye as though you're looking through a viewfinder.
  • Book: Hold your palms together as though in prayer and open and close them as you would a book.
  • TV show: With your finger in the air, draw an imaginary square in the air. Some people indicate that it's a TV show, by pretending to point a remote control.
  • Quote or phrase: Make quotation marks in the air with your fingers.
  • One finger means first word: Once everyone says “first word,” you can start acting out the word. If no one is getting it, you can act out the first syllable.
  • Syllables: First indicate how many syllables are in the word by laying the like number of fingers across your forearm—so if the word has two syllables, lay two fingers on your forearm. When everyone says “two syllables” indicate that you will act out the first syllable first by then laying one finger on your forearm.
  • Length of word: Make a little or big sign using your two hands (like you're measuring a fish).
  • Sounds like: Cup one hand behind an ear. This means that you will act out a word that rhymes wit


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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Family Games © 2002 by BookEnds, LLC. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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