This week’s activity is an old favorite of many parties: charades! Now, despite the fact that charades is mostly a physical acting activity, the actual choosing and reading of the character cards they will be doing is helping children practice reading.
ACTIVITY OF THE WEEK
Your child will be acting out the characters and words they read on a card or slip of paper. The other children will be guessing what the first player is acting out.
WHAT YOU NEED
- (optional) Flash cards (either your own, or you can try the new Basic Chinese Study Cards)
- Slips of paper
HOW TO PREPARE
- Regardless of whether you are using pre-written cards or writing your own topics, select cards that are age and developmentally appropriate for your children.
- Scoreboard/Notepad to tally points
HOW TO PLAY
Charades Activity (age 3+, multi person)
1. Have the first player choose a card and read it to themselves.
2. Have the first player act out the card and other players guess.
3. After a few minutes, if no one has guessed the word, you can move on to the next child.
Depending on the age of your child, you can increase or decrease the difficulty level of the activity by having multi-character words, terms, concepts, phrases, or idioms. If your children are really, young, you may want to provide easier cards such as animals, household objects, movies, shows, or easy actions.
For your older kids playing with more complicated cards, you may want to consider teaching your children some basic charades signals and gestures.
ACTING OUT CATEGORIES
|BOOK||You open your hands to pretend you’re opening a book.|
|MOVIE or FILM||Act as if you’re working an old movie camera, winding/turning one hand and holding a camera with the other|
|PERSON||Stand tall and place your hands on your hips.|
|PLACE||You draw a circle in the air to represent Earth and point to it.|
|PLAY||You pretend to open a theater curtain with your hands.|
|SONG||Cup your hand to your mouth to act as if you’re singing a song.|
|TV SHOW||You draw a rectangle in the air to represent a TV.|
BASIC GESTURES TO SIGNAL THE FOLLOWING
|Number of words in the phrase||Hold up a finger for each word in the phrase.|
|Number of syllables in a word||Hold a finger to your forearm for each syllable in a word.|
|If there are multiple words or syllables, which word or syllable you are acting||Hold up the number of fingers corresponding to the word or syllable.|
|A small word||Put your index and thumb close together as if you’re representing a small word.|
|A big word||Hold your index finger and thumb far apart as if you’re representing a big word.|
|A word sounds like another word||Put your hand behind your ear as if you’re cupping it to hear better.|
|Plural of the word||Hook both your little fingers together.|
My children were initially reluctant to do this activity because they weren’t quite sure what I wanted from them. But once they got the hang of it, they kept fighting over whose turn it was to act out the cards. In fact, long after I was done filming and taking pictures, my kids got extra cards and kept going for another 20-30 minutes and asked for harder cards.