Charades Break

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.


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.


- (optional) Flash cards (either your own, or you can try the new Basic Chinese Study Cards)
- Paper
- pen/pencils
- Slips of paper


- 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


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.

Charades Activity


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.


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.

We would love to hear your comments and see pictures of your kids doing the activities. Make sure you join our Sagebooks HK Parent Support Facebook Group and share with us!


Take a break.

Learning and acquiring new skills takes time and effort. Unfortunately, we are teaching our children Chinese in the real world – where we work, send our kids to school, and take care of a thousand other little things. Sometimes, it can become overwhelming.

When that happens, there is no harm or shame in taking time to regroup and re-charge. In fact, after resting, there is often a renewed sense of purpose and drive.

Have these tips been helpful? We’d love to hear from you in our Facebook Group and we hope to see you there.

Posted in 家庭教學實錄 Learning Journal.