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Every Christmas is always a bit of a challenge for me, as although i don't have any children, buying for my hyper four year old nephew can sometimes be a chore as his dad tends to shower him with all the boy toys (reliving his own childhood i always say!) and I've always been a bit more sensible than my brother so i guess i feel the need to balance out the gadget toys with educational ones. This mixed with finding something he actually will like, is getting harder each year.
I came across Charades for Kids by accident actually, during one of my regular 'browsing trips' to John Lewis. And i am so glad i did! Here are my thoughts.
Cost and quality:
Charades for Kids cost me just under £10 which i thought was a really good price. Looking online, its around that price in most places. Im a bit of a John Lewis fan so i was happy to buy the product without doing any research into the quality of the product, and i wasn't disappointed. The pack came with timer, cards and dice and was all neatly packed into the box, and everything has its place, which i find helps when encouraging a child to tidy up themselves. As mentioned above, my nephew is pretty hyper, and even he didn't manage to bend or break any of the cards or pieces, so for me the quality is brilliant.
Fun for all the family?:
We played this on Christmas day and there were five adults and one child. None of the adults thought it would be too fun and approached the game slightly half heartedly, until the game began. We played by the special charades for kids rules, which states everyone has one turn each in guessing and in goes. I thought this was a brilliant rule, as it kept a calm tone for the game. Each card has different options to act out, including a well drawn picture, which were the ones my nephew acted out. I thought this was great too as it is a game him and his friends can grow up with, as they learn to read more. Each round is timed using a mini egg timer, which was needed as some of the acting from the adults left a lot to be desired. Within about five minutes, the game was in full swing and everyone thought it was brilliant. Although the words and actions were basic, playing with my mum for whom English wasn't her first language, it was great for everyone! And my nephew was in his element as he was able to join in a 'grown up game' as he called it.
I couldn't recommend this game enough and i have ended up buying a few for gifts for other children throughout the year. In a time where toys and gadgets are the expected gift for children of all ages, this was a refreshing change. And asking my nephew if he liked it, he said he loved it! Almost as much as his remote control monster truck. Which, for me is a huge achievement.
Charades for Kids
Charades is a well known game which has been around for years, predominantly in the adult game market. It is a typical group fun game which has been played at parties many a time, with myself included in this party favourite. Now, Paul Lamond Games have come out with a children's version of this self same game so that youngsters can join in all the enjoyment.
My daughter loves games of all sorts and has shown an interest in our adult version of Charades, though the categories are all too old for her to really play along with, with movies and books being of main categories. Therefore, when I saw this game produced especially for children, I just had to get it for her.
A LION FULL OF FUN
When my daughter opened this game at Christmas, she could not wait to play it. We had a whole group of family around our house on Christmas day so it was the perfect opportunity to try out the new game. We have also played this game many times after this with only three of us, and both numbers work well, though the more people playing, the more fun can be had.
The game comes in a simple white box with some colourful clip-art images of children on the front. I would not say that it is very eye catching, though perhaps its simplicity is what appeals to both younger and older children alike. Within the box you will find an egg timer. A dice with 3 numbers on it, and three packs of cards. Each pack of cards have different words and pictures upon them. I will talk more about this below.
The game is aimed at four year olds and over and for three or more players. I can foresee some four year olds having a few problems with this game depending on how their imagination is and if they are confident children or not. My daughter and nephew are both five, and whilst my daughter loves this game and really tries hard to act the words out whilst having fun, my nephew is shy and not as confident and so he became rather frustrated. A lot of help may be needed for some of the younger children.
The game is a simple game, and can be played with slight alternatives if you prefer, such as choosing which number you go with or deciding not to use the timer, both of which can make the game easier for younger children, though the main instructions to this game are also very simple and can introduce children to new words and help their imagination whilst they work out how to act out these words.
How to play the game?
You can either play singularly or in groups. With really young children, it is perhaps a better idea to play in groups. Players take it in turns to be the person to act out the charade. They step up and choose a card blindly. They then roll the dice. Upon each card you will see a picture which resembles the word next to the number '1'. This is the recommended word for very young children, and in this instant not rolling the dice can be of use as we have found out. The picture with the word also enables young children to look and 'read' the card on their own. These words are one-word options such as 'toothbrush', 'sheep' or 'ballerina' The 2nd number holds a slightly harder action such as 'batting a cricket ball', and the third option harder still, ie: 'An Easter egg'. As our daughter has only just turned five in November, we rarely use the dice when playing, though she loves to play games properly and has tried the other options with varying degrees of success.
Once the person is ready, the egg timer is turned over. The person who is taking their turn has to act out the word on the card without speaking or making noises and everyone has to guess in the time given. This part of the game can be played in a few different ways; each way we have tried. Firstly, we allow our daughter to make noises when she is stuck as even the first words can be quite difficult for a youngster to act out without a noise and a dog can look very much like a cow or a horse when a child is acting them out and so by using sounds our daughter feels as though she has achieved something great as we are able to guess quicker, and vice versa. Obviously the sounds can be eliminated the older the child is. Secondly, you can either have both teams guessing or only one if playing in teams. With using the sounds, we also eliminate the egg timer, though this is a good tool when playing to the exact rules as it gives a time limit on guessing. Once the card has been guessed, you can either stop and another person take their turn, or you can roll the dice and take another card if you have time left.
Next comes the scoring. Of course, you could just simply play for the fun and fun alone without scoring, though my daughter and older children loves seeing who is the winner and it makes them play harder. Here there are no set rules really. You can either score by tallying in the teams, or handing the card over to the winner to count up at the end (the rules do suggest this way and the first to five card wins though you can keep going as long as you want). You can also give points to the one acting out the words if you wish. Really, the scoring is up to you and what works best in the company you are playing with.
FIVE IN A PLANE, TEN UP A TREE
So as you see, the game play is very simple and can be altered in many different ways to suit the ages playing. This then brings me on to how the game is received by those of different ages. As mentioned above, on Christmas day we played a number of Charade games with a large group of us, all at different ages. This was a great insight to see how well the game is played and enjoyed by the very young and the much older.
As also mentioned above, the two youngest playing were five and had varying degrees of imagination and confidence. My daughter loved this game and couldn't stop playing. She loved both guessing and acting and was able to play the game without any help due to the handy pictures. My nephew on the other hand found it more difficult and got quite frustrated, though with a little help, he did eventually get into the spirit of the game. We also had a three year old trying to play, though the game is really too old for this age! My younger sister is nine and thoroughly enjoyed it. She used the dice when she felt she could, though she stuck with the easier option more often than not. My brother is eleven and although he joined in the fun to a degree, this game really wasn't for him and he eventually tucked himself away in a corner and played on his games machine!! As an adult, I really enjoyed the game from the perspective of the children, though obviously wouldn't want to play this game without children! From what I observed, I would say that the true age range for this game is more like age five to ten.
Overall, the game was well met by the children playing and my daughter has played this many times with me and her daddy with the same degree of fun. We get a lot of laughter when playing together and it is definitely a game in which I would recommend.
We were able to pick this game up new for £3.00, and it can be found on Amazon between £6.30 to £6.99. I would say that even with the higher price, this game is well worth it and is a fantastic family/group game. It suits a wide range of ages and has some wonderful words/sentences to help a child build their imagination and confidence.
This classic game of charades is designed especially for children to help them learn and play. This educational game will help children express themselves by acting out a charade listed on the cards provided, in order to get the other player to guess the object or phrase they are trying to portray. This board game contains cards to suit all age groups from 4 years and up. The younger children can have fun looking at the pictures whilst acting subjects such as Lions, Dogs and Cats. Older children act out fun things like eating spaghetti or doing up shoelaces. Whatever age you are, this game is great fun for the whole family