The charades-inspired game of Pictionary is a fun party game for kids of all ages, and it can easily be adapted to fit a party theme or holiday, like Valentine's Day. The flexible game can be played with a small group of kids or an entire classroom. Along with its entertainment value, Pictionary helps kids sharpen their communication, drawing, and teamwork skills.
- A large drawing pad and easel for each team.
- Pens, crayons, or markers.
- A stopwatch or clock with a second hand.
- Small strips of paper for the words and phrases.
How to Play
Create teams: Divide the partygoers into teams of three to five. You will need an even number of teams, so if there are nine children at a party, divide them into a team of four and a team of five instead of three teams of three. Likewise, if you have a group of 20 students, divide them into four teams of five and run two separate competitions. Otherwise, children’s voices will drown each other out and some kids might become disengaged.
Write down words and phrases: Write or print out Valentine's Day-related words or phrases onto paper, cut each word or phrase onto a small strip, and place the strips in a bowl. For young children, consider using these words and phrases: heart, love letter, candy, box of chocolates, roses, balloons, broken heart, friend, sweet, flowers, pink, red, chocolate, and honey. For older children, consider using those words plus these words and phrases: Cupid’s arrow, Valentine’s Day card, heartache, blow me a kiss, conversation hearts, a dozen roses, romance, be mine, and sweetheart.
Fold the strips of paper in half and place them in a bowl near the drawing pad: Don't let any of the players see what's written on the strips of paper!
Have each team take turns sending one player to the drawing pad: The player pulls a strip of paper from the bowl without looking and then has to draw a picture of the word or phrase as their teammates try to guess what it is. The player can encourage their teammates with hand and face gestures if they’re on the right track (or discourage them if they’re on the wrong track), but the player cannot talk.
Set a timer for guessing: Set a timer, giving the player one minute to finish. Players can draw a series of lines to show how many words are in the phrase. If the player's team members guess correctly, they earn one point. If they don’t come up with the right answer before the time is up, the other team can guess and earn a point if they’re correct. Then, it’s the other team’s turn to send a player to the drawing pad.
Announce a winner: After each team has had an even number of turns and all the players have had a chance at the drawing pad (if there isn't an even number of players on each side, some players might have to draw twice), the game is over. The team that has earned the most points wins the game.
- When explaining the directions, tell the children not to yell their answers. As kids become excited and competitive, the volume level can easily go up, making it difficult for the child who is drawing to hear all the teammates' guesses.
- Arrange the chairs or desks in a circle or cluster around the drawing pads so everyone can see and participate.
- Encourage each team to come up with its own name, like the Red Hot Hearts versus the Sweetie Pies.