January 13, 2009

Pictionary For Kids

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I have this fantasy where every night my family sits and plays a board game together. Instead, our evenings look a whole lot like making messes and the natural counterpart: cleaning them up.

Sometimes, when we're looking for a really fun time, we break a few things, and fourteen months later, fix them back up.


I have no doubt my childhood was just as chaotic, and the house was just as messy (Hi, Mom!), but we did find time to play games together. It's a fond memory; one that sends me to the game aisle at the stores for a quick fix.

One of my favorite games as I got older was Pictionary. Most of the fun came from my complete inability to draw, and (when he started hanging around) Hubs' unique ability to mock my ridiculous pics.

We have a weird sense of humor that way.

So when the kids grew old enough to draw, I started looking for an easier version of the game. Sure, there's Pictionary Jr, but that's still too advanced. I needed something that included concrete words like "egg" and "face."

I never found anything, so I came up with a list of words on my own:

When we play, we always use a white board, but a pile of scrap paper will do. I just let the kids pick a word from the list, and draw until someone guesses the answer. I've found that setting a time limit or keeping score is the quickest route to wailing and tears, so we just skip that part.

I have no doubt this fun family experience is an educational one as well, which tickles me to no end. As you might imagine.

Can't have fun unless it feels like work, I say.

Don't invite me to your next party, m'kay?

Anyone have a favorite game from childhood?

PS: E-mail me if you'd like to have the original PDF file of the list of words!

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Dave said...

That rocks my world. I am going to definetly e-mail you for that list. My kids are all more artistic than me. They will L-o-v-e love love it.

Your Mom said...

My favorite game was Chinese checkers - can't find it in stores anymore, and the one I played with certainly is an antique by now, if it is still at Grandma & Grandpa's. Maybe I was hoping for a future granddaughter (Chinese) do you think?

Tina Marie said...

My favorite childhood game (other than the obvious Chutes and Ladders) would have to be Sorry!. The board was a primary color wonderland, but still streamlined and organized (oops, sorry, that's the OCD speaking).

Of course, family night at the gramps' house ALWAYS involved UNO. my goodness, the craziness that often ensued when 2 grandparents, a multitude of parental units, and umpteen gagillion grandchildren circled a table playing that.

And Auntie L? Some of my fondest memories are playing Chinese Checkers with dad on the floor of Gramps house.

Sheila said...

We use to have a family night game night when I was growing up which we have continued on into our family now with the girls. My favorite game was probably payday, don't know why, but I really enjoyed that game and life, don't really enjoy playing life anymore, too much like the real thing.

One of my families favorite games to play with my grandparents is spoons. Lots of fun!

Just last night for family night we played Yahtzee Free for all, that is a fun game as well. Our favorite game right now is Blokus. Can you tell we are a family who likes to play some games. I printed out your list thought we would try that with the girls!

Kami said...

My new favorite game is Telephone Pictionary--not ideal for young kids, but a hoot and a half with grownups. (You DO still know some grownups, don't you?) How to play: Invite a group of friends over. 8 people is a great number. Give each person a pile of scrap paper, the number of sheets in the pile equalling the number of players. Number the sheets in your pile. In round one, have each player write down a word, phrase, proverb, sentence, song title, line of poetry, or whatever, on the top sheet. When everyone is finished, pass your pile to the left. Round two: read sheet #1, move it to the bottom of the pile, and draw it on sheet #2. Pass to the left. Round three: look at the picture, move it to the bottom of the pile, and write what you think the picture is showing on sheet #3. Continue until you have been all the way around and all the sheets in your pile have been used up. Now show everyone your pile and see how far the pictures and words have strayed from the original! Best played in a carpeted room as some have been known to fall off their chairs laughing. If you have slowpokes in the group, use a timer for each round. A minute and a half is about right.

Kelly said...

We JUST started Game Night this year on Sunday nights! I realized that all we do is sit around and read the Bible and historical fiction night after night and decided, "ENOUGH Reading!! Let's play some games, people!" Pretty ironic that the LEAST fun person in the family had to instigate Game Night.

Anyway, we didn't tell anyone about it and yet we received about 5 games for Christmas, no duplicates! (No one EVER gets us games.) And I had already got several for the kids as well. Now we have a HUGE stack. Our favorite Big Kid game has been Blokus and the Littles are loving Uno Attack.

And I also have great memories of playing Uno with my G & G all the time! Kami's telephone game sounds fun. We'll have to do that at Home Group sometime!

Julie said...

I don't know where it came from, but we used to play a game called "In the manner of the word". You need a good-sized group (8 or so) to make this fun.

One person leaves the group/room. The rest of the group chooses an adjective, (they usually end in -ly).

When the person returns, they can ask members of the group to perform three actions "in the manner of the word" - and they try to guess the word.

Like, "Lisa, push your imaginary grocery cart across the room in the manner of the word". And you have to act out pushing your cart quietly, proudly, stealthily, or whatever.

We're total geeks.

Carol @SheLives said...

homemade games can be the best! When we homeschooled, my daughter's favorite game was a math game we played involving a hand drawn board, pennies and dice. I got sick of the game long before she did, but it helped nail down some math skills.

Your Mom said...

Kami: When are you coming to see us to Teach us your game? I think Farm Bureau Council would really enjoy it, don't you? Plus we have dust to share with your hair!! Some of you need to ask the young lady (my daughter) who wrote this blog about the game "Sorry" - she still has it, and it is in mint condition. Those who do know her know that is a true statement.

-Kaz said...

Thanks for the Pictionary list! I'm going to use it (with a few Valentine additions) at my 5th grader's V-Day class party (yeah me, Room Mom!). Beats BINGO, I mean HEART, anyday. Oh, heck, maybe I'll play both.
We love Mah Jonng at my house (easy to learn if someone teaches you - it's not the matching game you see on the computer!) I liked Parchesi when I was a kid.
Great post.

Samantha said...

Printing this for my substitute teaching assignment tomorrow!!! Thanks!

senovia said...

Thank you for the list of words! I found you by Googling "pictionary for kids"! You're #1!! I also LOVE the ideas in the comments and copied a few down for when the power goes out or when we're camping. THANKS AGAIN!

Warty Mammal said...

Thank you for this! You saved me the trouble of coming up with my own list of words. I'm hoping this will be a fun way to help my son improve his drawing and small motor skills.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for such a perfect list! We are on winter break and my kids and I are about to have a GREAT time with this list!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!! They are 6 & 8 and these are...first of all things I will be able to draw haha... but things they will be able to read - so it's going to start off their vacation wonderful - thanx again!! Mom from MI

Emily@thepolkadotumbrella said...

This is a great list - thanks so much. I'm using it with my art class today.

Julia C. Wagner said...

This is so very cool and I know my grandchildren will love it! Thanks for sharing and keep up the creativity! We all benefit!

disneyb0y85 said...

Thank you for the list. Using it tomorrow with my second grade class! :)