John’s Game of the Year #6: Picture Charades

We’re on to Game #6 from my/John’s goal to play an average of one board or card game per week for the year of 2021. Some of these games are going to be advanced for a 6-year-old, and some, like Picture Charades, he will darn near be too advanced for.

The Game: Picture Charades

Ages 4+

Players: 2… John and me

Date: 7:30-8:00, Saturday, January 23, 2021

This version of the classic charades game is intended for very little kids. There aren’t even any words, just pictures on the cards! Furthermore, there are no teams, no winners, and—as is clearly indicated by the rules—no real rules, either. The rules don’t even make a point to say you can’t speak or make noises. So, this is less a game and more of an activity.

Each player simply spins the spinner on their turn, and act out the top card from whichever category they landed on—Indoor, Outdoor, People or Animals. Some of the pictures are simple, like brushing teeth, while others are pretty tough, like a panda bear. How do you mime a panda bear?

How Picture Charades Went

The game went well. There was no winner or loser and no meltdowns. There were some mild frustrations on both of our parts that the other couldn’t guess what we were acting out.

John had some very odd choice for acting out things. For instance, he drew a “people” card showing a veterinarian. John acted it out by walking over to the wall, bending down to floor, and mimicking opening something. After several futile minutes of me guessing, I gave up. He explained he was being the vet, opening a cage which for some reason was located on the bottom row in a wall of cages, releasing the pet. How did I not get that?!

John plays Picture Charades on January 23, 2021.

Another time he was a giraffe, and simply walked around in circles on all fours, occasionally hopping. I guessed every four-legged animal under the sun that could conceivably hop. After giving up, John couldn’t believe I didn’t put it together. He was a giraffe, occasionally playing and kicking up its heels. I explained he should have tried to focus on the giraffe’s most distinguishing feature, perhaps drawing attention to a long neck or something.

Other times he was rather clever. For tree, he got into the Vrikshasana (tree) yoga pose.

My acting was pretty good, with John guessing correctly right away almost every time. He was really stumped on the aforementioned panda bear, which I could only think to munch on leaves, a goat, and power drill, where he guessed “saw” at least 40 times, each time me telling him no. There were a couple others that I thought I did well that he couldn’t guess.

We each did about 15-20 cards, and for some reason the spinner never once landed on the green Outdoor category, defying all odds. I even inspected the spinner and changed its positioning, and it kept going right past it. We finally gave in and just did a few Outdoor ones at the end.

The Stats

Ease: 10/10. The game itself couldn’t possibly be easier, though some of the cards were hard to act out.

Entertainment: 7/10. We had a few laughs over the thirty minutes.

Meltdown Likelihood: 2/10. I could see maybe getting really frustrated if you didn’t know how to act something out or could never guess the right answer, but as there is nothing resembling score-keeping or winners/losers, it is about as safe as they come.

Time: 10/10. We could have stopped at any time. There was nothing indicating we had to play to a certain time, or number of cards.

Likelihood of Child Actually Beating Parent: Not applicable.

Dad’s Review

Rating: 8/10

Fun for the whole family. The cards weren’t all simple toddler stuff. A few too many animals, for my taste, though.

John’s Review

Rating: 8/10

After a half hour, he wasn’t ready to call it quits, but it was bedtime.

Record

I guess this one goes down as a tie. John is now 4-1-1, previously “beating” me in Bold, Blink, Pic Flip, and Dos, while losing Old Maid.

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