Monday, May 16, 2011

Shadow Charades

It's fun to think back on my grade school Christmas concerts: Skits riddled with loudly whispered prompts...reluctant singers squinting in stage lights...Christmas carols attempted by the school band... Oh, I cringe for the parents just thinking back to those carols they endured on our screechy reed instruments and off-key blaring brass.

One fond memory is our 6th grade class Shadow was a take-off on Ten Little Indians. I wore a twirly skirt and a long, bouncy ponytail. The acting was verrrryy critical--I had to lean forward and hold my head precisely for the no-contact-just-shadow-tricks Big Kiss finale!

Well, this memory sparked an idea for a game...uh, a SHADOW Game. It's a twist on charades that really will entertain ALL ages. C'mon...who doesn't like pullin' out their best butterfly or barking dog hand shadow with the flashlights when the electricity goes out?!

We played Shadow Charades as a family recently and my kids thought this was The. Best. Game. Ever.

You need just 3 things:

1) a large sheet—white or light-colored
2) several pins or tacks to hang the sheet
3) a table lamp (ours worked great with no shade)
Choose a wide doorway in your house between two rooms where you can pin up the sheet. We pushed tacks through the sheet into the top molding of our door frame. The bottom of the sheet should almost touch the floor and the sides should meet or overlap the edge of the door frame.

Set the lamp on the floor about 6 feet behind the curtain and turn off all other lights in both rooms. The first actor should take his place behind the curtain, standing very close to the sheet to make a sharp shadow.

The easiest clues are going to be simple actions with big movements. You may even want to write out some Action cards ahead of time, especially at first to get players thinking. Older kids will have great ideas of their own. Small children will probably act out an animal on every ready to distinguish those subtle shadow differences between a cheetah and a tiger.

Now you're ready for some crazy fun on your next family night or rainy weekend at the beach house!

...strangely, I now have an urge to go find my long-forgotten trombone. I wonder if I still remember The First Noel...


  1. Sounds like fun! We will have to give this a try. I know my boys ages 4 and 8 will love this too.

  2. Great Melissa! Yes, Kylee was saying even their jr. high class (and adults!) love to do this. We are going to be setting one up at our house soon, too. Have a great week! ~Tara

  3. Great idea!! Mine would love this too!


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