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In this classic variation of charades participants must act out phrases or words in order for team members to guess the correct phrase. The essence of Charades is pantomimes: you must act out a word or phrase without speaking or making any sound effects. For a New Year’s Party Game, use events from the past year for items. You can still use the typical categories of charades like TV shows, Movies, books etc, but use those that were released in the previous 12 months!

Game Description
Participants split into teams of 6 or more members and try to guess the events from the person acting them out.

Game Materials
The key words

Game Preparation
You will need to create a list of items relating to events, and things that were done within the past 12 months. For inspiration look to the internet, the newspaper, magazines, etc. Print them on slips of paper and put them in a bag to be drawn from during the game.

Game Play

  1. Divide players into two teams.
  2. High die roll decides which team will play first.
  3. The first team selects a person to mime the phrase; all other first team players are then the Guessers. The mime must rotate so that everyone is required to mime a clue before someone can go again.
  4. Each time a new mime begins, he must draw a new name or phrase.
  5. A timer is used… an hourglass can be used or a 2 minute timer. (The opposing team keeps track of the time limit.)
  6. As one team mimes and guesses a name or phrase, the opposing team watches.
  7. As the mime pantomimes the words his teammates start shouting out what they think is being portrayed. Players can guess as many times as they want. Guessing is NOT done in turn!
  8. First, indicate to your team through motions (no words allowed) whether you’re going to mime the title of a movie, book, TV show, book, or Newspaper Headline (event) etc.
    • to indicate a movie, pretend to crank an old-fashioned movie camera
    • to indicate a book, pretend to be reading
    • for a tv show, draw a square in the air for a tv screen.
    • for a newspaper headline, pretend to be reading with your hands wide apart as if to read a newspaper.
  9. Indicate how many words are in the title by holding up the same number of fingers as words. You might also indicate which word you are miming first by holding up a finger for that word. Usually you put the number of fingers flat against your arm to indicate the number of syllables in a word.
  10. Use clues along the way to guide the answers:
    • “sounds like” –cup your hand around your ear
    • “little word”: bring your thumb and index fingers close together.
    • “Longer version of the word”: pretend to stretch an elastic.
    • “Shorter version of the word”: chop with your hand.
    • “close, keep guessing!”: frantically wave hands to keep the guesses coming.
    • “Knows”: Point to you nose to indicate that someone “knows” the word and is correct.
  11. Continue until all the words in the phrase are correct.
  12. If the Mime’s team guesses correctly before the timer is emptied, the Mime’s team gets one point and marks the score on a piece of paper. It is now the opposing team’s turn to mime and guess a new name or phrase from a new slip of paper.
  13. If the Mime’s team does not guess correctly before the timer is emptied, they do not win the point. The opposing team then gets ten seconds to make one guess to win the point. If the opposing team guesses correctly, they win the point and mark the score on a separate sheet of paper. It is then their turn to mime and guess a new name or phrase. If the opposing team does not guess correctly, no one wins the point. It is now the opposing team’s turn to mime and guess a new name or phrase.
  14. Play alternates between teams with each phrase to be mimed.
  15. At the end of game play or the end of your clues, the team with the most correct guesses wins!



  • What were the key events in your personal life during the past year?
  • What were some of your achievements?
  • What dreams and goals did you have? Did you reach them?
  • Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions at the beginning of last year? Did you keep them?


Closing Application
What are some of the things you want to do in the new year? What will the new year will look like for you? On a separate piece of paper make a list of some things you would like to see in the upcoming year. If you want to, you can share it with someone in the group to help keep you accountable to achieve it, or if it is personal, that is also ok… Seal it away in an envelope and write the date on it. Put it someplace where you can see as a reminder of the resolution you have made for the upcoming year!

For other variations see also:
New Year’s Pictionary
New Year’s Win Lose or Draw

Get Creative Youth Ideas: "Holiday Collection" ebook Holiday Collection
Games and Activities in Celebration of common Holidays.

Creative Holiday Ideas has over 300 pages of ideas to help you plan your next New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Halloween or Fall Festival, and Thanksgiving event. If you’ve ever wondered what you’re going to do for all these holidays and how you’re going to do it, this resource is for you.

=> Tell me more about the Holiday Collection

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