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14 Reasons to Play Charades or Heads Up! on Your Next Gathering!

Last Updated on January 7, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

happy friends playing charades (heads up!) game

For me, social gatherings are exciting. I count down the minutes until I can see my friends and tell them all about my week, and recount the weird and wonderful experiences I have had.

Every social gathering starts out high energy, but as the night wears on, the wine bottles empty, the conversation dwindles and the excitement peters out. I get tired! I struggled with this for a while, until I discovered Charades and Heads Up!. And now I think they are the saving grace of any social gathering or party! You have to try it for yourself to know what I am talking about.

The fun part of Charades and Heads Up! is that it focuses on alternative communication options to speaking. In Charades, for instance, players are divided into groups, and one individual from each group has to act out a specific phrase to the members of their group. The objective is for the team to guess the phrase as quickly as they can and move on to the next phrase and next player. Because communication is such a tricky thing, the process can result in much hilarity and a bit of stress too.

With that being said, let’s take a look at the 14 reasons why I think Charades or Heads Up! can be the perfect entertainment at your next social gathering. 

14 reasons to play Charades or Heads Up!:

1. Spruce up communication skills

Group Of Friends Playing Charades After Enjoying Christmas Dinner

Talking is not the only way to communicate and that is precisely what Charades and Heads Up! capitalize on. For instance, when playing Charades, players have to communicate using other forms of non-verbal communication. The more you play these games and see how other people interpret body language and actions, the better your non-verbal communication skills will become, because you will be able to hone them.

2. Eliminate awkwardness

Have you ever had a social gathering where you mix a group of people and awkward moments of silence ensue? I have! Lucky for me, I can talk the hind leg off a donkey and also have a wide selection of board games to choose from. The awkwardness of a fresh social gathering can be completely avoided by introducing a fun activity that helps to break the ice. And that’s precisely what Charades and Heads Up! are. 

3. Build the team up

If you think that team building is only for corporate groups, think again. It is team building that bonds groups of friends too. Charades, as well as Heads Up!, which are games that are played by two or more teams, are excellent for team building. It gets a group of people talking, sharing, and helping each other in order to reach a common goal while having heaps of fun too.

4. Boost confidence

If you are a little nervous to strut-your-stuff naturally, chances are that you are lacking in the confidence department. Do not worry, so was I, but playing these two games have helped to increase my confidence. How, you ask? 

Side view of confident multi-ethnic students chatting and moving up stairs

There is a simple theory called the Mere Exposure Effect that is based on a psychological phenomenon and states that people begin to like things or feel familiar with them because they are regularly exposed to it and not because they actually like it. It is much the same with Charades (or Heads Up!) and confidence. If you do not feel confident at first, keep playing the game. The more you play, the better you will start to feel, and the better you will get.

5. Emerge from that comfort zone

Comfort zones are known as comfort zones for a reason; they are really comfy, they require very little from us, and we get to feel safe within them all of the time. It is time to shake that up. While living in a perpetual comfort zone, you are missing out on life. It is much the same with your friends. When you first play Charades or Heads Up!, you will undoubtedly feel completely out of your comfort zone. And so will your friends. Make the most of it! Common ground or a shared difficulty are often when drives deeper bonds. It is a win-win!

6. Display trust in your friends

To get up there and play these kinds of games in front of two groups of people, you really have to trust your friends (in your team) to be kind, supportive, and non-judgmental. Just by getting up there and being willing to play, you are letting your friends know that you trust them – and trust is essential in relationships/friendships.

7. Watch the hours whizz by

There is no denying it; Charades and Heads Up! are so much fun that the time will pass by at exceptional speed! Soon it will be time to plan your next party! If your party is dragging and you sense that people are not having that much fun, suggest a game of Charades (or Heads Up!) and watch everything change.

8. Rely on your friends

friends and colleagues glad to see each other

A great deal of non-verbal communication is relying on cues from other people. Learn to watch your friends, consider what they are saying (or offering as possible answers) and rely on them to help you to win the round. I am a very independent person, and playing these games have helped me to tone down the independence and to accept external help from time to time. 

9. Obliterate stress

When you play Charades or Heads Up!, you can wave stress goodbye. These games are upbeat and fun. It distracts players from other stresses and strains in their lives and provides a bit of much-needed relief. Do not be surprised if you find yourself completely stress-free after a night of playing Charades or Heads Up!. 

10. Get that brain working

Just how lazy is your brain? The brain is a powerful tool, but it likes to be lazy too. It sets itself up to learn a variety of things you do (almost like a pattern or recipe), so that it can respond automatically and without any thought involved. To me, that is scary because, on an average day of the week, I probably do not actively use my brain very much at all. I am probably on autopilot! 

Difference sources suggest that playing games and solving puzzles are great ways to get the brain up and active again. Because these two games require quick thinking and develop non-verbal communication skills, it gives the brain a great workout. 

11. Dust the cobwebs off your creativity

While working and living in the rat race, it is hard to keep the creativity alive within us. Sometimes the only way to explore our creativity is to play games while interacting with other people. Charades and Heads Up! demand creative thinking and communicating. This means that the more you play these games, the more creatively you will begin to think. 

12. Relax, unwind, and laugh!

There is no better remedy for all of life’s problems and hurdles than to relax, unwind, and laugh in good company. Charades (or Heads Up!) perfectly sets the scene for a bit of light-hearted fun. If you are looking for an effective way of relaxing and unwinding, These two games are a great place to start. Add them to any social gathering and watch the fun and relaxation begin.

Group Of Friends Laughing and Having Fun Playing Charades Together

13. Don’t sweat the small talk

Let’s face it; small talk is the pits. No one wants to stand around talking about the weather and what our parents got us last Christmas. Unfortunately, every social gathering has small talk to navigate through and most people just push through. When I am throwing a party, I introduce games like Charades or Heads Up! early on in the evening to get people talking and interacting naturally. The result: no small talk necessary!

14. Feed your relationships

How deep do your friendships and relationships go? Are they solid? Are they balanced? Playing games really does strengthen friendship bonds. Having fun with another individual or group of individuals is the best way to develop relations and watch them grow. After a Charades (or Heads Up!) night, your guests are bound to be looking forward to your next social gathering and are also bound to be looking forward to more fun times with you.

Last Word

Before I played Charades or Heads Up!, I often wondered what people were on about when they sang the praises of these games. Then I saw it in action and was immediately intrigued. Charades and Heads Up! are all about getting silly and having fun. Granted, it is not the ideal activity for all groups of people, but when you are amongst friends; it is just that: the ideal activity.

Whether you are looking for some form of entertainment or ice breaker for your next social gathering or a team-building exercise at work; Charades and Heads Up! will not disappoint. To reap the rewards of playing these games, start playing them at your gatherings – it is that simple!

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who enjoy sharing their knowledge about their favorite games with others!

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.