Pictionary is a fun game that can be enjoyed by children and adults of all ages. The game can be played in various kinds of situations – parties, family get-togethers, icebreaker sessions, etc.
Drawing and guessing are essential parts of the game. One player draws a word that is intimated and other designated players must guess what is being drawn. Any number of people can play this game – as few as four people to a big group of more than twenty people.
Variations can be made to the game depending on the setting it is played in and the number of people playing the game. This article demonstrates not only how to play the game traditionally but also with fun variations to add more exciting elements to the game.
Pictionary is also available in a board game format. In this version, players are required to divide themselves into teams of a minimum of two players.
The team rolls the dice on their turn. To make the move and climb the board, the players must play Pictionary. The box includes a one-minute timer, 4 category cards, 496 prompts, 4 pads of paper, 4 pencils, and a brochure explaining the rules.
Once players roll the die, they must pick up a card from the category indicated by the board. One player from the team must try to draw and show anyone word from the prompt cards.
The other players of the team must try and guess the exact word. If they are able to guess the word correctly, they get to roll the dice and move forward. If not, the chance is passed to the next team. The first team to reach the end of the board wins the game.
A board game is not required to enjoy this fun game. The game can be played with a pen and paper as well. This article will help you set up your own homemade Pictionary setup.
- Homemade Pictionary Set Up
- Ideas For Pictionary Variations
- Traditional Pictionary
- Family Pictionary
- LEGO Pictionary
- Educational Pictionary
- Themed Pictionary
- Partner Pictionary
- Pictionary Rules
- Official Pictionary Rules
- Flexible Pictionary Rules
- Pictionary Ideas
- Pictionary Words Lists
- Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘A’)
- Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘B’)
- Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘C’)
- Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘D’)
- Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘E’)
- Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘F’)
- Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘G’)
- Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘H’)
- Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘I’)
- Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘I’)
- Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘K’)
- Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘L’)
- Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘M’)
- Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘N’)
- Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘o’)
- Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘p’)
- Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘Q’)
- Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘R’)
- Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘S’)
- Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘T’)
- Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘U’)
- Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘V’)
- Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘W’)
- Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘X’)
- Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘Y’)
- Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘Z’)
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Homemade Pictionary Set Up
The following items are necessary to play Pictionary at home:
- Pens and pencils
- Sheets of paper
- A drawing easel or a plain wall to display the drawing
Appoint one person as the referee. He will be responsible for coming up with words and phrases that the players must draw, keep an eye on the timer, and ensure that the game flows smoothly.
All players must divide themselves into teams. Give all the team sufficient pencil and paper. The referee must prepare chits with phrases and words before the game starts. These chits must be kept in a bowl. The team that is going first is chosen.
One player from the team comes to the front, picks up a chit, and begins to draw on the easel or the wall. As the player starts drawing, the referee starts the timer.
Each player has one minute to convey through drawing what the word or phrase is. If the team guesses correctly, they are awarded one point. If not, they do not receive any points.
Now, the next team comes forward and tries their hand at the game. In this way, teams take turns to score points.
At the end of all the rounds, the team with the highest points wins the game. A variation can be made in the criteria of winning.
A set number of points can be indicated by the referee, the team to reach these number of points first will win the game.
Ideas For Pictionary Variations
Variations can be made depending on the age group, amount of game time, different situations, etc. The game still remains fun and enjoyable. Following are a few variations that you should try –
The traditional game of Pictionary usually has five categories – people, places, animals, actions, and objects. You can choose one theme to play the game. For a challenge, use all five themes as your prompts.
The fun game can serve as a bonding experience for parents and children. You can include these at your family game nights. Contextualize phrases about what your family enjoys and inside jokes that you may have. You can also make themes according to the time of the year that you spend with your family.
For example, have a Winter Wonderland theme during Christmas. You can play the game after Christmas dinner. Include cherished memories and incidents that the family experiences during the holiday season.
This variation will be loved by younger kids. Instead of using pencil and paper to draw the phrase, use LEGOs to build what the word suggests. This will help you get creative with the LEGOs.
Pictionary can also be a fun way to increase your child’s vocabulary. Use the game to help your child grow. Include categories like history, grammar, science, etc. The game can be a fun way to reinforce what the child is learning in school.
This variation of the game can be used on playdates and study sessions where the child is losing focus and is distracted.
Make Pictionary part of your themed parties and get-togethers. Themes like Thanksgiving, Halloween, Baby Showers, etc. are popular and will be a hit at your parties. Including the game in your get-together is a good way to entertain your guests and build better bonds among yourselves.
Partner Pictionary makes teams in a slightly different way. Each person is paired with another person. In between themselves, they decide who guesses and who draws. These two players go head to head. The person who is drawing is the one fighting for the point. The person who reaches 3 points first or wins the most number of rounds after 5 rounds is the winner and moves on to the next round. This type of game works well for large groups.
The winner of each group goes on to have a head-to-head battle with the other winners. This keeps going till there is only one person left standing – the winner. This tournament-style Pictionary works well on game nights and among a close friends group. Keep track of your scores!
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Since Pictionary is such a versatile game, there are some rules that apply throughout the variations and others that are more flexible.
Official Pictionary Rules
- Unlimited sheets of paper can be used per clue. The person drawing can start in a new sheet if the previous one is too crowded.
- Letters cannot be used while trying to draw something. ‘X’ can be used to show the location of something or cross something out. However, it cannot be used as a letter.
- Pre-arranged clues or secret codes cannot be made within the team. If a team is noticed engaging in this type of gameplay, they will be warned by the referee.
- Drawing blank lines or spaces to indicate the number of words or letters is not allowed.
- Drawing an ear to show that the words ‘sounds like’ something else are not allowed.
- Since players must guess the word and not spell it out, the player drawing can use homophones or words that sound similar to help the other players guess the word. For example, a player can draw a ‘leaf’ to indicate the words ‘leave’ (since the plural of the leaf is leaves.)
- No verbal communication and gestures are allowed by the person who is drawing the phrase.
- Numbers and letters cannot be drawn on sheets of paper.
Flexible Pictionary Rules
- Before starting the game, all teams must come together and decide how flexible they are going to be with accepting the answers. Are singular/plural interchangeable, is the wrong position of articles and prepositions in phrases allowed, etc.
- Set a time on how long the person drawing can look at the card before they start to draw. Five to ten seconds is the ideal time.
Almost all words and phrases can be used in Pictionary as everything has a visual representation. Get creative and use art to express the words. Following are some word suggestions to include in the chits.
- Animals: fish, anteater, porcupine, camel, elephant, turtle, etc.
- Food: pasta, pizza, cheeseburger, Caesar’s salad, etc.
- Sports: hockey, basketball, table tennis, carrom, chess, etc.
- Places: New York, Desert, Jupiter, Mountain, etc.
- Objects: Bat, mobile phone, car, bottle, etc.
- People: Biden, Ariana Grande,Cristiano Ronaldo, Bill Gates, etc.
- Verb: Run, Cook, Sleep, Talk, etc.
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Pictionary Words Lists
Here is an exhaustive list of Pictionary words.
Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘A’)
Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘B’)
Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘C’)
Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘D’)
Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘E’)
Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘F’)
Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘G’)
Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘H’)
Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘I’)
Ice cream cone
Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘I’)
Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘K’)
Knife and fork
Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘L’)
Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘M’)
Mr. Potato Head
Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘N’)
Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘o’)
Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘p’)
Peanut Butter and Jelly
Pot of gold
Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘Q’)
Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘R’)
Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘S’)
Statue of Liberty
Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘T’)
The United States
The White House
The Great Wall of China
Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘U’)
Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘V’)
Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘W’)
Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘X’)
Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘Y’)
Pictionary Words Lists (Starting with Letter ‘Z’)
Pictionary is a fun way to loosen up and play with your near and dear ones. Make variations to set the occasion and get drawing! Use the vast number of themes and styles to make the game your own and keep it fresh!
Naomi is an educator with 2 decades of experience working with children of all ages. She is a keen observer of the magic and importance of Maths in our daily lives. Follow me on Linkedin