Level Up Your Charades: Why Helping Hands Works

How to get kids to taking acting "seriously"

Growing up, I always found Whose Line Is It Anyway? so hilarious. My mom and I laughed continuously until it attracted the attention of everyone in the house! That’s why I came back to this show to look for ideas when the Discover Your Creativity program called for theatre sports.

I like this game because it combines physical props with a visualised goal. I find props are especially key to making any acting exercise effective in my unit, because it’s either hard for the actress to visualize her role or for the audience to guess her role. But, this activity also works for Build Skills in Communications because of having that goal.

If you’re not familiar with the Whose Line watch the video below. However, I don’t recommend showing it to the Girls though, unless you want to tame gobs and gobs of silliness!

This is how I set up my version of Helping Hands:

Actor 1: the eyes and mouth (front person)
Actor 2: the hands (back person)

Objective: to make an edible sandwich. (I would like to stress “edible” because it some participants would go crazy with condiments.)


  • bread
  • condiments that normally go on bread, like jam and butter
  • condiments that don’t normally go on a sandwich like soy sauce and hot sauce
  • plastic cutlery (especially knife)
  • plate
  • napkins / moist towelettes / apron


  1. Blindfold the back person. Have the front person  wear the apron and lock their hands behind the back persons’ waist.
  2. The front person can’t touch and the back person can’t see or talk.
  3. Set them up with this situation: they are the host of a cooking show and today’s episode will be about teaching the audience to make a sandwich. And like any good cook, they will taste (eat) their food at the end.
  4. You can direct the front person to talk naturally to help the back person, like “Let’s start with taking the ingredients out of the bag,” and “Soy sauce won’t make for a yummy sandwich. That must have gotten their by accident.” Keep in mind that the back person will need help with exact ingredients and quantity, as you can see with the mustard in the video.

Learning Points:

  • Talk about the good and the bad outcomes.
  • Each participant in a project brings a different set of knowledge and skills to the table, so you have to work as a team to realize the goal. The limitations to both of the actors represents the abilities of each teammate.

3 Tips for Role Playing Activities

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