family fun

Strengthening Families: Playdough Pictionary

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We started playing Playdough Pictionary because one of the characteristics of strong families is that they play together. And the old saying is true—families that play together, do tend to stay together.
Being active and involved in activities and games together is one of the best ways for families to bond, strengthen relationships, and explore roles. It helps develop a safe and comfortable environment where family members know they are loved and accepted.
But it can be hard to know what to do with your family, especially when you have family members that are all different ages. Look no further, Playdough Pictionary is the perfect game to get you and your family playing, laughing, and bonding together.
playdough pictionary

Playdough Pictionary

Materials Needed

Different colors are fun, but not necessary. You can use store bought, or make it yourself. Anything will work.
List of Words
You use the list at the end of this post, or create your own. Add any other words that you think would be good for your family. Print out one list of words for each team that is playing.

How to Play

  1. Divide your family into teams. If there are only two or three of you, don't worry. Scroll down to the variations at the bottom. (My husband and I play all the time when the kids are asleep.)
  2. Give each team playdough. Two or more colors per team is really fun.
  3. Print off one copy of the words (included at the bottom of the post) for each team. Cut the words into strips and put them in a bowl or baggie. One set for each team.
  4. When it is time to "Start", have one person from each team choose a word out of the bowl. They will look at the word and "Sculpt" that word for their team using the playdough. No talking, noise making, actions, or any other hints or gestures. As they sculpt, the rest of the team tries to guess what they are making.
  5. Once the team has guessed the word correctly, the next team member pulls another word out of the bowl and begins to sculpt for the team.
  6. Continue taking turns sculpting until all the words in your team's bowl have been guessed. The team to do that first, WINS!



  • Set a timer for a certain amount of time. When the time is up, the team with the most words guessed correctly wins.
  • If you are playing with two or three people, don't worry about splitting into teams. Have each person take turns sculpting for the whole group. Keep score as individuals. For example, set the timer for 1 minute. If you are sculpting, and you can get the other player(s) to guess the word before the minute runs out, you get a point. The person with the most points at the end of the game WINS!
  • If you are playing with small children who can't read, draw pictures instead of putting words on the clue papers. We actually have two bowls in our house. Those who can read choose from one bowl, those who can't choose from another bowl. The "can't read yet" bowl is filled with flashcards that I use when I am helping our kids learn their letters. Using the flashcards, I don't have to re-draw any of the clues, and the kids are already familiar with the pictures.

This game also works great with really big groups of people. It's perfect for when extended family is in town, family reunions, or even when your family is together with other families and friends. Divide into teams and choose a host to handle the words. Send one person from each team up to see what word they will be sculpting. Have both teams sculpt the same word at the same time. The first team to guess, gets a point. Send two more people up for the next word. The team with the most points at the end WINS! This is a fun way to play because it lets family and friends move around and adds more fun to the game.

Word List
(Print one copy for each team. Cut the words into slips of paper and put them in a bowl or baggie.)

What are some of your favorite activities to do as a family?

Image via Flickr  


Heather Johnson Heather Johnson, M.S., teaches students the principles behind successful families at Brigham Young University. You can find her online at, and connect with her on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest.
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