Homemade Pictionary

Pictionary a great icebreaker and team game

Pictionary is a great team activity and a fun icebreaker for a new group. While pictionary cards can cost you money, Homemade Pictionary can be played without fancy commercial pictionary cards.  Pictionary is played with team members trying to guess specific words from each other’s drawings.


Equipment: Drawing Boards (White boards work perfectly fine too), markers (or anything that can draw)

Time: 15-30 minutes

Group Size: 5 and above (The more the merrier)

Effective Age Group: 15 and above.

How to play Homemade Pictionary?

  • The facilitator (who is not playing) makes lists of several words and writes them down on individual note cards . The words should belong to following Categories and have a label on their back denoting which category they belong to:

People, Places or Animals: For example Abraham Lincoln or One horned Rhinos

Action: For example Punching or doing a surgery

Object: A familiar object like a car or bookshelf

Something difficult : Like Niagra Falls

or something abstract:  love or hate

  • Everybody draws a card but should not reveal the word to his team mates.
  • Now the facilitator divides the players into two groups and each of the team takes their separate places.
  • Divide the players into two groups (preferably of at least three people) and name the groups.
  • The first group sends one of their players to draw the word on the marker and the rest of the team members have to guess the word by looking at the picture.
  • The player obviously should not reveal the word but s/he reveals the category the word is from.
  • The judge sets a time limit and the guesses only within the time limit are allowed (2-3 minutes works the best).
  • Award point for each correct guess.
  • After every member of the team is finished drawing their pictures, tally the points. The team with maximum number of points wins the game.

Watch this Pictionary Scene from romantic classic When Harry Met Sally

Key Takeaways:

  • Don’t put enormously hard words on flash cards, you can be funny with your choice as long as you do not put something like hypnotized chicken on the note card.
  • The picture drawn should not have any number or letter in it.
  • The players can not use any hand gesture or produce any sound while drawing. If found doing so, the player is eliminated from the round. You can even penalize a point as a more severe punishment.
  • In case of many players, you can even divide the players into four teams.


  • If a team guesses the word correctly they can go again.
  • Instead of having facilitator decide the word, you can choose your own words and shuffle them up.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Pictionary helps to improve your visual interpretation skills.
  • This game also helps to improve your deduction skills.
  • This game bolsters non verbal communication between team mates.
  • Pictionary also helps to improve your drawing skills.