Three Hundred Games & Pastimes - complete online book

A Book Of Suggestions For Children's Games And Employments.

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What Shall We Do Now?               93
three scenes—than three- or four-syllabled ones ; although there are certain four-syllabled words which split naturally into two halves of two syllables each. " Parsimony," for example, could be performed : Parsee, money, parsimony. As a general rule the charades that are arranged during the evening are better performed in dumb show, with plenty of action, than with any talking at all. Gestures are under the circumstances so much easier than words and not any less amusing.
Very good fun can be had also from impromptu pantomimes, where the performers enact some story which every one knows, such as " Aladdin " or " Red Riding Hood " or " Cinderella " ; or a scene from history proper, or from village or family history. The contrast between the splendour of Cinderella's carriage in the story and the old perambulator which has to serve in the charade only adds to the fun. Every one, being dumb, acts to the utmost. It is sometimes more amusing if all the parts are turned upside down and a boy plays the heroine and a girl the hero. Where the scene is too tremendous for any representation to be given, it is best to meet the case frankly and use, as they did in Shake­speare's day, written labels, such as " This is Aladdin's Palace."
It is, of course, much more fun to dress up ; but dressing up is not so important that a charade is spoiled without it. If, on the day of your party, you know that charades will play a part in it, it is wise to put in a convenient room a number of things suitable to dress up in. Then at the last minute there need be no furious running upstairs to pull things out of wardrobes and boxes, and the unpleasantness will be avoided which sometimes follows when you have taken somebody's best clothes for a rather violent performance.
Almost the best garment there is for dressing-up purposes is a fur coat. While priceless for Red Riding Hood's wolf it will make also most of the other animals in the Zoo. A volunteer's
Dumb per­formances.
Dressing up
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