Games are an important part of a young child’s development and if you’re not playing lots of games with your child, chances are you’re not a good parent. Trust me, I’m a really good judge. You might want to ask yourself why you refuse to put in the time. Are you selfish? Lazy? Just not that into it? Well, now that you’ve spent a few moments being really tough on yourself, maybe you’re ready to try harder. Here are a few of my family’s favorite games and I’ve included some instructions so you can try them for little to no expense on your wallet, but a high price on your sanity.
Baby-So-Soft! This fun game is for two players and requires only one entire bottle of baby oil (choose your favorite brand because you’ll be smelling it for a week). After your child emerges from the tub, let them catch a glimpse of the baby oil. If they are anything like my child, they will want the baby oil in their hand so badly that any attempts to disuade them will be met with copious amounts of crying. Give in and let your kid have a little oil in their hand which they will then rub on their body, your body, your hair, the couch and the dog. Repeat 20 times or until you are all crying.
52 Thousand Pick-Up: Similar to the beloved card game only with toys and a lot more of them. Here’s how it works: let your kids loose in a room that contains a lot of boxes of toys preferably toys that contain lots of small parts. The game really plays itself but the clean-up is a bitch.
What Am I Saying? Do you love a good guessing game? If so, this is for you. All you need is one child who is a little behind verbally but in addition is easily frustrated. Now get eye level with your child and let the game begin. Are they asking for jammies? Apple juice? The latest National Enquirer? God only knows but you can burn off a good hour trying to figure it out. P.S. if you’re a speech therapist, that’s cheating.
Oh My God Are You Choking??? Caution – this game should not be played if you are suffering from high blood pressure, panic disorder or a heart condition. OMGAYC is great at mealtime but can be played anywhere choking hazards exist. Leave your kids unattended for any amount of time – 10 seconds works equally as well as 10 minutes. When you return, there’s a good chance your baby will be red in the face and have a suspicious lump in their cheek. This is a good time to shriek, “Are you choking? What do you have in your mouth? Show me what’s in your mouth. Let me see that! Oh no, can you breathe?” If your baby is coughing or crying they’re not “officially” choking so you may resume blogging, vacuuming (kidding), sleeping or watching Judge Judy until it’s time to play again.
Sugar Olympics – The most simple of all the games we play: see how long your child can go without asking for a cookie, candy, muffin or other treat. Give yourself 5 good parenting points for every increment of five minutes. Once you hit 20 points, you’re a better parent than I am. Also? Yogurt counts. Come on, it’s all sugar!
Will It Flush? Fans of Letterman and Elmo alike will enjoy this plumbing challenge. Allow your child to gather a ton of objects of various shapes and sizes from around the house (if they can reach your underwear drawer, it’s not off limits). Keep the bathroom door unlocked and then watch them throw one object at a time into the bowl and try to flush it down. If it goes down, they win. If it doesn’t, the plumber wins. For more advanced play, let them throw all the objects in at the same time. This game is best played with all players naked.
Give Mama a Kiss See if your self esteem can withstand the beating that is your kid refusing to kiss you no matter how much you beg. Try asking as sweetly as possible and never show how much it hurts your feelings each time they pull away like you’re suggesting they shove a toothpick in their gums rather than simply granting you a tiny peck on your cheek. After twenty minutes, if you haven’t successfully talked your kid into kissing you, admit defeat and try again later otherwise you may need therapy. If your child refuses to kiss you but happily smootches your husband, your coffee cup and the couch with more passion than if it were Leonardo DiCaprio, you may want to ask yourself something, “Am I playing enough games with them?” And then go back to the beginning of this list.
Feel free to add your own game suggestions in the comments. I can always use the amusement. Unfortunately I had to add the word verification to my comments because I was getting spammed up the butt. I will take it off as soon as I can since I know how annoying it is.