Bookmark this page for all the times you look at the clock and think FML it’s only 2.30 and I will cry if I have to play trains for one more minute.
Games that will destroy your house but could be worth it
- Cubby House/ Cave/ Pillow Fort
Don’t even watch as they take every soft furnishing you’ve ever purchased and create a Bedouin tent city. Periodically check on them to make sure they haven’t suffocated.
- Pillow gymnastics
A good follow on from tent city… as you invade and destroy, pile everything up and sit back and demand your children impress you with their best gymnastic routine. Chances of a child pile driving their own forehead with their knee are extremely high, but what’s childhood without a head injury or two?
- The floor is lava
Pillows are your safe islands, the floor is molten lava. Jump from island to island and try not to melt your flesh. I suggest you do some quick research on what lava actually is in case you have a curious child… it’s humiliating when you don’t know the answers #speakingfromexperience
- Obstacle Course
If you’re super chilled you can let them design their own course and then time them. If you’re like me, you will design the course, set a goal time and then get super annoyed when they don’t follow the rules as you so clearly set out.
Party Games for when there’s no party but you’d still love a Margharita thanks
- Musical Statues
Dance it out to some music but you must freeze like a statue when the music stops. This is hilariously unsuccessful with toddlers who will stop for no one.
- Musical Chairs
Same as statues but when the music stops you have to sit down on a chair. Take a chair away each round. This is going to be a super short game if you only have one child.
- Dead Fish/ Sleeping Lions
Basically an excuse to make your children lie really still for extended periods of time. A hunter roams around and tries to make the sleeping lions/ dead fish move.
- Dance Party
Dance. I suggest popping on some hip hop and teaching them some moves. The Wiggles are fun and all, but memories are made with the B.I.G.
- Pass the Parcel (with their own toys)
If you can be bothered grabbing some newspaper and wrapping up some of their toys. Would be really funny if you declared that any toys they opened automatically became theirs even if it used to belong to someone else. I mean, they’re going to fight anyway, might as well give them something to fight about.
- What’s the time Mr Wolf?
A wolf stands with his back to the others while they call out, “What’s the Time Mr Wolf?” The wolf gives the time (i.e. 3 o’clock) and the others take the corresponding number of steps (3). The kids are trying to touch the Wolf before he calls out DINNERTIME and chases them so he can eat them. Because hunting/ cannibalism/ murder are super good fun times for kids!
- Duck Duck Goose
Really not even worth trying unless you have about 5 kids. If you have 5 kids, well done you.
No equipment required
If you really feel like running around. If you do, well done you.
- Hide and Seek (and maybe you don’t find them for a really long time)
They hide and maaaaybe, just maybe, you don’t seek. Straight away I mean. Eventually you’ll have to look for them. Or they’ll eventually come looking for you and when they find you, in the kitchen, having a cuppa, you just say, “oh my god, you are THE BEST HIDER EVER!”
- Hide and Seek with a toy
You hide a toy somewhere in the house and they have to find it. You could take it to the next level by throwing it into The Shit Room (everyone has one of these, don’t they?) and telling them they’ll have to clean the room to find it.
- Staring Competitions
Yeah, I know, this is probably going to cause fights because “she’s looking at me!”
- Knuckles or Slaps
Kudos to the mother who suggested this. It’s basically a green light for your children to beat the shit out of each other and call it family bonding.
- Follow the Leader/ Simon Says
Bloody hilarious to play this game with kids. Since when do they do anything they’re told? Or have I just not been doing it right this whole time by not adding ‘Simon Says” at the start of every sentence? Genuine question.
- Sock Wrestling
Everyone starts with socks. You’ve got to keep your socks on. Everyone is going to try and take yours off. It’s like a battle to the death in my family. Knees and elbows are everywhere. The moment I tried to cut off my husband’s air supply with my thighs was the moment I knew I might be taking it too seriously. I mean, I didn’t stop, but I really took a moment to reflect on it later on…
Sit and Chat games for when you really don’t want to get up
- Guess the animal
Pick an animal and give clues for the others to guess – or pick an animal and make the others ask questions like “does your animal live in the ocean”. This probably won’t work with kids under two but if you’d like to try, I commend your effort.
- Eye Spy
Can be done with colours for kids who can’t spell yet. But honestly, why should they get a free pass?
- I’m thinking of a number between…
Look, this was a suggestion. I’m still trying to figure out how this is fun, but who am I to tell you how to have a good time?
- Think of an animal (eg. octopus), google some amazing facts, tell the kids and get them started on a project of their own, finding out more, drawing pictures, watching YouTube docos etc.
Take my order please waiter. And tell the chef I like my steak medium-rare and if he can’t get it right this time, I am going to leave a scathing review on Trip Advisor.
Let one of your kids be the teacher. You can be the arsehole student and give them a taste of what it’s like to deal with delinquents who don’t listen.
Start in a sleeping bag and emerge as a butterfly! I mean, I’d prefer to be that caterpillar who never made it out and just stay in my cocoon forever, but that’s just me.
- Sleep overs
This one is a pretend sleep over with sleeping bags, midnight snacks etc. That’s basically my two favourite things in the world. Lying down and eating. WIN.
- Re-enact movies
For example: build the tower from Frozen out of cushions and LET IT GO. Don’t forget to film them so you can show it to their friends for eternity.
Games that require almost zero effort from the parent (and maybe you can lie down)
- Doctors and nurses and you are the gravely ill patient.
Again, any opportunity to lie down is ok with me.
- Car races on mum’s back
Ditto. Plus bonus massage sensation with cars.
You are the client. Maybe don’t give them scissors.
- Massage Parlour
Again, you are the client.
- Who can be quiet for the longest?
This game would drive me insane because my children would simply not understand the rules. But apparently other people have had success.
Crafty type activities
- Guess what I’m drawing (Pictionary?)
- Hang Man
- Monster game – call out random body parts and how many and draw them
- Treasure Hunt – draw pictures of things they need to find (lizard, leaf, bird…)
- Tree climbing
- Mud Coffee shop
- Find a four-leaf clover
- Painting the fence or wall with water – or you could use a spray bottle with water
- Cleaning the windows with water
- Chalk drawings on wall or ground
- Shadow puppets with a torch
- Tea Parties
- Teddy Bears Picnic
- Balloons – how many times can you hit them and keep them in the air?
- Draw a picture, walk to post office and send it to someone.
- Hide a toy and draw a treasure map for them to find it.
- Play dough
- Hunt for letters/ numbers/ shapes drawn on post-its hidden around the house
- Memory – use household items under a blanket, then remove some and say what’s missing
- Jigsaw puzzles
- Snakes and Ladders
- Kids Monopoly
- Guess Who