Good news! All those seemingly frivolous games you played with your friends and cousins as a kid actually had a purpose. They were getting you ready for the “real world” of motherhood in some essential ways.
Check out these 10 Childhood Games & How to Play as a Mom:
How to Play as a Kid: 1 Person chases the others and “tags” them. When you get tagged, you are now the chaser and everyone else runs.
How to Play as a Mom: When you see your husband’s car pull into the driveway, grab the child who has caused the most mischief that day and stand at the door waiting. As soon as he comes in, quickly hand him the child, yell “Tag, no tag backs” and run away. BONUS POINTS if you actually grab his car keys and drive away.
2. Hide and Seek
How to Play as a Kid: 1 person is the seeker and everyone else hides. The seeker looks and looks until they find all the hiders. The last one found is the next seeker.
How to Play as a Mom: Make a hot cup of coffee. Before you have a chance to take a sip, get distracted and set it in a strange place. Now, spend the rest of the morning trying to find it. When you finally do, surprise! It’s ice cold! Heat it up in the microwave and play again.
3. Duck, Duck, Goose
How to Play as a Kid: All the kids sit in a circle and one person walks around the circle touching the head of each child and saying “duck.” Do this again and again, then finally say “goose” and run away. The child’s head you touched gets up and chases you.
How to Play as a Mom: The more children you have, the more fun this is to play! Duck stands for the name of every other child, relative, and person in the neighborhood EXCEPT the child’s name you’re trying to say. Goose is the name of the child you’re actually trying to talk to. See how many ducks it takes you until you finally get to goose! BONUS POINTS if the dog’s name makes it in there too.
4. Red Light, Green Light
How to Play as a Kid: One person stands at the front of the room with their back turned to the other kids. They say “green light,” and all kids begin to run towards them. That person quickly turns around and yells, “red light,” and all runners must freeze in place. The light turns back around and says “green light” and kids run again. Keep going until one child tags the light.
How to Play as a Mom: No need to do anything, this will happen on it’s own. While your back is turned, your kids will take the “green light” to do whatever they want. When you suspect fowl play, whip your head around and yell, “RED LIGHT!” or “CAUGHT YOU” or “OOGTY-BOOGTY,” or if you’re really good, you won’t need to say anything at all. They will INSTANTLY freeze in place and deny all culpability. Turn back around and it starts all over again. The first kid to push your buttons wins.
How to Play as a Kid: Don’t. It’s gambling.
How to Play as a Mom: Every time you feel a sneeze coming on, you cross your legs and “roll the dice” on what happens next. This is one of the more risky games of motherhood, so be careful. Other variations include: Diaper Roulette, Is that brown spot Chocolate? and “I won’t need a diaper bag, we’re just going out for a short time.”
6. King/Queen of the Mountain
How to Play as a Kid: You find a huge pile of dirt, rocks, or anything large and all kids race to be the first one to the top. If you make it, you are declared King or Queen of the mountain!
How to Play as a Mom: Congrats! You are officially Queen of the Mountain!!! Only now it’s made of laundry and you no longer compete against other kids to get to the top, you’re the only one. You fight the mountain on your own.
How to Play as a Kid: 1 person is the hider and hides in a rather small space. All other players are the seekers. When a seeker finds the hider, they hide WITH the hider (until all hiders have found the seeker). Last one to find the hiding group is the next round’s hider.
How to Play as a Mom: One of my personal favorites! Quietly, without telling anyone, go to the farthest bathroom in the house and close the door. See how long it takes for all the other “sardines” to find you and pack themselves into the bathroom with you. BONUS POINTS if it’s a half bath. Note: To pass the time waiting for all the sardines to find you, have one of the first ones pull all the toilet paper off the roll and another one grab your phone and somehow start a Facebook Live while you’re sitting there.
8. Obstacle Course
How to Play as a Kid: Set up a series of challenges to complete, such as running around cones, through a hoop, etc. Race with other kids to see who can get through it the fastest.
How to Play as a Mom: Who doesn’t love a good obstacle course?? You can either set this up yourself, or easier, let your kids set it up for you. Find the path from the laundry room to the bedroom and place a variety of objects, large and small along the way. Take a cup and spill small pockets of a mysterious liquid in several surprising places. Now fill a bucket with legos, shopkins, and Barbie shoes and empty the bucket along the path. When setup is complete, start at the beginning of the course carrying an overflowing basket of laundry that you cannot see over. Now, try to get to the bedroom without losing your mind! BONUS POINTS if one or more pets or children run across your path during the course.
9. Sack Race
How to Play as a Kid: Take a large, brown feed sack and put both legs into it. Several kids do this and race to the finish line by jumping.
How to Play as a Mom: Find the loosest, most comfortable but least flattering clothes that you can fit your post-partum body into…the looser and more sack-like the better. Now put it on quickly in the dark and race to complete a task, like dropping your kids off at school. BONUS POINTS if you see that Instagram Mom and she stares at you speechless.
10. Pillow Fight
How to Play as a Kid: Grab a pillow and whack somebody with it. They will return the favor and a full-blown “fight” ensues. All in good fun.
How to Play as a Mom: Tell your kids it’s time to go to bed. Tell them again. Now again. Start to get angry. Take away some privileges. Use your batman voice. Use it again. Tell them you mean business. Threaten to get Dad involved. Or Grandma. Finally wrestle them into bed and onto their pillow. They need a glass of water. Now a snack. Then a bathroom break. Now they start a philosophical conversation about the meaning of life. Or ask you where babies come from. You FINALLY get them down and limp out to the living room in an end-of-day stupor to have a minute to yourself. You sit down and pick up your book…and promptly fall asleep on the couch.
Don’t worry, there will be plenty of time for more games tomorrow.
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