Too Young For Chutes and Ladders, Too Old To Just Sit There While You Drink

Those Babycenter weekly emails have gone from mildly helpful to flat-out inbox pollution. They ran out of things to say about my child's development around week 32, and now I'm getting emails that are like, Today your baby is doing some stuff. Actually, he may or not be doing that stuff because all babies develop at different rates, but while we've got your attention, please click on this link to our store and buy something.

It's hard to believe that their writers can't think of one thing to say about a one year-old besides "you'll love seeing your child's growing sociability." Oh really? I'll love it? Thanks for the tip, because before you mentioned it, I was sort of expecting to keep her locked in the boiler room with only waterbugs for friends.

I get especially annoyed by the emails suggesting games you can play with your child. (Peekaboo? Genius!) They are rarely based on any sort of reality, at least as far as I can tell. Or maybe my daughter is the only one who's not interested in "crawling over sofa bolsters" for fun.

You want to know what games your one year-old really likes to play? You've come to the right place.

Kick the Head
Players: 2-3
Rules: Lie in bed and kick mommy or daddy in the head.

Put Things In Your Mouth You Can Choke On
Players: 2
Game Pieces: Dice, pennies, ticket stubs, dog biscuits, cat litter, game pieces, paper clips.
Rules: Mommy goes and does something like wash dishes or read blogs. While her back is turned, you put something in your mouth from the dirty floor. She has to find out what it is before time runs out.

Poke the Dog
Players: 1 human, 1 skittish canine
Rules: When the dog goes to her "leave me alone" place, crawl right under there with her and poke her in the face. If you can get your whole fist in her ear before she turns into a quivering, wimpering mess, you win.

Oh no...not another game of Poke the Dog.
I bet Mrs. Kennedy's bulldog never has to play this.

The Water Game
Players: 2
Game Pieces: Cup of water
Rule: Point towards a cup of water. Take a big sip. Then spit it at the adult who gave it to you. Repeat.

Players: The more the merrier
Rules: Go with your parents to a restaurant, preferably a small quiet one. Just as the food arrives, shriek as loud as you can. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

I Like To Put My Fingers in My Poo
Players: 2
Rules: While your diaper is being changed, reach down and stick your fingers in your own excrement. Then, make sure to touch everything around you as fast as you can.

PlayStation 2
Players: 1
Rules: When daddy leaves the Playstation controler on the floor, try and fit as much of it in your mouth as possible. Extra points if your excessive drool jams the controls for good.

What are the games you've played with your one year-old? Let's have 'em. I smell a six-figure publishing deal with your name in the acknowledgments...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol Is it wrong that I can relate to so many of these and I have a two year old!?!?!

How about the tub game of filling the bucket full of water and dumping it outside the tub?!?!

7/13/06, 1:20 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

That dog! I want that dog! If he turns up missing, I didn't take him, okay? Not me. Oh yeah, and the post was hysterical, too. Just let me wipe this slobber off my chin, 'cuz the dog is to die for!

7/13/06, 1:33 AM  
Blogger The Domesticator said...

This was so funny...I hate to tell you this, but these games can be played by a child as old as three...

7/13/06, 1:50 AM  
Blogger Karen Bodkin said...

I'm really glad someone is now 2 and loves playing (and not eating) frikkin' wegos. :)

7/13/06, 1:50 AM  
Blogger toyfoto said...

OK. This has to stop. I laughed all the way through this post.

We play EVERY SINGLE ONE of these games (except the dog one, because our hounds are not skittish about poking the kid). But we've changed the rules on the chokeable game. Ours has mommy giving her chokables directly. There's no turning of backs here. So far, so good. The only thing that goes into this kids mouth besides food is a binky. She's a weirdo.

7/13/06, 2:03 AM  
Blogger Cristina said...

Oh, this was great. Ok, I've got one.

Pull all the toliet paper off the roll. Scream like a madman if someone tries to take it away from you. Put as many pieces of toliet paper in your mouth as you can. Smile like a little devil at your mommy cuz you KNOW you're being bad.

Repeat until there is no more toliet paper left in the house and mommy has to wipe her ass with kleenex.

7/13/06, 3:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watch out, Milton Bradley. I've played all those games with Girlie. The water spitting one would still get played if Mommy had a better sense of humor. I'll add the throw the newspaper in the bathroom game. Daddy would sit on the floor to read the paper - I guess so Girlie would be fooled that he was interacting with her. Didn't work. She would grab the paper and throw it in the bathroom. Of course that's secretly where Daddy wanted the paper all along.

7/13/06, 3:33 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

That is hilarious. The funniest post I've read this month.

I've got another one, also poo-related. It's called "Timing is everything"
Players: 1 (plus spectator/cleaner-upper)
Rules: Hold your poo all day long until bathtime. As soon as Mommy puts you in the water, assume squat stance, smile at Mommy and push.

7/13/06, 3:49 AM  
Blogger Mahlers On Safari said...

Smother Your Sister
Players: 2 (Works best with twins)
Rules: Wait until mommy is on the phone. Use your new found motor skills to lie squarely on top of your sister's head. Push down harder as sister tries to get out from under. Extra points for making your sister cry so hard she can't breathe even after you get up.

7/13/06, 4:26 AM  
Blogger Mahlers On Safari said...

BTW... all these games are still "in play" at 2.5!

7/13/06, 4:27 AM  
Blogger Chip said...

LOL, this is absolutely great! I think you can get a newsletter with an infinite number of issues out of this!

7/13/06, 6:59 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

We mostly play the same games with some deviations. For example, ours isn't "I like to put my fingers in my poo." Our version is "I like to roll over and crawl away with poop on my butt." And our "Poke the dog" is really "Pull the dog's hair out in clumps."

The only one we have that you don't is "Climb to the top of the stairs before mom has realized you've left the room and teter perilously at the top as mom runs in slow motion to get you."

7/13/06, 7:48 AM  
Blogger motherbumper said...

Bumper likes to play "Let's call someone far away". It involves one cordless phone, one distracted mom (dishes, blogs, whatever). When mommy is distracted take cordless phone and start punching buttons. For good measure, suck on antenna and hit grandparents on speed dial so when mommy finally lunges for phone, there is someone there going "hello! hello! is that you motherbumper? why does bumper have the phone?....". Really REALLY freakin' fun.

7/13/06, 8:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Baby Craps

3 players

Child takes off diaper and craps on the floor. Other two players (parents) make bets (or spin a wheel) as to who will clean it up.

And you are definitely onto something.

7/13/06, 8:36 AM  
Blogger Lumpyheadsmom said...

I Want to Eat That, No That
Players: 2
Rules: Demand food. When offered food, pick it up as to eat it, but throw it at other player instead. Repeat until offered the kind of food you want. Extra points for really looking like you're going to eat the food right before tossing it.

Gravity Is Fun
Players: 2
Rules: Drop item. Stare intently at item and squeal until other player retrieves it for you. Repeat.

7/13/06, 9:44 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

The Dinner Game
Players: 2 or more
Rules: When the person preparing dinner asks toddler if he'll eat chicken nuggets, pizza, hot dog, hamburger (pronounced hang-a-bur), toddler chooses one. Then, when the prepared dinner is placed in front of child, toddler promptly refuses to eat it after only two bites, demanding french fries and/or ice cream, and then slides out of booster seat with the broken strap and runs around the living room with toys, defying other players' admonitions to "come eat this." When other players finally give up and begin to clear uneaten food, toddler throws fit when food is thrown out and irretrievable. Flops on floor kicking and screaming and crying, "Mah hang-a-bur," until Mommy/Daddy gets out the junk (Cheez-its, grapes, fruit snacks) because toddler "has to eat something."

There's also the Bedtime Game:
Players: 2
Rules: toddler refuses to go to sleep at a decent toddler hour (imposed bedtime of 9:00 not so imposing). When toddler finally falls asleep at 10:30, player 2 (mommy or daddy) can sleep. Then, in the morning, when player 2 wakes up and gets ready for work, toddler sleeps peacefully. When player 2 wakes toddler up to get changed diaper and clothes on, toddler cries, "I want night-night! I don't wanna wake up!" and kicks out at player 2 until her forearms are covered in bruises.

7/13/06, 10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brilliant! I'll be getting to work ASAP on a teen version.
Our household favourite: The Multitasking Game for the Budding Literary Child. Only one player required, crawling age preferable. Grab edge of bookshelf (which has been secured to the wall by responsible parents of course)and pull self to upright position. Hold on with one hand and develop the fine art of balance while using other hand to simultaneously grab and fling one book after another over your shoulder until you have accumulated an enormous pile. Hum or mutter happily throughout. You win if you can clear all the shelves before a grownup pries themselves off the couch to tie you up.

7/13/06, 10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my god, that was the most hilarious thing I've read in ages. Thanks. It's all so true!

7/13/06, 10:51 AM  
Blogger me said...

my all time favorite was
Plant Time

no matter where mommy puts the plants, build a tower to them climb up , knock plants over and spread whatever dirt you don't eat EVEYWHERE.all in less than 2 minutes. hopefully right after mommy finished cleaning the floor, or giving said toddler a bath.

hours of entertainment for the whole house.
and just so you know alot of these games are still played by my 16 yr old. ok well no poop games, but the rest of them sure thing.

7/13/06, 10:55 AM  
Blogger Becky at lifeoutoffocus said...

i got so sick of the babycenter emails too! hannah's 3 now but i was still getting them when she was like 2! good luck with that. and we've played ALL those games before. yeah. lots of fun huh?

7/13/06, 11:07 AM  
Blogger Liesl said...

Oh, those Babycenter messages - your child is now 2 and pretty soon you'll hear strides in her language development as she begins to recite the Gettysburg Address...

Hhhhmmm, those games sounds familiar, although in our house yanking the video cables out of the TV is also a popular pastime. As is attempting to yank the ears off of the dog. Who, thank heaven, has the patience of a saint...

7/13/06, 11:18 AM  
Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said...

You forgot the part of the poo game where you get extra points if the kid can stick their poo covered fingers in their mouth before Mom or Dad can clean them off. Good times.

Hmm.. How about the tantrum game? Fun for everyone. Sit in the middle of the room and scream bloody murder until you pass out. Both Mom and baby can play at the same time. The one who passes out first wins.

7/13/06, 11:50 AM  
Blogger Namito said...

The Chair and CD relay
Players: 2
Rules: Push chair across floor to CD shelves.
Climb up and grab as many CD's as possible and throw them on the floor before Mom can reach you.

Extra points if you grab the Sisters of Mercy, or the Pogues, or Kansas.

Painting with water/water displacement is fun
Players: 2
Rules: Dunk hand in cup of water Mom gave you to drink. Run over to Mom and wipe hand over her pant legs. Repeat until aesthetically pleasing, or until all the water is gone.
Bonus points for managing to do this with OJ or Milk.

7/13/06, 12:31 PM  
Blogger Piece of Work said...

Our current favorite is "I do it!"
Players: 2
Rules: pick an activity completely beyond the capabilites of two year old, such as putting on a shirt, or unbuckling the carseat, or putting hair in pony tail, etc etc etc. Wait until parent is running late. Have two year old INSIST on accomplishing that activity, complete with screaming fits everytime she is thwarted until parent dissolves in a puddle of tears.

It's fun! Really!

7/13/06, 12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oooo oooo, I have some more (LOVED this post, btw):

for 5 year olds: KEEP MOMMY AWAKE GAME---as soon as mommy falls asleep, creep into her room, weep and tell her how much you love her, over and over again. The goal is to prevent mommy from sleeping more than 1 hour at a time.

for 3 year olds: WHERE IN THE WORLD CAN I PEE NOW? GAME----find new places in the house to pee! Goal is to see how loud mommy shrieks when she finds out where you've peed (bonus points is she cries!)

for 1 year olds: HISS KITTY HISS GAME (this is sort of along the same lines as your doggy game, but for the felines out there) Crawl under table where 14 year old cat has gone for privacy. Grab his fur and pull tail. If he hisses, laugh and get bonus points. If kitty scratches, game over.

7/13/06, 12:59 PM  
Blogger j.sterling said...

kick the head is my favorite.. and every other body part. lol

7/13/06, 1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

D likes to play "dial 911". Actually he just hit the redial button. The previous day had been "interesting". Yo Flav - 911 ain't no joke.

7/13/06, 1:09 PM  
Blogger Silly Hily said...

This post was beyond fabulous! Yes, you are onto something. And since I'm a credit whore, I'll add my game so you can acknowledge me in your book.

Fun With Laundry
Players: 2
Rules: After mommy puts the clean clothes in the laundry basket to sort through and fold or hang up, you see how long it takes you to pull every single article of clean laundry OUT of the basket.
Bonus points if you can get to the already folded t-shirts and throw them on the floor.
Bonus bonus points if you score a pair of underwear and put them on top of your head or over your face like a mask.

7/13/06, 1:12 PM  
Blogger metro mama said...

My favorite is:

Food Games

Players: 2

Object: Get as much food on mommy and floor by blowing raspberries, kicking the bowl, spitting into fist then emptying on floor, or any other available means.

7/13/06, 1:35 PM  
Blogger the mystic said...

I've played all of these games -- many times. I don't remember them being as fun or funny as it was to read about them here though.

And really, BabyCenter needs to get a life.

7/13/06, 3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lights Off!
Players: 2
Rules: Push a chair over to the kitchen light switch. Turn the light on and off and on and off and on and off, preferably while Mommy is preparing dinner and would reeeeally like to see where she's putting that knife blade. When removed from the chair, go rigid, then lie on the ground and scream like an air-raid siren. Repeat until all four kitchen chairs are locked in the laundry room.

Great post! We've played all of these games, many times.

7/13/06, 3:27 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Flush the world...Take anything and everything you can find and try to flush it as soon as someone is stupid enough to leave a bathroom door open.

Paint the wall....Take any writing instrument and make as many marks as you can before someone realizes what you are doing.

Feed the dog....Take small ahndfuls of puppy food and place them all over the house, so the dog can eat all the time...as well as the ants.

Oh but wait till she is two, that is when the fun begins. At 1 at least you can still re-direct them. Two years olds, don't forget. Me do it, is the best one. You'll love it.

7/13/06, 3:34 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Take a Dump in the Bath
Players: 2-3
Rules: Engage in happy bubbly play in bath. As Mommy turns back to probe new zit in bathroom mirror, take silent but massive dump. Do not alert Mommy to this event, instead score points for allowing Mommy to come across it as she gropes in the bathwater for Mr Spongey.
How long will it take Mommy to find the poo, whisk you and all toys out of the tub? How many times will Mommy gag as she fishes for floating turd with rubber glove. How long will it take Mommy to FIND effing rubber glove.

7/13/06, 3:58 PM  
Blogger nonlineargirl said...

Nice to know that my gal is right on target with those games. We are having LOTS of fun with the "grab your own poopy crotch" game. Lots. Whee.

7/13/06, 3:59 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

My little one loved that fingers in the poo game too, only she would try to see how much of it she could schmerp in her hair before I grabbed her shit-slippery hands. Gag!

7/13/06, 4:11 PM  
Blogger OhTheJoys said...

"Ruzilla The Destroyer"
Players: 1 principal; Any number of others.
Rules: Watch your brother, mother, father and others build something (Choo Choo Tracks and trains being the #1 best thing) and then SMASH IT DOWN by crawling over it and putting various smashed and ruined pieces in your mouth. (Make sure to smile and shriek alternately while doing it.)

7/13/06, 4:24 PM  
Blogger macboudica said...

Paint Mommy's Butt (With Ketchup--or whatever!)

Players: 1 gooey child in high chair, one parent

Rules: Toss food from high chair tray. As Mommy bends over with her butt in the air, paint it with your ketchup coated fingers. She'll love it!

Then there is the ever popular:
Grab the Cat Tail
Rules: Self explainatory

Followed by WWE Wrestling re-enactment

7/13/06, 4:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my! It has been several years since my kids played those games. Thanks so much for the memories!

I do remember one: The Baby Powder Pour.

Materials: mischevious boy and a full container of baby powder.
Rules: Empty the container.
The Game: Sneak into the bathroom and coat the entire floor and yourself in baby powder. (Have you ever had to clean a half inch of baby powder of an old, tiled bathroom floor -- you know, the ones with little 1"x1" tiles that look like a jigsaw puzzle with miles of grout? Not a pretty site.)

Don't know about the Babycenter thing, but if you are looking for some tips regarding development, check out my site. Just did a post today with a technique to chill little ones out.

Keep up the great posts! And I agree with one of the other comments, the games will continue for a long time...they will be less physically exhausting and more mentally exhausting. I find a strong martini helps my game.

7/13/06, 4:54 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

LOVE this post. God, this is SO TRUE!

7/13/06, 6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh these are great!!! I can relate to so many. Here are a few games we like to play:

Collapse on the Floor
Players: 2-3
Rules: While walking with your mom through the lobby of her work or while in the elevator with a bunch of mommy’s co-workers, collapse on to the floor and lay still for as long as you can. It’s most fun when mommy’s hands are full or she’s holding your baby sister or there are a lot of people around!

Fun while Co-Not Sleeping
Players: 2
Rules: While mommy is trying to go to sleep next to you, practice your new skill of pulling up to standing against the headboard. When she lies you back down, get up and repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat.

7/13/06, 6:39 PM  
Blogger Mama Kelly said...

ah memories!!!

now we play games like

She Did It, No She Did It

Who Can Slam the Door the Hardest

Putting Off Personal Hygeine

Playing With Swear Words

now that my little angels are 11 and 6 the games have gotten so interesting

7/13/06, 7:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I Can Find a Shoe! Can you?

Retrieve Mommy's nastiest flip-flops from anywhere, everywhere that Mommy can think to hide them. Now, wait until Mommy finds you and shove as much of said shoe in your mouth as possible. Watch Mommy shudder with queasiness.

7/13/06, 8:46 PM  
Blogger Denver Dad said...

Hahaha... well, when Chunk meets Thalia in the Olympics, representing our country in the world "Kick The Head" championship, may the best lunatic win.

What about the "Spill Milk In the Car" game?

Players: 1 + Audience
Game Pieces: Sippy cup with an easy to remove lid
Rules: Wait until Daddy is trying to merge onto the highway, has just been cut off by a VW full of teenagers, or until he is already frustrated from earlier games, then open and dump the milk all over the car seat and floor. Extra points may be obtained if you provide an innocent sounding, "Uh oh!" after the fact.

My son? MASTER at that game.

7/13/06, 9:10 PM  
Blogger Renée said...

Mine is especially fond of "yank the penis until it stretches to three times its normal length and then let it go and watch it snap back while it makes a *thwap* noise." All while giggling with glee. Your games sound fun too.

7/13/06, 9:18 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

R: I can only hope you mean his own penis?

I love all of these! More! More!

7/13/06, 9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't think of anything to add to your excellent list other then the propensity to throw, smear and/or wear the food that the momma lovingly prepares. Yup, that's fun...

7/13/06, 9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What??? No "let's stuff the VCR with a sandwich/toothbrush/paperback book and see how long before someone hits the EJECT button" game?

7/13/06, 10:30 PM  
Blogger Awesome Mom said...

I love this post! We just had a rousing game of I Like To Put My Fingers In My Poo today. It is one of my favorites.

7/13/06, 10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am crying and coughing as a result of laughing my ass off (unfortunately, not literally).

Blind Leading the Blind
Players: 2
Rules: Grab Mommy by the hand. Lead her somewhere you aren't supposed to be. Throw yourself on the floor and shriek when she says "No".

Hair Pulling
Players: 2 (same players every time)
Rules: Grab a handful of your big sister's hair. Pull as hard as you can until she shrieks and cries. Shriek and cry yourself. Observe Mommy looking longingly at last night's wine glass on the kitchen counter.

7/13/06, 11:21 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Favorite games around here include:

Up & Down
Players: 1 child, 1 adult
Rules: Whine and cry for adult to pick you up. As soon as adult picks you up, cry and thrash to be put down. Repeat as soon as you reach each extreme.

Hide & Seek
Players: 1 or 2 parents, 1 child
Rules: When out shopping, run off as soon as adult is distracted. Make sure to take lots of turns, and attempt to hide behind any product feature. (Yeah, Mom101, get ready for the toddler years.)

Child Abuser
Players: 1 child
Rules: Just before getting to the playground, smack yourself in the face several times, leaving a red mark on your cheek. Then run off to play happily while mommy endures evil looks from others around her and tries to explain.

7/13/06, 11:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well crap. apparently i dropped off the planet for a few days and missed all this good clean(ish) fun. phooey on me!

gosh... i feel so proud seeing how you've grown into your role as mother/recreation director. and i'm quite sure you'll be happy to know many of the skills Thalia is learning now will last a lifetime. just last night i had to pull a video-game controller out of my youngest son's mouth. i mean, they may not stay puppies long, but you'd never know it from the drool produced by a hung-over 22 year old. xox

(love your puppy picture, by the way... that look is classic "oh shit. is it already time for another round of Poke the Dog?")

7/13/06, 11:30 PM  
Blogger pixie sticks said...

My one year olds favorite game is Trick Mama Into Nursing In Public. As hard as I try, he's always positioning himself just so, and then shrieks until I give in - I'm a sucker, true, but make no mistake, it's a game. Happy belated birthday to you all.

7/14/06, 12:15 AM  
Blogger Jess Riley said...

See, this is the kind of post that makes me want to have a kid tomorrow. You are brilliant, woman! And these comments, too: hilarious. Alas, I only have a dog. But she's an Olympian at:

Single player game. During daily walk, be sure to crap enough to necessitate endless butt scooting / wiping on lawns, cement sidewalk, wooden stairs, and asphalt, all the way home. You win when your owner has to scrub your butt with Softsoap on top of the dryer.

A simple game, really. You win when your owner resorts to plugging his or her ears with index fingers. Bonus points for barking when your owner is having an important phone conversation or a migraine.

7/14/06, 12:52 AM  
Blogger ms blue said...

Tonight we played:

Break Out
3 Players
Grab your older sister’s peanut butter sandwich. Lick.
Watch mom get frantic as your body gets covered in itchy hives.
Baby wins bubblegum flavored Benadryl.

7/14/06, 1:06 AM  
Blogger Mel said...

Did nobody play Fling The Important Items Around The Room?
Players: 2
Objective: Locate the important tax documents (or the bills, or the pile of work mom brought home, or the wedding favors mom worked on all night - you get the idea). Grab one by one. Crumple if possible. Coat with slobber and unidentifiable food substances. Fling around the room before mom notices and runs to rescue her things.
Bonus Points: Can be earned by stuffing one page, the most important one, into the sofa, the armchair, or the refrigerator.

7/14/06, 1:57 AM  
Blogger Awesome Mom said...

My boy's favorite is the Ball Grab. Once the diaper is off squeeze those suckers so hard that Daddy cries just watching you.

7/14/06, 10:43 AM  
Blogger Vikki said...

What about the Pet Food Eating Contest? Baby innocently plays with refrigerator magnets until parent is elbow deep in dish water and then runs to the cat food bowl and shoves as much cat food into mouth as possible before running from the room and leaving a trail of crumbs. Then, parent must insert fingers into teething baby mouth to dig out said food. Extra points for teeth marks on parents digits.

7/14/06, 11:44 AM  
Blogger Perstephone said...

Yeah, those babycenter emails got annoying at around 6 months old for me. I don't even read them anymore.

Let's see, what does Hugo do for fun? He repeatedly removes my glasses, throws his crackers on the floor to the cats, and only finds it acceptable to crawl in the bathtub where he could drown hismelf. But you? You're getting me so excited for that one-year mark. It sounds like fun times for all.

7/14/06, 12:10 PM  
Blogger Bobita said...

I can add two games...from my 14-month-old's perspective...

1) Grab The Penis: which must be done with immense pleasure and excitement...the moment the diaper is removed! Clearly, it is much more fun when Mommy is trying to hold down your flailing arms with her feet...while removing the inevitable poopy diaper!

2) Do Everything That You Know Mommy Doesn't Want You To Do: this fun game includes trying to poke your fingers into the spinning fan blade, chewing on electrical cords, eating spiders and climbing the bookcases. And each activity must be performed while you are looking at your Mommy, with that clever little smirk on your face...waiting to see how long it will take her to realize what you are doing...

7/14/06, 12:11 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

games? hmmm, we used to dance a lot. and oh oh we used to watch baby einstein. does that count? ok well at 1 year-old there's not much to do. let's think, J used to love pulling things out of the kitchen drawers and dumping the dog's water bowl over.

7/14/06, 1:12 PM  
Blogger KatBliss said...

A new version of Catchphrase... my daughter says as many bad words in a row as possbile before the timer runs out and then I have to guess what she really means.

ie. She says "shit, dammit, jesus" I say "dropped Mom's favorite vase!"

7/14/06, 1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL. God, this is so true -- Oliver excels at ALL OF THESE GAMES.

7/14/06, 2:48 PM  
Blogger FFF said...

So true! I have some:

Cracker Toss
Nibble on Cracker until the piece gets too small for your liking or too wet with drool to crunch. Crumple into fist to make crumbs. Scatter all over floor.

Dishwasher Drama
Players: Mama, Daddy, Baby
The Scene: Mama and Baby are reading Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do you See? while Daddy loads the dishwasher. As long as Daddy does this quietly and Baby doesn't know, all is fine. As soon as Daddy clinks a fork to a plate, that is Baby's personal alarm bell to crawl and lightning speed to the dishwasher. Then the race is on: can baby unload faster than Daddy can load?

7/14/06, 6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sending this to everyone I know because you have so nailed it.

Kick in the head is totally Hailey's favorite game ever. Second only to kick daddy in the balls.

7/14/06, 7:47 PM  
Blogger Kelly Wolfe said...

--Lock up your status as only child by kicking mommy in the abdominal region whenever she changes your diaper.

--Take off shoe number one (yay velcro), while mommy puts on shoe number two, to make the putting on shoes process on a appear to be on a loop.

Those are a couple of our faves.

Fun fun.


7/14/06, 9:20 PM  
Blogger Marie said...

Oh, lots of pry the mouth open & fish around with my index finger! I did a LOT of that.

We played a lot of games with balloons too. Rubbing against hair, trying to stick em to the walls. Lots of that.

Oh, and there's the mangle the parent's glasses game. That's always fun!

7/14/06, 9:41 PM  
Blogger karengreeners said...

can't believe i just found you? where have you been all my blogging life (4 weeks)?

my 14 month old enjoys, voraciously, all the above listed games. but i can add a fun one: Scratch n' Smile.

It goes like this: yell UP! UP! UP! wait until hoisted into mother's arms, then rake your freakishly fast-growing fingernails across her bare shoulder. hard. when mother shrieks and says 'gentle touches, love!', give her your cutest smile. wait until she hugs you because you are so cute, and repeat. this time mother will probably cry, 'ow! no scratching, love!' this means 'harder'. do it. smile even cuter. wait for stupid mother to let her guard down and let 'er rip again. repeat until stupid mother plops you down on the floor. yell UP! UP! UP!...

7/14/06, 9:45 PM  
Blogger YF said...

This is so funny - definately one of th best I have read. Ok, well here are a couple:

Game: Vent slide.
Players: 1 + any vent (floor vent preferably)

Stand by the vent pretending to feel the air. When adult isn't looking slide anything that will fit into the vent to forever bye bye land. Bonus points for items that were important to those crazy adults like credit card, stylis for phone or notes on scrap paper.

Game: Call the fire department
Players: 6 (toddler, 3 firemen, 1 person from AAA and 2 parents)

Hit the alarm button on keys and lock yourself in the car. Make sure to smile and shake the keys at the panikced women looking inside. Repeat until the firemen and AAA person get you out of the car.

7/14/06, 10:21 PM  
Blogger K. said...

PERFECT! My baby plays the same games as yours. ;) And I agree, the BabyCenter emails have become nothing but junk mail.

I love your blog.

7/15/06, 9:04 AM  
Blogger K. said...

Oh, and I forgot to mention. He loves to play The Empty It Race also. Only one player needed. Open any drawer you can reach and take the contents of said drawer out to throw on the floor. One by one until the entire drawer is empty. If you do it faster this time than you did last time (which was... oh... 5 minutes ago), you win!!

7/15/06, 9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for the 8-10 year old sect, tell your brother that his butt smells really bad real real loud, in the middle of Target, and watch to see how many shades of red mom's face will turn.

7/16/06, 12:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love these! Here's the one that took 3 hours out of my morning this week-

For The Love of Lint

Game Pieces: 1 computer game manual and 1 washing machine
Rules: Put manual in washing machine just before laundry time. Distract Mommy while she puts load in washer. Go to camp, so Mommy's first 3 hours of freesom in years can be spent cleaning up the hundreds of thousands of pieces of lint on clothes, in the machine and all over floor. Don't forget to re-wash everything twice!

Liz- please submit these for the last page of Brainchild. You are genius.

7/16/06, 8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Too many comments to see if mine has been taken already. But here goes:

Run Away in the Parking Lot

Players: 2
Rules: Twist your little wrist away from Momma in the parking lot at home, and run, run along the vast expanse of pavement! Look back and laugh and run faster while Mom threatens to take a header in high heels!

Fun for the whole family.

7/17/06, 10:42 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

HAHA hysterical!!! My daughter is 9 months and plays all of these already!

Oh and How adorable is that puppy! =o)

7/18/06, 12:33 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

These are great games. Here are a couple of ours:

Hide the Crayon
Players: 2
Rules: Player 1 hands out 1-3 crayons for drawing. Player 2 draws, then gets bored with the activity. Player 1 puts away the crayons. Player 2 then produces a crayon which she has secreted in a mystery location and proceeds to decorate the walls, the sliding glass door, and the television. Younger players may limit themselves to decorating the toys.

Grab the Cat
Players: 2
Player 1 grabs the cat, smacks her, and grabs the cat's tags while Player 2 scurries over and cries "gently, gently." Bonus points for Player 1 if the cat tries to take a nip at her, breaking skin and getting Player 2 to call the doctor for antibiotics.

7/19/06, 2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ride your baby sister

Players: 3

Wait until mommy is distracted with your older brother then sit on your infant sister and try to use her as a toy horse while you scream "GEEEE UP!" and slap her in the head.

7/19/06, 5:18 PM  
Blogger joshua said...

Awesome! And quite funny.

7/19/06, 5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's one game from our household:

Players: 1
Rules: Unroll toilet paper and stick end into toilet water WITHOUT tearing paper from roll. Flush toilet. Repeat until toilet paper roll is bare or toilet overflows (whichever comes first).

7/19/06, 10:13 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

If only it was just with one year olds...

In the last two months my three year old daught Fiona has started sticking things in her ears and nose. We found out about the "bead-in-the-ear" game when we took her to the doctor for her (half a year late) three year old physical. The doc took out her little light to peek in her ears and instead saw a pretty pink pearl bead! God only knows how long it had been in there--days? months? The kid never complained. Thankfully our doctor was able to pry it out.

Then last week Fiona came up to me while I was cooking in the kitchen and said "Mommy, this ball is stuck in my nose". She had taken a little black ball from her big brother's Big Big Loader toy and shoved it right up there. After much cursing, some tweezers and my plugging her other nostril and making her blow out of the plugged one, we got it out.

Here's to hoping that the game is over.

7/20/06, 7:46 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

Oh how I can relate!

Commenter Nila also mentioned another game (butt announcements in Target) we just love to play around here.

7/20/06, 9:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just experienced this one (again) reading this blog:

Ooooh, A Clean Diaper!
Number of Players: 2

Player 1 changes Player 2 into fresh, clean diaper. Player 2 promptly grunts and poops volumes. Player 1 changes Player 2 into fresh, clean diaper. Player 2 promptly grunts and poops volumes. Player 1 changes Player 2 into fresh, clean diaper. Player 2 promptly grunts and poops volumes.

7/20/06, 2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was great - I know exactly what you mean about Babycenter. I finally just unsubbed when they basically said that open water can sometimes be dangerous for toddlers. You think? I have 16 month old twins, and I added my own twin version here:

7/21/06, 2:49 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

OMG, too true! Our 13 month old loves those games for sure...especially the screaming one. :)

7/22/06, 1:17 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I have an 18 month old so our games are a little more "advanced".

Dump and Smash:
CLimb up the kitchen chairs to the table. Open whatever box of crackers or cereal is within reach. Shake the cereal or crankers all around, preferebly the entire box. Get down and fling them about before SMASHING into the carpet.

AKA - feed the ants.

7/22/06, 1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

o.k. I think someone missed a "GREAT" game (can you hear the sarcasm in my typing?).

While mom is off doing something besides following you around, take an entire roll of toilet paper and dispense it in a sink full or water, or a tub full of water. If you have enough time, take the paper off the roll first- this will do more damage.

Then watch as mom tries to get the floating toilet paper out before clogging up both the sink and tub drains.

We play this one frequently

7/23/06, 12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, how about these?

Biting is Fun!
Player 1 walks up to player 2 and throws arms around her neck as if to shower her with love.
Player 1 then proceeds to bite player 2 as hard as possible. Extra points if player 1 can draw blood.

Mangle the Glasses
Grab glasses off momma or dadda's face and twist them as hard as possible. Laugh because momma/dadda can't see well enough to get to you on time. Then drop them on the floor and watch as momma and dadda look on in horror.

7/24/06, 9:40 AM  
Blogger ALI said...

scratch momma- when being breastfed, or cuddled, wait for momma to relax then scratch her face or arms as hard as you can while making ugly faces.

when frustrated by something throw yourself (or crumple)onto the floor so that you slam your forehead into the hardwood floor, when that hurts, get madder and throw yourself back slamming back of head into hardwoods, get madder and throw self around on floor being mad at momma when she tries to pick you up because you hurt yourself twice!

variation of using a sybling, when large dog is sleeping in front of couch climb up her back to get on the couch. (points for then walking across couch making mamma come running)

loved this post, i could think of more too!

8/2/06, 4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somehow you forgot "Step on Daddy in the Crotch." I mean, that ones a classic (he says as his voice rises once again).

8/10/06, 10:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a popular one at our house:

Rocking Chair Surfing
Players: at least 2

Crawl or climb into rocking chair. Stand up in rocking chair, assume surfing stance, and begin rocking back and forth violently. Wait for other player(s) to rush forward and catch you. Bonus points if the rocking chair rocks over an unsuspecting sibling or pet situated too close to the rails.

Variations: Combine with bookshelf emptying game, reaching forbidden items on high shelf game, or remove player's own dirty diaper game.

9/12/06, 10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HILARIOUS. Thanks so much for the laughs today! :) Our 18-month-old LOVES to take his baby wipes out of the box and string them all over his bedroom floor. Those suckers are a BITCH to get back in! He does that with the Kleenex box, too. And he LOVES to turn the TV on and off. On and off. Repeat.

9/13/06, 2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eeek! I read this post today and found myself getting all misty eyed about what is to come. (I'm at 17 weeks with my first.) And then I read through the current post and all the misty-eyed-ness disappeared. I think I'm scared now!

Thankfully I've been reading your blog for a little while now, so I know you share lots of good stories too!

10/7/07, 4:37 PM  
Blogger small house girl said...

That is perfect. I know you wrote this a long time ago, but I have an 11 month old and you really made me laugh.

10/19/07, 12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am personally a big fan of the let's drop mommy's brand new camera, cellphone, and other random objects in the bubblebath while she's looking for shampoo game.
It's my favourite!

7/7/08, 10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wait until you get to the game of repeating everything.

A game for 2 players.

Player 1 - repeat the same question or comment about oh a million or so times.

Player 2 - answer question first time. Answer question second time, answer a tird time, a fourth time. a fifth time, a sixth time.......

Bonus points if player 1 can make player 2 bash head against brick wall. Pushing player 2 ever nearer to that breakdown.

I LOVE this blog. It makes me feel normal. I am not a supermum and do you know what, it's ok! THANKS! :-)

8/1/08, 5:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I like "Mommy has no shame"
Players: 2
Rules: Knowing that Mommy prefers to use the larger "acessable" bathroom stalls that accomodate her gigantic purse, your sippy cup, Buzz Lightyear, and whatever purchases she has managed to make after having bribed you with your "very own" bag of M&M's, wait until she has her hands off of you, her drawers down, and all of the aforementioned items in her lap because the floor is soaking wet to open the stall door, leave it open and split...
Extra points: someone "helps" Mommy by bringing your back before she can get put back together.
Winner: you - every time.

8/19/08, 1:15 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I have a 2.5 yr old and have some games too.

We don't have a dog but we have a cat. My daughter likes to play pull the cat's tail and hold on until the cat freaks out and swats and then cry for a kiss on a spot where the cat didn't actually touch her.

What did I eat?
2 players
Player 1 eats something they shouldn't (bug, cheerio found under couch) the possibilities are endless. Player 1 waits until its chewed and swallowed and then says "I ate it". Player 2 now has to guess what 'it' was with no help from player 1. A third player can join in and guess if they want to.

Find the missing piece
2 players
Player 1 pulls out a game, puzzle, toy and throws it spilling pieces everywhere. Player 1 plays for a minute quietly and then screams loudly that pieces are missing. Player 2 then has to try to find the missing pieces which are almost always under player 1, under a large piece of furniture or not missing at all, just upsidedown therefore undetectable to player 1.

Who is on the phone?
2 players, and a third player who is an unfortunate bystander
Player 1 is quiet and well behaved all day. Player 2 receives an important phone call (bank, car insurance, etc). The unfortunate bystander is the person who called unknowingly. Player 1 now screams 'let me talk to daddy' until player 2 screams back 'its not daddy'. Player 1 then screams 'give me phone' until player 2 gives in and asks the unfortunate soul on the phone to speak to the toddler. Player 1 will then walk away with the phone 'talking' while player 2 chases to get it back in the background.

8/26/08, 5:19 PM  
Blogger BonnieBelle said...

OMG! My husband and I died laughing reading this. Our son has won the Playstation game, with extra points. He killed one of our wireless controllers at about that age. Ah, offspring. They don't tell you about all the extra costs they wrack up over time.

3/7/09, 1:16 AM  
Blogger PaulandShannon said...

Jennifer, my son plays that game too! I'm so glad it's not just him, how sad is that??? :)

He also likes to play take your poop diaper off in your crib and paint everything you can reach with your own feces. Yeah, we're pretty sure he's a genius.

9/18/09, 11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ours is a variation of Kick the Head.

Let's Make an "H"
Players: 3
Player 1 wakes up early, screaming for Mommy or Daddy to come get him/her out of bed, preferably before the sun rises. Player 2 or 3 retrieves Player 1 from crib and places him/her between Players 2 and 3 parallel to their positions. Player 1 must then wiggle and squirm until properly situated perpendicular to both other players. Score is tallied on the amount of time it takes to force another player out of bed. Bonus points are given for muttered curses from the other players.

11/5/09, 1:27 PM  
Anonymous Ado said...

OK so you wrote this years ago but I only just recently discovered your blog, and this was f-u-n-n-y! You are an excellent writer and as a writer myself I really appreciate bloggers who can actually write.


3/20/11, 7:50 PM  
Blogger Rhonda said...

I just discovered your blog and found this post What of the funniest things I've read in a while. I am a Mom of two boys - 3 and 6 so can relate.
Looking forward to reading more!

4/16/11, 11:13 PM  
Blogger Punams said...

I just read this! I am in my VERY quiet office at work covering my mouth so I don't lol, and tears are streaming down my face! Sorry to be so late to this post but I have a great game it's called:

Players 1 child as many moms and grandmas as you can find.

But baby/toddler down for nap. Cook and eat thanksgiving dinner, wonder why child is still sleeping. Peek in room and see the beautiful poo art all over the walls, crib, sheets, blankets, head, and anywhere hard to find. Hear Mommy scream for her own mom when she walks in, laugh and watch as the adults go into hysterics trying to clean you and the rest of your art work.

8/23/12, 1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brought back funny memories. About to get to play these games again since I have a new grandson and another one on the way. A few of our favorites were:

Soda Bottle Spray Game - need one 2 liter bottle of coke with most of the coke still in the bottle with lid screwed on.
Player 1 (toddler boy) places bottle in the floor, knocks bottle onto its side, then stomps his foot firmly on the middle of the bottle, repeating as needed to cause coke to spray all over the room. Extra credit for coke spraying onto other people. Preferabbly played in a freshly cleaned room with company.

Hide the Game Pieces - need one game with small pieces, smooth Pente stones work great. Player 1 (toddler girl) eats the pieces while nobody is looking. Player 2 (mom) looks for pieces for a day or two but doesn't find them. Player 2 concedes when all missing game pieces are produced by Player 1 as they clink one by one into her potty chair. Player 1 wins. Game over.

12/3/12, 12:23 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

You are probably literally my new-favorite parent blogger... (or being that I only read blogs about parenting now... my new favorite blogger)

You're very relate-able, and I'm sure that's why you have some many people reading you're activities everyday.

This was definitely one of my favorites so far.


1/30/14, 12:53 PM  

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