sometimes parenting can make you feel just a little crazy


Games are a great way to creatively interact with your kids.  If I've learned anything from Sesame Street, it's you can make virtually anything a game and teach your children valuable lessons while also having fun. For instance, I had the bright idea to create the "Laundry" game.  Step 1 is to get your players together on an upper level of your house.  Step 2 is to get the players to run around collecting dirty clothes and throwing them over the railing to the lower level.  When that level is completed, the players will move from the upper level to the lower level and proceed with racing to carry clothes from the pile to where you are in the laundry room sorting.  The kids are happy and occupied and you are getting a household chore accomplished.  Be careful to keep track of all your players, however.  You can end up with a "Go Back Two Spaces" penalty when you realize a player has been left behind on the upper level and started throwing down clean clothes from the closet.

Sometimes the kids create their own games, too.  In my house, my kids really enjoy Musical Crying Children.  This game requires a minimum of 1 adult and 2+ small kids.  It's sort of like Whack-A-Mole.  One child begins the game by crying.  The adult must soothe the child, but not before the second child starts his or her turn.  The adult wins when he or she has successfully soothed all children.  New kid players can enter the game at any time and frequently do.  The bonus round includes ringing phones, delivery people and barking dogs.

Some games can be a hit or a miss.  The "Who Can Be the First to Brush Their Teeth" game can quickly go awry when one player tries to lock another out of the bathroom.  This would be the same player who hoards puzzle pieces to prevent the other player(s) from participating in the "Put the Toys Away" game.  So, be sure to know your players and choose your games wisely.