Distraction is a technique every parent knows, so it was a chance encounter with the spice rack that stirred my creative juices for my first game. That coupled with my incessant need to empty our dishwasher.
The second is more of a life challenge than a game, but I will come to that in a little while.
The dishwasher spice jar race
Our spice rack is an upturned cardboard box lid that we keep in the pantry. Every time we open the door, the boy appears like a bullet from a gun, and the attraction of the spices as rattles is too much for the wee man to ignore. It’s cute, but it gets annoying.
On one occasion I had left the door open as I went about emptying the dishwasher. The boy sat on the floor and played with the spices.
I saw him, and reluctantly left him to it as I continued with the dishwasher, hoping I would finish before he lost his rag with the mixed herbs. That is when it came to me.
It was a race, not exactly F1, but still heart-pounding and adrenalin fuelled, and so the dishwasher spice jar race was born.
You have a full dishwasher needing to be emptied. The boy (or girl) has a full complement of spices.
If the dishwasher gets emptied before a spice jar is compromised – the adult wins.
If the spices are poured on the kirchen floor before the dishwasher is fully emptied, the child wins.
Use Safron at your peril, that stuff is expensive.
If the paprika gets put into the cat’s water, call a time out and restart after you have removed any feline from the playing field.
If the boy starts downing the Cayenne Pepper, the match is cancelled, and you may want to go to A and E, unless you have St John’s on standby.
Poo bath Russian roulette
This game is going on in our house at the moment. It is a different style of game, where the winner achieves glory through nothing other than sheer fluke.
The rules are simple.
At some point a toddler will poo in the bath. It is a fact of life; a rite of passage if you like (and enjoy tenuous and inappropriate puns).
The game requires two players, in our case my wife and me, plus a toddler as the game … shall we say… ‘catalyst’.
Take it in turns to bath the child, have fun, enjoy, make sure they splash, play with rubber ducks, all the normal stuff. Never let on that something other than the child’s personal hygiene is at stake.
Whoever is on bath duty when the child ‘logs out’ loses and pays whatever forfeit was agreed at the start.
Simple, but highly addictive. The longer the game goes on, the more tense it gets, until you are wound up tighter than a snare drum.
I am pretty sure it is about to go off in our house, but still we remain calm and reserved, and the boy is none the wiser.
So there you go; not the typical games to play with your kids, but variety is, as they say, the spice of life. If you have any made up games that are complete nonsense, but otherwise truly inspired, then lets hear about them – leave a comment below.