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5 Games you can play with your kids when you’re dead tired



Tommy Tighe - published on 06/17/17

You do need to be conscious for these, but just barely...

Let’s be real: I’m a parent, you’re a parent, we have friends who are parents, and there’s one thing that unites us all.

We are all dead tired.

It’s because we’re waking up in the middle of the night for feedings, waking up in the middle of the night to comfort the scared or puking, and we’re trying to keep up with meals and laundry and a van full of kids, screaming, constantly asking questions, and … I’m tired just typing this out!


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That being said, most of us also have a tendency to dip into feelings of guilt when we don’t have it in us to pretend to be a superhero while making dinner and holding a baby. Even with brothers or sisters and toys to play with, sometimes your kids just want YOU; and all you want to do is take a nap.

Well, never fear. My tired-as-heck wife and I have pulled together our favorite games you can play when you desperately need to rest or to get something done while you play.

1. What’s on My Butt?

Yep, I’m serious. If you’re so tired that you can’t even drag yourself off of the ground, don’t! Simply lay on your stomach and have your kids bring items to place on your backside, and your job is to try and guess what object they placed there.

Kids love stumping their parents, and if they can keep you guessing, they get a big kick out of it.

Also, you get to just lay there, which is fantastic.

2. If I Catch You I Kiss You

When your kids want to play tag and you have absolutely no energy to run around outside to try and get them, turn that game of tag into a game of If I catch you I kiss you

All you have to do is stand in one spot or room while your kids run around, passing you with every lap. You then reach out to try and catch them. Sometimes you do, and sometimes you don’t, and if you do, you give them a big, wet sloppy kiss.

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They’ll keep running around, doing everything they can to avoid getting kissed on the cheeks, and you’ll catch a break by being able to hang out and chill in one place the whole time.

3. Jump Like a Monkey

If you can’t even find the energy needed to stand in one place while you’re kids run around you, Jump Like a Monkey may be exactly what you’re looking for…

Take a nice comfy seat on the couch, and have your kids line up in front of you. Have them jump like any animals you name, and then give them points for how well they imitate the animals, or rate them based on how hard you laugh.

From “Jump like a monkey,” to “Jump like a lion,” to the ever puzzling “Jump like a worm,” this game is a great way to get your kids to unleash all their energy while you take a nice calm breather. Bonus if you have a small trampoline they can use.

4. Treasure Hunt

Kids are always up for an exciting treasure hunt. In this version, you place a small treasure somewhere in the house, but instead of giving them a map or directions to find it, you trace a clue on their back to help them find what they’re looking for. 

Not only will kids search for a treasure in your house for a seemingly endless amount of time, but it gives you a chance to rest while having to do nothing more than sketch a quick little something on their back from time to time.

Ah, don’t you already feel relaxed as you picture them running off into a different room?

5. Hide & Seek & Clean the Bathroom

Let’s say you find yourself totally out of energy but also needing to get something done. Personally, I feel like “totally-out-of-energy-but-need-to-get-something-done” could be my social media profile, it explains me so perfectly. 

Have your kids count to 10 while you “hide” in the bathroom, and while they hunt for you, take the free time to clean the place up. Not like spotlessly clean it up, of course; I mean, you’re tired, and the kids are going to ruin it anyway, but fixing it up with a lick and a promise doesn’t take too much.

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Once the kids find you and it’s your turn to count, as they run out of the bathroom, you have some added time to get a bit more done.

So, what are you waiting for? Get off the phone and try some of these games that will excite your kids and also give you a chance to catch your breath!

And if none of this works, just play what they want no matter how tired you find yourself. We’re parents, and perpetually being tired seems to be part of the deal. 

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