5 toddler games for when you can’t be arsed

The Popple and I rolling on the ground

I was talking to two co-workers who have toddlers around the same age as the Popple, and I mentioned how she gets a crazy burst of energy right after dinner.

“She basically just runs around the house non-stop from 5:30-7,” I said. “My husband and I are exhausted, but she’s full of beans.”

(Probably literally. We feed her way too many beans.)

“That’s why I invented the running game,” my colleague said. “I sit on the couch and get my son to run out of the room, then he runs back to the couch and I lift him up. That’s it. And I get to stay sitting.”

“I play ‘Get Mummy Stuff’ with my daughter,” my other colleague said. “I sit on the couch and say, ‘Go get mummy the remote.’ ‘Go get mummy her shoes.’ ‘Go get mummy your ball.’ It’s great.”

That’s when I realised that all the lazy games I play with the Popple in the evening are a thing. We all do it. We’re tired. They’re not. So we play games that involve the least amount of movement possible.

Here are my top 5 I-can’t-be-arsed-getting-up games:

Step on Mummy

How to play: Lay on the floor. Allow your child to walk back on forth across your torso while you hold their hands.

Pros: You’re laying down.

Cons: It f-ing hurts. A lot. Those little feet squish down hard on your guts. But, you know, at least you don’t have to move too much.

Rolling

How to play: You both lay down on the floor and roll around.

Pros: You’re laying down.

Cons: You do actually have to move, albeit minimally. You may also discover that your floor isn’t that clean. I once almost rolled onto a stray bit of cat poo that had fallen off the cat’s butt. That put an end to the rolling game pretty quickly.

Tidying

How to play: Look at the mess on your floor – blocks, stuffed animals, books, whatever – and ask your toddler if they can put them back where they belong.

Pros: You get to lay down and ‘supervise’ while they tidy up your living room.

Cons: Your toddler will often discover new toys while putting the others away and take them out, thus making an even bigger mess. Play at your own risk.

Bed Parachute

How to play: Get in bed with your toddler and lay under the duvet. Lift it up with your arms and legs to form a sort of parachute that you can raise up and down.

Pros: You’re laying down. IN BED.

Cons: Your toddler will try to get under the parachute with you. There may be jumping involved. This can be pretty exciting for a lazy game.

Stickers

How to play: Give your toddler a giant sheet of stickers and let them stick them all over the furniture.

Pros: You can watch them sticker stuff from a laying-down position.

Cons: Your relaxation may be interrupted by your child yelling, “Shtuck! Shtuck!” because they are upset that the stickers are…well, sticking. You will be summoned to peel up said stickers, which your child will re-stick, prompting more yells of, “Shtuck! Shtuck!”

Any other suggestions for toddler games involving minimal physical effort?

Island Living 365

Petite Pudding

18 Replies to “5 toddler games for when you can’t be arsed”

  1. Laura: Adventures with J says: Reply

    Ha ha!! I love this! I thought it was just me! I will ve stealing the go get mummy… game. We do the horsey horsey song with me lying on the floor while J clambers over me and I sing. We do jigsaws, stickers and books only after 6.30. I also have a money box with pennies in for J to sort, that’s a good 20 mins at least usually!

  2. Ha ha!! I love this! I thought it was just me! I will ve stealing the go get mummy… game. We do the horsey horsey song with me lying on the floor while J clambers over me and I sing. We do jigsaws, stickers and books only after 6.30. I also have a money box with pennies in for J to sort, that’s a good 20 mins at least usually!

  3. Ahh, the witching hour when toddlers all over the world go crazy! We play sleeping lions where I am a sleeping lion and the game is that the children have to tiptoe past me without waking me up. I throw the odd lion roar in and everyone is happy and I get to lay down on the sofa and sleep. #FridayFrolics

  4. My favourite is Doctors! My 4 year old rushes off to get his medical case and comes back and pokes and prods me to see how poorly I am. I get to lie there and watch tv – win win!! #fridayfrolics

  5. You missed out Simon Says and Quiet Mice

  6. During the warmer months we would pretend to time her as she ran circles around the house and we sat in our lounge chairs. She’d get so mad if she didn’t beat her previous best times that she’d just keep on running! #fridayfrolics

    1. That cracks me up…and makes me realize that when my parents challenged me to beat my time they were really just willing me to run out of energy and go to sleep already 😉 #EatSleepBlogRT

  7. Simon says and musical statues. They burn off the energy and minimal effort required from me. Win win! Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics

  8. I love these! “You got to do what you got to do” to survive! #EatSleepBlogRT

  9. I do all the same games or slight variations of! They are AMAZING!!! #eatsleepblogrt

  10. This is brilliant. I’m pinching these. I’m a huge fan of laying down. I’d do it 24/7 if I could #eatsleepblogrt

  11. haha this is fab! I love laying down games!! 🙂 🙂 #StayClassyMama

  12. This is hilarious! When I was working as a teacher are used to play a game called mystery crumb. I would pick out a piece of rubbish on the floor and sit down for a five minute breather. Iwould look out for the person who picked it up.It was one very quick way to get the classroom clean. Could adopt it for the household #StayClassyMuma

  13. These games are necessary. Daddy is a master at lying there and letting Chops just crawl all over him, at times it’s have proved detrimental to his breathing, but y’know, the kid just loves it. Sitting on his neck bouncing up and down screaming with laughter! I’m liking this rolling business, I think I shall introduce this to Daddy later, so much fun. #StayClassyMama

  14. Make over is my favourite. Give the kids a bag of old make up and let them make you up while you lie down….with your eyes shut! Double bonus!

  15. Make over is my favourite. Give the kids a bag of old make up and let them make you up while you lie down….with your eyes shut! Double bonus!

  16. After dinner this is our life (even the cat poo!) nothing worse than a giant toddler stomping all over your just eaten food baby! Still who gives a crap if you get to lie down x #stayclassymama

  17. Ha ha love that all these games involve lying down! We often play the jump on mummy game which involves me lying on the floor and the two small people launching themselves on to of me… It can be painful but minimal effort involved 🙂 #eatsleepblogrt

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