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.
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.
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.
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.
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?