One of Mazzy's favorite games to play is "Sleep". Which sounds awesome but unfortunately, Mazzy is much more into the "WAKE-UP!!!!" part of the game than the lay-your-weary-head-down-on-this-fluffy-pillow-and-get-some-much-needed-shut-eye part.

It goes down like this…

She shouts— "Everybody go to sleep!"

Mike and I lie down in the bed, foolishly thinking that we will be snuggled under the covers for a good three to five minutes. Nope. Two, maybe two and a half seconds later, Mazzy yells at the top of her lungs…

"TIME TO WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!"

Then, we must jump out of bed and fully stand up before the game can continue.

"Ok, everybody sleep!"

We lie down again. And on it goes until I feel like I am doing warm-up drills for the Olympics.

Mazzy is a very active kid who won't stand still unless she is physically restrained (or in the presence of an iPad). In contrast, I spend most of my time utterly exhausted and about to keel over. SO. I have made it my business to come up with games that we can play where one of us (me) is seated.

For instance, this Saturday was incredibly hot and humid. It was that thick hot wet air that makes you want to crawl inside your air conditioner and take nap in there until it's over. The last thing I wanted to do was take Mazzy outside to play.

Of course, she insisted. Since walking two blocks to the park was out of the question (did I mention how hot it was outside??), I ended up taking her to the communal rooftop of our building and having her run around up there. 

"Play with me, Mommy!!!" No f'in way. Until I came up with the perfect game.

"Let's play Red Light Green Light!"


"You stand back there and I'll sit down over here with my back resting wonderfully up against the side of the building. Then when I yell 'green light' you run. When I yell 'red light' you stop."


"Green light!" She ran. "Red light!" She stopped. "Green light!" She ran. "Red light!" She stopped. And on and on until she had made it all the way to my reclining self. I didn't have to move a muscle.

"Alright, now go back and do it again!"


We played twice and then the inevitable…

"OKAY, now YOU RUN and I SIT!!!!"

"Sorry, sweet pea, time to go back inside…"

Another game I am a big fan of is "Homemade Blue's Clues". Make 5-10 blue pawprints (blue marker on white paper, than use scissors to cut them out, even a kindergartener possesses this level of craftiness) and tell your child to go in her room while you hide the clues about the house. Then you get to sit on the couch while she looks. IT'S AWESOME. The more Blue's Clues you make, the longer the game takes. You can even yell out misleading clues to their whereabouts while you put your feet up on the coffee table and check your email.

Or, how about "Pillow Pile-Up?" That's when I lie in bed or on the couch and Mazzy piles all the pillows she can find on top of me. I'm even allowed to close my eyes once the over-the-face pillow is administered. This works out great until the "Now I jump on top of the pillows!" portion of the game, which is usually followed by the "BE GENTLE WITH MOMMY!!!!" bonus round.

Here's another favorite. It's called "Go Get The". As in, "Go get the remote!" or "Go get me a tissue!" or "Go get the throw blanket and place it nicely over Mommy while she lies down for a moment!" The trick is to make each demand seem really exciting.

"The Window Game" is fun too. I tell Mazzy to sit by the window and tell me what she sees. "Do you see cars?" "Yes!" "What else do you see?" "I see buildings." "What else do you see?" "I see trees." "What… else… do… you… Zzzzzzzzz…." 

Over at Nickmom, they are taking it one step further than playing in a reclining position. They've got the "Top 9 ways to Sneak in a Nap". Like building a pillow fort and then volunteering to test it out, playing "Hide & Seek" and then locking yourself in your bedroom, and my absolute favorite…

"Play doctor! But only the part where everyone takes Benadryl."

Better yet, forget "doctor". Play the game of "COMA"!

"Oh no, Mommy can't be revived!"

Such fun for everyone.

What half-assed games do you play with your kids that are actually designed to give you a little break?