In addition to a rousing two-sided game of peekaboo and some impressive stacking skills, Harlow is building up an arsenal of games to entertain herself at all times. In fact, she’d love to teach them to your babies so they can play them with you too! Just give her a moment to explain the rules.

GAME #1: Throw Things on the Floor

How to play: Game is best played from a highchair, stroller or carseat. Then purposefully drop items on to the ground, pitching a fit as soon as they hit the floor. When your opponent picks the item back up and places it within your grasp, smile briefly, then drop it again. Keep repeating the action until your opponent refuses to pick up the item. Then cry louder. If your opponent looks like he/she has lost the will to live but picks it up again regardless, YOU WIN!

Bonus points if you are in a stroller and hold off crying until you are several blocks away from the discarded item. Watch your opponent scramble! Good fun.

GAME #2: Screech Or Shriek

How to play: This game is played like Hot or Cold, except since you cannot form words, you will be using screeches and shrieks. This increases the difficulty level of the game since screeches and shrieks sound basically the same. Begin the game by shrieking at the refrigerator. Then watch as your opponent pulls out one healthy food item after the other. Express your disatisfaction with increasingly loud shrieks or screeches. If, after ten full minutes of ear-piercing sounds, your opponent still can’t decipher what you are asking for, you may offer one clue in the form of “pointing”. Just don’t point at any one thing too specifically. That’s cheating. If at any point, your opponent gives up and gives you a cookie so you will just the shut the hell up, YOU WIN!

GAME #3: Crumple Important Papers

How to play: To begin this game, locate your opponent’s work bag. That’s the one with the laptop in it and a few isolated typewritten papers. Remove papers and litter them about the house. Then try to destroy them before your opponent finds out what you are up to. Beyond crumpling, acceptable methods of destruction are ripping, eating and dripping the contents of your sippy cup on top of them. Once destroyed papers are discovered, chances are your opponent will be pretty angry. But he/she can’t really be mad at you. You are a baby. Therefore, YOU WIN!

GAME #4: Capture the Older Sibling’s Toy

How to play: Begin by pretending to be occupied with a toy suitable for your own age. Any stacking toy or sorting cube will do. Wait until your older sibling has either a) perfectly placed every piece of furniture in her doll house, b) lined up all her match box cars at an imaginary start line, or c) spent hours building a complex city using a variety of different block sets. THEN POUNCE. Grab as many items as you can and hold on like your life depends on it. Watch as the sibling starts screaming and your opponent comes running. Then stand back in awe as your opponent determines no one (not even the sibling who was playing with the toys originally) is allowed to play with them. You win!

GAME #5: Closet Free-for-all

How to play: Wait for your opponent to leave her closet door slightly ajar by accident. Then, when she isn’t looking, wander in and pull everything in reach to the floor. Open a sock drawer, take out the contents one by one, separating the pairs as you go. (Separating sock pairs is key to your success in the game. Try to put each sock as far away from its match as possible.) Make sure clothing, socks and shoes are strewn everywhere so that the floor of the closet is not visible. Then wait for your opponent’s return. Make sure to wear your best smile. If your opponent gasps audibly? YOU WIN!

GAME #6: Free the Tissues

How to play: There are several boxes in your home full of pillowy soft goodness waiting to be handled by your sticky little snot filled hands. When a box is left within your reach, dig in and pull out as many tissues as possible. It is not necessary to tear them. Merely pulling them out of the box will alert your opponent that you are ready to play. Usually, your opponent’s first move will be to put all the tissues back into the box— even though they now look like a crumpled mess. That completes Round One. Then wait for your opponent to become distracted, and pull out all the tissues all over again. ALL OF THEM. Yes, every last one. At this point, your opponent will usually stuff the tissues back in the box and move it out of your reach. No matter, you’ve already won!

GAME #7: Change the Channel

How to play: When your older sibling is watching her favorite show on the television, scan the couch for the remote control. If your sibling or your opponent is holding it, wait for them both to get distracted and put it down. Then stealthily sneak over to the remote, pick it up and aim it at the television. Push every button on the thing. The more buttons you push, the more possible points you can earn.

Earn one point if you pause the show, two points if you switch the channel and three points if you turn the television off. If you somehow switch the channel from your sibling’s show to an episode of Elmo’s World causing mass commotion by everyone in the room? YOU WIN!

GAME #8: Steal the Phone

How to play: Wait until your opponent leaves his/her phone unattended. This is tough since the phone tends to be in your opponent’s hands at all times. When you finally get the phone, RUN. Go to another room, hide under a table, shut yourself in the bathroom. Then mess with the phone as much as you can until you are discovered. Press the icons until those little Xs appear in the corners. Click “OK” every time you are prompted by a screen that asks if you would like to “DELETE”. I know you can’t read but just try to alter the phone as much as possible. If, when your opponent finally gets her phone back, her first words are “Shit! Where’s iTunes???”, YOU WIN!

GAME #9: Unravel the Toilet Paper

How to play: Similar to “Free the Tissues”, but with the added advantage of the roll being attached to the wall, so your opponent will not be able to move it to a higher place. Start by unraveling the toilet paper until there is nothing left on the roll. Then take the paper and rip it into teeny tiny shreds, spreading it as far and wide as possible. Leave the bathroom, go play in a common space and wait for your opponent to discover the game on her own. If your opponent replaces the roll, wait until she leaves the bathroom and then play the game again. If your opponent decides to go to the bathroom, switch to Game #8.

GAME #10: Barge into the Bathroom and Refuse to Leave Making it Impossible for Your Opponent to Pee in Peace

How to play: Self-explanatory. For bonus points, walk right up to your seated opponent and put your arms up like you want her to you pick you. If your opponent puts you in her lap while she is seated on the toilet, knowing full well this will make it impossible for her to go to the bathroom, YOU WIN!

What games does your baby play?


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