Three Living Room Games for Dads

I have made up the funnest games with my little children, three of our favorite are explained below. These are rough-n-tumble games in the living room. I resurrected them last night and was reminded how much fun you can have with the little ones in just a half hour.

Tree: One of our favorite living room games

Tree is one of our favorite living room games

I have to be honest with you: it was a long time since I played these games. Wendy mentioned this to me yesterday and I took her words to heart. In one of those quiet moments of conversation, she said,

You used to play around with the kids more. Remember all those living room games you used to do? They sure were a lot of fun.

My wife is awesome. This wasn’t a crabby “You should be more fun!” command. It was merely remembering a time when our evenings were filled with tickling and fun. She was right, so I brought back some old Jeub Classics.

1. Get the Pillow

There are two forms of Get the Pillow. Put a pillow behind you and face your children in your opposition, like an offensive liner facing a football defense. On “Go!” or “Get the Pillow!”, your kids run to try to get the pillow. Your job is to push them away from the pillow. The child who got the pillow can woop up the victory, maybe get an award of hitting dad over the head with it. Check out this video:

The other variation of Get the Pillow is turning it totally around. Dad needs to get the pillow and the kids need to stop Dad. You may have kids hanging from the pillow refusing the victory of the dad. That’s okay. Pick the pillow up with child attached and woop, “I got the pilloowwww!” See here:

Repeat a few times till you’re pooped out.

2. Tree

This is pictured at the top of the post. Kids love to climb their dads. I think it’s in their nature. Make it easy by making your body a tree! Tell your kids to start climbing and they’ll try to get as high as they can. When you have had enough, shout “TIMBERRRR!” and tumble onto the floor.

There is one rule and one variation to this game. Rule: no pulling your hair. Variation: teenage sons can join in if you have more than six little kids like me. Lock hands as if you’re playing a crude game of knuckles and let the kids climb. This variation doubles the fun.

3. Get the Chickens

This game may offend some of you, so I’m sorry. It came about back in the day when our family raised some chickens. I announced I was the butcher, and all the kids were the chickens. They’d run around the house like chickens, I would chase them, and grab them by the ankles. I’d lift them up into the air and tickle their necks while yelling, “Cut the head off!” and then throw them out of play on the couch. I then would proceed to chase another kid till they were all piled up on the couch.

I know, sort of morbid for suburbanites, but country folks will get a kick out of it. Here are some variations:

  1. Spider. You’re the spider, the kids are the flies. Roll them up and suck their blood by blurping into their stomachs. (Okay, perhaps that’s no less morbid, but sure is fun.)
  2. Hunter. This one is great if you’re getting tired. Sit in your Lazy Boy and let the kid be the deer or elk. Hold your arm up like you’re holding a rifle and shoot the animals when they peak around the tables and chairs.
  3. Godzilla. You’re the monster and they’re the innocent bystanders in Tokyo. Stomp around and grab them, pick them up, tickle them and throw them on the couch.

I guess they’re all a little psychopathic. If this is too much for you, tone the stories down a bit. Maybe be Pappa Smurf chasing butterflies or something. It doesn’t really matter. Just chase the kids and tickle them. The story line gives it a little flare.

I bet that you’ll come up with your unique living room games as the evening drags on. Ideas are not lacking, I’m sure. I’d love to hear your ideas: post them below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Andy Stauffer

    Jeub! Love it! With our boys now 17,16,and 14 it’s been a while since family-room wrestling was a regular event in our house, and I really miss it. Now that we have a new little one (1 month old) I’m gearing up for another round. One of our all time favorites was a game where I got down on all fours in the center of the family room and gave the boys 60 seconds to “topple” me. I’d secure as wide a base as possible and it was impossible to do so, right up until they hit their teenage years. They’d go in their “corner” and strategize about the best way to take me down. It was always fun to see their feeble attempts and strategies! Sometimes they’d all rush me at the same time. Other times they’d break into 1) The tickler, 2) The rusher and 3) the arm-puller. We’d sometimes go 4-5 rounds in a night. It was loud. It was raucous . It was some of my very best memories with my little boys, now young men. Good stuff.

    • That sounds awesome, Andy! Congratulations on your newborn. What a blessing. You’ll find your older boys will be great fun with the little one. My teen boys (17, 15, 13) are awesome big brothers to my littler brood. You have an awesome adventure ahead of you.

  • Thank you Chris for sharing. I’m always looking for new indoor games for the evening or when the outside is unfavorable.

  • devin90

    I play all three of these and other variations. Good list. Tree man is a must for all children.