Life

Exhaust Your Kids In 20 Minutes With This Game

This game gets your kids up, moving and tired! Score!

Sometimes it seems like kids have truly endless amounts of energy. There comes a time when every mom and dad needs a break. While there are certainly low-key options to keep your kids busy, sometimes your kids need something a little more active to burn off some energy—and fast. Enter the “levels game.

This simple activity can be done anywhere and is guaranteed to wipe your kids out in 20 minutes flat. All you need to do is stand still, and let your kids stand around you, giving yourself about three feet of space between you and them. If the players are rapidly gaining on you in height, the only piece of a equipment you may need is a box or something else to stand on.

Then you lower you hands, palm-side down, and the kids have to jump up and tap your hand. Then you continue to raise your hands higher and higher, and they kids see how high they can reach. If they miss, give them three chances to try and reach your hand. After that, the game starts all over again.

To really get kids into the game, it’s important to match their level of enthusiasm. Sure, the benefit of this game for you, is that you expend little to no physical energy. But making some hydraulic noises as you move your hands to the next level to up the excitement factor.

The best part of this game is that it can be done in almost any situation, and the participants are bound to be totally tuckered out in a relatively short amount of time. Think of it as high intensity interval training (HIIT) for kids.

kids playground photo
Getty Images | David Silverman

Try another simple, but fun family game

Want more games that cost nothing, and need no equipment or preparation? My family played a favorite game called “gotcha first.” Whenever my older sister and uncle arrived at a family gathering, one would try to sneak up on the other and tag them first. Whoever tagged the other first won that round, and they would keep a running tally going.

When I got a little older, “gotcha first” had run its course. So my uncle and I play the inverse: “gotcha last” and tried to be the last one to tag each other before scurrying out the door. It was so much fun and is a great way to build a bond with a child as well. In fact, I might resurrect the game the next time I see my uncle!

[h/t Fatherly]