10 simple games to play with kids to kill a bit of time

You want to keep the kids entertained for a bit, but without the help of Netflix or YouTube? Try one of these simple games—no equipment necessary.

Whether you’re stuck at home or waiting in line, parents always need an arsenal of fun, simple games to play with kids to kill a bit of time. We get it! Try some of these ten ideas.

10 fun games to play with kids


1. I Spy

“I spy with my little eye something that is green!” Such a classic. To change it up, ask kids to find an item that starts with a specific letter or sound.

2. Take selfies

Hand over your phone and let your kid take selfies or play with filters. Older kids can be sent on nearby assignments (“Take five pictures of blue things”) as long as they stay in within your sight.

3. Thumb wars

“One, two, three, four, I declare a thumb war!” This one’s fun but doesn’t kill much time, admittedly. Best of five?

4. Simon Says

Will you look ridiculous when your kid inevitably wants to be Simon and makes you “Put your hands on your bum!” and “Hop on one foot”? Yes. Yes, you will. Isn’t parenting fun?

5. Backwards ABCs

Write the alphabet on scrap paper, hand it to your kid ask them to try to sing the ABCs backwards.

6. “Who am I?”

Think of someone your kid knows, then slowly dole out clues so they can guess who it is. “I’m a man… I’m bald… You see me at your school… I work in the office…” (Answer: the principal.)

7. Twenty questions

Little kids have a hard time asking the right questions to figure out the item someone else is thinking of, so let them come up with an idea and you ask the questions. If they don’t know what to pick, help them out. Tell them to choose something that’s in their bedroom or one of their toys.

8. Guess the number

Using your finger, write a number from zero to nine on your child’s back (over their shirt) and see if they can guess what you wrote. Start with numbers that are easier to recognize, such as 0, 1 and 7.

9. Talent show

Ask your kid if they can whistle, snap their fingers, curl their tongue, cross their eyes or touch their tongue to their nose. They just might surprise you.

10. Perfect food day

Ask your kid to tell you what they would eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks if they had full control. Most kids have strong feelings about this and will get quite creative!

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