more silly little loving games

Artist and illustrator Moose Allain has curated a selection of happy, playful tweets in his Storified collection of games families play. He manages to incite and capture a wonderfully evocative dialog between himself and some of his fun-minded peeps sharing those silly little loving games that we, at the best of times, find ourselves playing with each other.

Here’s a taste:

Yesterday we had a small party for our 7 year old boy. We played the game of Wyvern Eggs, which we made up last summer: I (the Wyvern) lie on my back on the lawn with my eyes shut while my children try to sneak up and steal my eggs (footballs). It is very enjoyable especially because small children are bad at things like hiding and sneaking up. They’re much better at it now (7 & 8).

Moose Allain

Brilliant game! Our game: Two lines, all generations, walk towards each other chanting ‘a bogus, a bogus’, laugh and you’re out. Played at in-laws 50th anniversary – from m-i-l’s family. Start low, build to loud, then down, while creeping.

Alison Charlton

Our other family game is Weighing Down. This involves climbing onto your opponents back and trying to weigh them down. No sudden movements.

Moose Allain

Me and my 9yo boy play “creatures” he wakes my “sleeping” hand to wake the creatures, they tickle him until smoothed to sleep

Bob Nelmest

Me too. We have Strong Daddy, Puff Daddy, Cross Elephant, Can’t Stop The Elephant (my dad played that with us as kids too).

Moose Allain

Ours are “pointy” “thumper” “the clutching claw” “pinchy ( in the worse places)” and “captain chin”.

Bob Nelmes

Yes, indeed. “Puff Daddy” involves them blowing towards me and me making out I’m caught in a gale, can’t get near them.

Moose Allain

That’s great. My Dad played Dracula and chased us around the house with his false teeth hanging out. Terrifyingly brilliant.


I used to put on “In the Hall of the Mountain King” – perfect for a gradually speeded up chase round the house


we play “if I were a sandwich”, when you take turns to choose a category & everyone says what kind they’d be


We also play Jellywobble. Where I lay on the floor in a doorway & the kids have to get through without me noticing. I have to pull them down onto the floor & tickle them shouting “Jellywobble”. The 14yo son refuses to play now, sadly.


My middle son invented a game called Pap the Pap, which involved cards, dice & counters. One rule – only he could win it.


Midkid also invented “Dungleweaser” where his dad would wiggle a finger in a menacing fashion, chase him & tickle with it.


Whenever we got a toy that came in a box, Dad would make us play “orphans” and pretend we lived in the box.

Daisy Buchanan

I like virtual hide & seek. Think of somewhere, eg cutlery drawer in kitchen, other players have to guess where you are hiding.

Liz Lea

Sis & I used to play something similar called ‘Hide the Thimble’: 1 person imagined where they hid imaginary thimble. The other had to guess. I tried to get Dan to play it with me but apparently it is “ridiculous”.


via @v21 via @zoewi

other Silly Little Loving Games


  1. Kristin Harling on July 4, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Marvelous! Thanks for sharing, Bernie. So many brilliant ideas!

    • Bernie DeKoven on July 4, 2012 at 2:31 pm

      i loved this and am glad you did too. pass it prolifically!

  2. Lily on July 4, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    One game to add: Turtle, Turtle

    My son lays down on a soft surface (like a bean bag, couch, bed, etc…) on his belly. With (another) bean bag, we squish it over him calling out “Turtle! Turtle!”. He giggles, and says it too.

    He really does look like a turtle with his head and limbs sticking out from underneath it.

    Love and laughter,

    • Bernie DeKoven on July 4, 2012 at 5:14 pm

      Which reminds me about a game we play with the kids. We call it “T-Spider.” Best time to play it is when they’re lying down.

      I make a spider puppet with my hand cupped, my fingers pointing down. And I wiggle my fingers like spider legs. My script is as follows:

      “Hello, I am the T-Spider. Do you know what T stands for?” I bring my hand down lower, closer to the tummy area. Depending on the kid’s mood, she says “no” or “I don’t care” or something else improvisationally playful.

      “Are you sure?” (or something else that allows me to continue the dialog, while continuing to lower my hand belly-wards).

      And on, and on, until the denouement, upon which I say “tickle spider!” and pounce in logical conclusion.

  3. Shelly Immel on July 6, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Simple games are so great. I particularly love that so many of these games have a physical component, where the players interact physically instead of just with words.

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