How to Keep The Step-Kids Entertained – Family Games For Children

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You will know the drill by now I imagine, the day is here and the Ratbags or Angels (depending on the weekend previous) are due today.  The usual in our household is my partner goes gets the 2 girls ages 8 and 16. I have a quick tidy up and get the baby dressed. Why I tidy God knows as within 3 minutes of them landing it looks like a bomb has taken over!!

Moving on: the kids have landed, oh joy! Your hair’s still tatty and your pj’s are covered in baby sick, the baby has just fell asleep and then boom boom up the stairs they run. Instantly:  whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa my baby’s awoke with the loud thuds shouts of “she hit me!!” Calm descends until after lunch when the sweets, cookies and hot chocolate (which i don’t condone I must say)have run out.  The TV’s no good, board games are boring, weather’s rubbish as usual if you live near the lake district and of course money is tight. So here’s a few quite simple games I have made up along the way to keep them occupied and for varying ages (our age range is birth to 45). Also dads will enjoy these too … at least my other half does.


Each take it in turns being a robot. The chosen robot stands up in the centre of the room hands by their side. Everyone else stays seated and are the robot’s controllers. The chosen person cannot move unless told to in a certain way by the controllers.

So the robot’s standing up, controllers are seated and the youngest seated controller tells the robot a command to act upon 

for example “right hand on left knee” 

the robot must obey and put their right hand on left knee and stay that way. The next person then tells the robot what to do next 

For example “put left hand on the floor”. Continue telling the robot commands in turn using the controllers until the robot has fallen to the floor in giggles. Swap over and let someone else be the robot.


One person starts and says a word. Then the next must say a word ending with the last letter of previous word for example:

ratbag/angel: “elephant”

parent or step witch: “train”

ratbag/angel: “nuts”

another is change a letter to make a knew word i.e  tip becomes dip, dip becomes did … each take in turns again and younger children may find it helpful to have the word written down. 

Shopping Game we all know it so I won’t claim this as as mine: 

A-Z OF VARIOUS TOPICS: pets, cars, shops, supermarkets, colours, farm animals, fruit, veg etc everyone has a turn at the same letter starting with A. The person who can’t think of one has to stick their tongue out till their turn on the next letter.

BOUNCING BALL : You need to acquire an old egg box cardboard or plastic, 6 x 2p coins, around 6 or more small bouncy balls or even screwed up tightly paper, pen and paper.

Write on the egg carton numbers, these will be the scores when the balls land in that pocket i.e 5, 10, 20 on the back three sections and 25, 30,35 on front. Each player,  Angel or Ratbag takes it in turns to throw all the balls on their go and add up their score which will be recored. Keep playing until you have had enough and the balls are now becoming weapons or your valuable vase  has been smashed! Highest score wins. if you have creative Ratbags/Angels then they could decorate the egg box before the game which adds more time to it and a sense of achievement when people are using their item to play the game.

TREASURE HUNTS: These are great as can go on for hours and if you have a garden all the better. Best to prepare the clues midweek before they come. Otherwise you will be running round like a mad hatter placing the clues in various spots just as they arrive and be warned: the Ratbag may be watching and steal the treasure or will muddle the clues. So best an adult distracts them while clues are being prepared.

SOCK HUNT: Well this really is your sneaky way of getting them to do your laundry  haha! Get them to gather up all the socks from the house. Check bedrooms, down the sofa, behind the washer, under the bed, behind the TV you have the idea. Then the most pairs made by a child gets a prize……try fruit as a reward but be warned when you give them that as a prize, you will defiinately be known as the step witch!!!!

Have fun!


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