And snap, the job’s a game

Mary Poppins was my daughter’s favourite movie when she was little, in fact I’m not so sure it isn’t still. She adored Mary of course and the fun that the children had with her. As a child with an older dad DD could see similarities with the Banks’ children’s desire to play with their dad (although DD’s dad is a SAHD so she has plenty of time with him, he’s not at the bank all day)*

Maybe my blogging is like Mrs Banks’ militant marching! DD would even forgive the dreadful animatronic robin, to watch the story of Mary and the children having adventures in pictures and across the London rooftops. (With rather mysterious chimney sweeps – and if you think that’s odd you really should read the book – dark is not the word!

So through her childhood I have taken advice from the lovely Ms Poppins. Particularly the advice that boring tasks can be made fun and then, “snap! The job’s a game!”. I was reminded of this when someone on Twitter asked how to stop yelling at their child to do things (such as get dressed!) because none of us like yelling but sometimes stuff needs to be done. I suggested a game. How about a race to get dressed – works well with siblings but mums and dads can play too, or a treasure hunt for the clothes? Maybe with a timer too – a race against the clock!

(Btw I wasn't implying no breakfast for naughty children! LOL more the sort of "first one dressed and downstairs can choose the cereal" sort of thing.)

Lots of things can be part of a game if you try, and while you might think you don’t have time to play sometimes (often!) it’s quicker than the nagging, the whining and the shouting!

So a cry of “we are off to hunt for food! To the wheeled hunting machine!” will often fill car seats faster than “go and get in the car…where are your shoes? No! now go and get in the car!”

Don’t we all recall playing at not stepping on cracks as we walk down a paved street? Eye-spy is a great game on a walk or a car journey, start with a list of 5 things to spot, distraction is a great help for tired legs (for a while at least!)

And “Who can find the blue crisps and 3 red peppers?” Can make shopping not only fun and faster but educational too! And rewards are nice too – remember the spoonful of sugar? Why not try that in the supermarket! “Any one that helps fill the basket can choose one yogurt/smoothie/comic etc of their own when all the shopping is done…”

What are your games to get things done? Do you play or are you the boss? Have you tried any games that have gone spectacularly wrong?!


  1. fairyhedgehog7/2/15

    Great ideas! Far more fun than shouting!

  2. john adams8/2/15

    Great post. I sometimes get the girls to race each other to get dressed in the mornings. I kind of let the eldest win most times...as she's at school, the need ot get her ready first is greater!

  3. chickenruby10/2/15

    nope never worked with mine and if i tried it now they'd think i was drunk....lol my kids always responded with the reward prior to the activity, let them think you're negotiating on their terms....*goes to write blog post on subject

  4. Tattooed Mummy10/2/15

    HAHA yeah I should have clarified that it does stop working! The teen does better with stick than carrot now (not actual stick, though it's often tempting!) we seem to spend 80% of our time saying 'do this or else' now....needs a whole new blog post - so I'd love to read your ideas!

  5. chickenruby10/2/15

    I've written many posts like this, find it better to write a new one than recycle an old one, i'll tag you when its done tomorrow


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