10 Fun Things You Should Do and Blame on the Kids


One of the little-mentioned benefits of becoming a parent is the fact that you’re now permitted to do absolutely ridiculous things in the name of caring for your children. Stuff that once would have been frowned upon as being immature or disruptive or a waste of time suddenly becomes evidence that you’re willing to take any steps necessary to care for your child. Who knew that completely embarrassing yourself with a public performance could win you parenting points? 

So, without further ado – the top 10 Fun Things You Should Do and Blame on the Kids.


Dance like you mean it, wherever you are. Grocery store? Car? Doctor’s office? Any setting is the perfect time for shaking it and doing your very-best-but-still-not-very-good rendition of the Single Ladies routine. When strangers begin looking at you strangely, point to the baby/toddler/teenager with you and say, “He just loves it! Makes him so happy when I dance!”


And while you’re dancing, you might as well sing. The more ridiculous, the better. My first daughter was colicky, and I’d spend hours trying to soothe her cries. One night I stumbled upon songs that she actually responded to: Oscar Mayer jingles. I would sing them anytime necessary, as loudly as possible, to get that baby to stop crying. Yes, stranger in the post office, I DO wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener.


Play with your food. One of the best parts of my children starting school has been the fact that I get to pack lunches – fun lunches! I discovered bentos and sandwich cutters and food markers and all sorts of great ways to play with food. So, yes – sometimes I eat flower shaped sandwiches or pancakes with faces – they do taste better that way!


Color in coloring books. I can think of few things more calming than carefully shading within the lines of a familiar figure on the scratchy pages of a coloring book. There is something about a sharp, new crayon and a blank page that frees your mind and takes you back to those younger years.


Watch cartoons. Whether it is a flashback to your own childhood with vintage Scooby Doo, rockin’ out to Yo Gabba Gabba, or shouting in frustration at Max & Ruby – Where are your parents, anyway? It doesn’t hurt to break up your news and reality shows with a bit of animated entertainment. (And I’ll totally understand if you end up watching Phineas and Ferb even when the kids aren’t home.)


Create a not-so-secret identity and play pretend. Maybe you’re Captain VonStinkweasel, the master of changing dirty diapers and able to handle a massive blowout in mere seconds. Or you could be the Naptime Ninja, who manages to get into your toddler’s bedroom to put away laundry without waking him up (I bow down to you).  And of course, there is the Terrible Tickle Monster – attacking children worldwide and leaving a trail of giggles in his wake.


Hit the playground and play. Dig in the sandbox, go down the slides, try to swing all the way around in a circle like you were once convinced you were thisclose to finally accomplishing. It’s totally for the benefit of the kids that you seek out the park with the biggest, twistiest slide, right?


Build things. Blanket forts, Lego castles, giant stacks of toilet paper rolls – the materials don’t matter. Use your imagination and your child to inspire a work of engineering genius. Feel free to do this in the middle of the living room. Inform guests that you’re on a mission to raise the next Frank Lloyd Wright and don’t want to stifle her creative genius.


Dress up in a costume. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Your white bathrobe can be a wedding gown or a mummy’s shroud or a doctor’s coat. Use eyeliner to create whiskers and become an animal. Use hats, scarves, shirts, and bags from your own closet to create a entire wardrobe for dress-up fun. *Bonus points if you willingly go out in public while still in costume. Grocery shopping is far more entertaining when you’re picking up milk with a superhero, a princess, and a baby jaguar in the cart.


Whatever you’re doing, find the fun. Ever watched how a kid can make anything into a game? Play follow-the-leader through the mall. See who can get the most toys in the basket while cleaning up. Make the trip to get your oil changed a scavenger hunt or a secret mission. Give yourself permission to relive the fun of being a child with your child. You’ll both benefit. Plus, it’s really entertaining to stage a full-out musical performance of Taylor Swift songs in the baby wipes aisle at Target. Not that I’d know anything about that.

{Related:  5 Reasons Why I Love Being an Auntie}

All images via Sara McTigue
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10 Fun Things You Should Do and Blame on the Kids

Sara McTigue is a secret agent, cupcake chef, award winning author, photographer, and PTA mom. At least, that is how things look in her mind. When she isn’t testing the bounds of her imagination, she is a mom to three amazing and hilariously funny children, wife to a charming and handsome man, and thoroughly addicted to reading. With a BS in English Education and an MA in English Literature, words – and their ability to shape our lives and thoughts – are an everyday fascination. Af ... More

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  1. Profile photo of jessica jessica says:

    Now that my 2 year old attempts to sing,we sing together in the store!

  2. Profile photo of jesster131 jesster131 says:

    I’ll go out in costume with my boy anytime any day. And yes I often ask where Max & Ruby’s parents are.

  3. Profile photo of LIZ says:

    this sounds very funny, make me go back and remember so many good things form my chilhood

  4. Profile photo of Chantel Chantel says:

    “Whether it is a flashback to your own childhood with vintage Scooby Doo, rockin’ out to Yo Gabba Gabba, or shouting in frustration at Max & Ruby – Where are your parents, anyway?”

    i think i’m more of a gabba fan than my toddler but omg the ruby and max comment lol :’D dying of laughter!!!

  5. Profile photo of Andy Andy says:

    I loved this post Sara. I’m posting this to TRU Parenting facebook page. I think everyone will get a huge kick out of it! I try to do these things all the time with my boys. My wife is so much fun and keeps life exciting. The only difference is she doesn’t worry about blaming it on the kids. She takes full responsibility for these things. Thanks for the post!

  6. Profile photo of Caitlin Caitlin says:

    sometimes if i gotta pass gas in public i just blame the smell on my toddlers dirty diaper

  7. Profile photo of jean jean says:

    I totally love the list and i can honestly say i do every last one of those things with my babies.

  8. Profile photo of Brooke Brooke says:

    love this, Sara! & we definitely do most of that list every day!!! Brooke


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