How To Get Kids To Play Something YOU Enjoy

A few years ago someone let me in on a secret
(or at least it felt like that):

“The trick to enjoying spending time with your kids is to get them interested in stuff YOU like to do.”

So simple!

But too often, I forget it and I feel like I HAVE to play with figurines or play dress-up games to be a super-dad.

Not true.

The reality is that smaller kids are easy to “inspire” 😜.

So, how do you get kids interested in something YOU like?

#1 Brand The Game

Whether your kid is into Sonic, Peppa Pig, or Minecraft – you can often use this to your advantage.

Here are a few examples:

  • Legos
    You probably know by now that I love Lego 😅. Build something from their favorite TV show.
  • Martial Arts
    Train balance, running, moves, etc. in the style of their favorite characters.
  • Board Games
    Change the rules together so that it’s more fun to play. Use your kid’s creativity to get them on board. Exchange the board game pieces with dolls, legos, figurines, etc.
  • Cooking & Baking
    Let them have a piece of dough to shape into anything they like (a Batman logo, a butterfly, etc.). Maybe let them take it in their lunch box the next day for some extra motivation.
  • Drawing
    If this is your thing, you can draw figures from their favorite shows.

#2 Just Start Playing

My kid often says “No – that’s boooooring” when I propose games and play.

But if I just start playing – he often can’t resist.

I can usually get him interested by asking him to help me out with something.

Kids LOVE to feel important.
(Especially with Daddy, I think)

Invite them in by:

  • Asking them to help you find the right-sized pillow to make a jump on a car track.
  • Asking them about the details of their favorite cartoon character to get them into drawing with you.
    (Like: “Hey – Does Bluey have blue or black eyes?”)
  • Asking them what topping they like best for cakes (pretend you forgot).

#3 Let Them Feel Like They Chose The Game

You can also pick 3-4 games that you’d like to play. And then, have them pick one.

This will let them feel like they got to choose the game.

You might like board games, so you can pick the ones you like the most.

You can also use this tactic to line up 3 outdoor activities for you and the kids if you really need to get outside.

#4 Challenge Them

So, this one works on SOME kids – probably mostly at ages 3-7.

If your kids LOVE to win, a good challenge can be a great way to motivate them. 


This definitely works with my kid.

You can say something like:

  • Do you think you can beat me at [insert game]?
  • Who can run the fastest down to the playground?
  • Who can get dressed first?
  • How many yellow cars do you think we can spot?

I hope these tips were helpful!

And remember, snacks are also a good motivator!

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