Be an Active Dad, Despite After-Work Exhaustion

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Another day at the office or broom factory or mine or whatever–you’re tired. You just want to come home and relax with your family. And then you get home, and you realize that “relaxing with the family” doesn’t happen, because you have a little kid who simply doesn’t rest. Resist that urge to turn on the television and chill with your wife while the little one drifts into zombieland. Be active, like this:

Play “Night-night!”

Developed by Skipper Armstrong and son after a particularly wearing day at the Broom Factory, Night-night is the easiest game a father can play to delight his child. How do you play? Simple. Tell your little one “Night-night!” then fall into bed. Your kid, who has been missing you all day, will probably chase after you and try to wake you up. Look up and laugh every once in awhile, and you’re entertaining your kiddo while you recover.

Fascinate While Seated

You might even put the kid to sleep!

Read your child a book. Flip through a magazine and look at pictures. Put your kid on your lap and sing songs. Take your shoes off and offer them as toys. Make animal noises together.

Be a Plaything

Despite the etymology, activities don’t all include being active. Let your kid do the work while you lay around. Let them bounce on your belly. Let them try to tickle you. Hide a toy underneath you and have the little one try to get it. It’ll make you laugh and give you a boost to get back to more active parenting.

Chill Outside

Slip out into the yard if you’ve got one. You just sit back in a lawn chair while your kid explores the wonderful things of the outdoors: Dirt! Dog poop! Grass! Flowers! Rocks! Space to run! All you have to do is play lifeguard.

Yeah! Dirt!

What other ideas have you got?