Just like America runs on Dunkin’,
. It’s the rare kids’ show that entertains children and adults in equal measure, and it focuses on sending heartfelt messages that foster empathy and creativity. As someone who became a new mom in the middle of lockdown, Bluey runs on imagination Bluey was often my lifeline to decency and goodness in a world that seemed to be falling apart. As I watched the episodes with my daughter, I found myself making a mental list of all the Bluey games we would be playing as she got a bit older.
In case you haven’t yet seen the miracle that is
Bluey, the four succinct words of the theme song sum it up perfectly: Mum! Dad! Bingo! Bluey! The Heeler family consists of a dad named Bandit, a mom named Chilli, and their two daughters: Bluey, age 6, and Bingo, age 4. They live in Brisbane, Australia and, oh yeah, they’re dogs. Bandit and Chili are paragons of parenting excellence as they seem to have endless patience to enthusiastically engage in pretend play with their young kids. Honestly, all young kids want to do is be seen and heard by people who love them. Bluey knows this, and the series showcases all sorts of games that are doable for almost anyone that has access to a safe space for play.
, but not all of them are super fun for adults as well. Games from Bluey games are attractive to kids Bluey like “Ticklecrabs” and “Dance Mode” — both featured in Season 2 — are kind of a nightmare for Bandit and Chili. While they put on their game faces and play anyway, they seem to prefer slightly more low-key outings. “Me too,” said every tired parent in the universe. So, for the sake of our adults-entering-year-two-of-lockdown sanity, we’ve compiled a list of all the best Bluey games that are palatable to both kids and adults. Many of them even involve lying down, chilling out, and letting the kiddos do all the work.
One of the most wonderful things about the games from
Bluey is that they often don’t require anything but a few simple items, engaged participants, and a boundless imagination. Looking for something to do with your kids? It’s time to shout “ Hooray!”
Below, we’ve listed the best
Bluey games that you can play right now with the stuff you have right now in your very own home. 1 Keepy Uppy Players: 2 - 6 How to Play: Like many Bluey games, Keepy Uppy is really just a classic repackaged with the best name ever. Blow up a balloon, toss it in the air, and then just don’t let it touch the ground. If you have a Bandit-level scamp in your home, have them make the game more challenging by turning on a fan or popping open an umbrella. If your game moves outside, beware of the balloon’s natural enemy: grass! Materials: Balloon (inflated with air, not helium) Episode: “Keepy Uppy” from Season 1, Episode 3 2 Hotel Players: 3 - 6 How to Play: Ever been to a hotel? Just do that! Ok, ok, there’s a bit more to it than that. Set up a check-in stand and see guests to their rooms. If you have several available bedrooms, give them options. Then, let them settle in for the night, making sure they’re extra comfy. (Adult Pro Tip: Try to be the “guest” in this one.) Bonus: Bluey’s version of “hotel” has extra games built in. Try Bingo’s favorite, “Pillow,” where a kiddo pretends to be a sentient pillow offered to the guest and then tries to wriggle away. Or do “TV,” where the hotel staff delivers the day’s updates on a pretend bedroom television. Materials: Any bedroom in your house Episode: “Hotel” from Season 1, Episode 10 3 Raiders Players: 2 - 4 How to Play: Situate players at the end of a hallway. Stand behind them, let them get a bit of a head start, and then roll the yoga ball down the hall after them, bowling style. Loudly sing the Indiana Jones theme song for extra points. Materials: Yoga ball, hallway or room cleared of breakable stuff and tripping hazards. Episode: “Yoga Ball” from Season 1, Episode 16 4 Featherwand Players: 2 - 4 How to Play: One player holds the featherwand. That person has the ability to make anything heavy. Other players must play along and go with the constraints of their daily items becoming too weighty to lift, including cereal, toothbrushes, and even car keys. Materials: A single feather (can definitely substitute a different wand-like item if you’re out of feathers). Episode: “Featherwand” from Season 2, Episode 3 5 Taxi/Bus Players: 3 - 6 How to Play: While Taxi and Bus are slightly different games, the premise is the same. Set up an imaginary vehicle in your home or yard, everyone picks a compelling character to be, and then go wild. The sky’s the limit! In fact, in the spirit of Bluey, let’s brainstorm and add “Planes” to this list as well. (Bonus: Pretend to be Bluey and Bingo’s favorite characters, the Grannies, for extra fun.) Materials: Four chairs or a staircase, horn or bell, and hula hoop or imaginary steering wheel. Episodes: “Taxi” from Season 1, Episode 25 and “Bus” from Season 2, Episode 22 6 Asparagus Players: 2 - 6 How to Play: One player gets to be in charge of the magic asparagus, which has the ability to turn the other players into any animal. As long as that player holds the veggie, they are in charge. Beware animals that like to chomp on produce though. You don’t want to get stuck as animals forever if one player eats the wand! (Looking at you, bird Bingo.) Materials: An edible, wand-like item, preferably an asparagus spear. Episode: “Asparagus” from Season 1, Episode 49 7 Mount Mumandad Players: 2 - 3 How to Play: Kids are the players; caretakers provide the playground. Two adults sit in still silence while the kiddos climb them like a mountain. Kids can be encouraged to pack supplies to help them brave the challenging trail ahead. Caretakers get to rest while kids get to play. It’s a win-win for everyone. Materials: Two exhausted adults, a flashlight, a blanket, and a music box. (Alternate: If adults are unwilling or unavailable, a pile of couch cushions or blankets will do nicely.) Episode: “Mount Mumandad” from Season 1, Episode 44 8 Verandah Santa Players: 2 - 10 How to Play: One player is “Santa,” and all the other players lie in a bed together and pretend to snooze. Santa then sneaks in and tucks presents under each of the players’ pillows. When it’s “morning”, everyone gets a gift. Even though this one seems like a holiday game, it can definitely be played all year round. Who doesn’t love to give and/or get gifties! And any game in which exhausted parents get to lie down and pretend to sleep is pretty wackadoo. Materials: A large bed, random, kid-safe items from around your home. Episode: “Verandah Santa” from Season 1, Episode 52 9 Shadowlands Players: 2 - 10 How to Play: Shadowlands is simple and elegant. Players start in a shady location, and then they proceed around the area, only traveling through places that are covered in shadow. Watch out for windy tree shadows or moving vehicles! Cupcakes are a must for the finish line. Materials: A sunny day. (Optional: Cupcakes.) Episode: “Shadowlands” from Season 1, Episode 5 10 Shaun Players: 2 - 4 How to Play: It’s time to adopt a new pet, and that pet is an emu named Shaun who communicates only by screaming the word “MARP!” One player (preferably an adult or older kiddo) allows their hand to become possessed by the uncontrollable Shaun. The objective for all the other players is to care for Shaun as they simultaneously try to wrangle him into submission. Materials: Willingness to say “MARP!” loudly and often. (Optional: Small animal collar and leash.) Episode: “Shaun” from Season 1, Episode 50 11 Octopus Players: 2 - 4 How to Play: Players take turns being the titular octopus. The octopus hangs over the back of a couch with their arms dangling toward the other players. The objective for all other players is to get to the treasure on the other side without being caught by the sea creature. And, in a fun twist created by Chloe and her dad, anything else goes. Is the octopus poisonous? Is it electric? Is it poisonous and electric? Your octopus can be anything you want it to be. Materials: Couch or other large piece of furniture that is not backed up against a wall. Episode: “Octopus” from Season 2, Episode 46 12 The Claw Players: 2 - 4 How to Play: One player is the “claw.” ( Ooooo the claw!) This player sits on the ground with their claw hand hovering in the air, and then the other players dump a bunch of toys onto that person’s crossed legs. Players use a chopstick to control the claw, aiming for their favorite toys. However, this claw game only takes real coins, not imaginary coins, so players should come prepared with a piggy bank or prepared to do some chores around the house so they can afford plenty of tries. Materials: Chopsticks or unsharpened pencils, a pile of stuffed toys, coins (I repeat, real coins). Episode: “The Claw” from Season 1, Episode 19 13 Musical Statues Players: 1 - 100 How to Play: Bluey loves games where the participants have to freeze in place (see: Magic Xylophone, Statues) and games where participants dance with abandon (ex: Dance Mode), and this combines the best of both worlds. When you need something, but you’re just not sure what, Musical Statues might be the solution to your problem. The game begins when someone puts on a rockin’ tune and the rest of the players dance their little tooshies off. The person in control of the music pauses it randomly, and the players have to freeze in place immediately. Any moving and you’re out! Of course, in the episode, the game eventually turns into an all-out dance party, so play however you’d like! Bonus points for getting all the wiggles out before bedtime! Materials: Something to play music on and a flat, open space for grooving. Episode: “Musical Statues” from Season 3, Episode 28 14 Pass the Parcel Players: 4 - 24 How to Play: Well, it all depends on whether you’re playing by Lucky’s dad’s rules or not. In the first version of this game, kiddos pass around an epically wrapped parcel. The kids pass the parcel around and as the music stops, each kid gets to rip open a layer and get a small present… but not on Lucky’s dad’s watch! Pat (yes, he’s a dog named “Pat”) thinks that it builds character to have only one large present in the middle, allowing only one kiddo to win a bigger prize, and the kids eventually end up agreeing. Whether you play for funsies at home with random toys and objects or at a birthday party for high stakes, the game is sure to be a favorite. Materials: Lots and lots of wrapping paper (newspaper will suffice if playing for fun) and small objects from your house or one large surprise object. Episode: “Pass the Parcel” from Season 3, Episode 13 15 Café Players: 2 - 8 How to Play: For a fun twist on snack time, let your kids explore their culinary sides by setting up a café. Even better, start a café competition! This game is an awesome opportunity to explore new foods, new cultures, and new languages. Players each choose a dish to serve at their respective “café,” and a designated taste tester gets to decide which one is their favorite. All participants should be encouraged to use whatever words they know in a foreign language to express their excitement, and there might even be an opportunity to crack out Duolingo or Google Translate for an educational boost! Your kitchen will be so hoppin’ it’ll have your kids asking, “Où est la discothèque?!” Materials: Vague knowledge of French or other non-native language, leftovers from the fridge or cupboard, and chef’s hat or apron for extra credit. Episode: “Pavlova” from Season 3, Episode 17 16 Pizza Girls Players: 2 - 8 How to Play: Sorry to Muffin and her shiny new car, but there simply aren’t any flashy toys that can compete with a pile of mud and a child’s imagination. If you’re willing to let your kids get messy, “Pizza Girls” is the perfect outdoor game to keep everyone occupied for hours. Add water to a patch of soil or dirt, grab a pizza box, and let imaginations run wild! Make a pizza or garlic bread base with some mud, and then garnish! Foraging around for ingredients is half the fun. Materials: An old pizza box. Add mud, dirt, sticks, grass, leaves, wildflowers… basically anything in your yard is fair game when it comes to ingredients. Just remember to steer clear of the mushrooms! Optional: kid’s play cars for speedy home delivery. Episode: “Pizza Girls” from Season 3, Episode 19
Kids learn about the world through play, and these games from
Bluey are sure to provide endless hours of entertainment and excitement. The next time you crack out one of these ideas, your Bluey-loving children are sure to shout out a “for real life?!” before you dive into your next adventure.
This article was originally published on
Jan. 24, 2022