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The Game Game

A pre bed-time game, fun for the whole family!

If your kids are anything like mine, when bedtime rolls around, you’re inevitably met with anxious pleas for “just five more minutes” or “one more story!”

When my kids were young, I came up with The Game Game to ease the power struggle between parents and children at bedtime.

It’s just a simple game of memory using your surroundings as material for the gameplay.
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Here are the rules:

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Mom or Dad is the game host

The game is played in rounds, giving every child a turn. This game can also be played with just one child. When choosing areas for the children to study and memorize, choose something close by to minimize movement. After all, the goal of the game is to wind your children down, not wind them up!

Who will go first?

  • If you have multiple children playing, choose a child to go first.

  • Have the child study the area you have chosen. Examples could be a shelf with a display of many items on it, a wall of art and family photos, or even a bedroom floor strewn with books and toys.

  • Once the child has committed everything to memory, the game begins!

  • The child closes their eyes (no peeking!) and you ask a question about the area they’ve memorized.

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Questions might include:

  • What color is the candle sitting on the middle shelf?

  • How many shelves does the bookshelf have?

  • What kind of flowers are in the painting on the wall?

  • How many photos could you find Mom in?

  • What color is your bedroom rug?

  • What book was left on the floor by your dresser?

Lights Out!

The child gets one guess, and no one gets to help. After they guess, the child opens their eyes to see if they answered correctly.

The game continues in turns until everyone’s little minds are tired out for the night! Or, if your children are having as much fun as mine did, you might have to limit the game to 2-3 rounds per kid. Then it’s lights out and the fun can continue tomorrow night!

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Always remember that The Game Game is about observation and having fun! No one is really keeping score, and everybody is given a chance to play based on their age and abilities.

Play it with Jeb!

For a fun spin on The Game Game, play it with Jeb!


How it works: Instead of choosing an area of your home for the child to observe, choose a scene from Jeb’s story. Have the child study the page, then proceed with the game just as you would normally. For example, you might ask the child, “What is hanging out of Jeb’s dresser drawer?” or “Who is in the photo hanging by the stairs?”


This game was created for and will forever be dedicated to Ava and Luke with all my love.

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