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8 Unique Tickle Games Your Kids Will Never Forget!

Want to tie those little apron strings a little stronger? I’ve got 8 tickle games no toddler or preschooler can resist.

Created in the lab of my own living room, these are the tickle games that earned me the most giggles, the most “AGAIN!”s and by far the most memories.

8 Unforgettable Tickle Games Your Kids Will Love:

  1. The Buzzy Bee
  2. The Tickle Spot
  3. Favorite Kisses
  4. May the Odds be in Your Favor
  5. Mom’s Orchestra
  6. Tell You a Secret
  7. The Chilly Finger
  8. The Talking Backpack

I have one rule when it comes to tickle games: No fake “stops”.  If she asks me to stop (even while giggling) I stop.  Period.  Game over.  This nurtures her soul by respecting her personal space, and makes yet another small deposit in the bank of “You Are Control of Your Body”. It ALSO reinforces the concept that “stop means stop”. No teasing with that word. It’s a solid wall.

Tickle Game #1:
Buzzy Bee

Buzzy Bee is a tickling game created especially for babies.  It’s so simple, even an exhausted mom who doesn’t want to get out of bed can play it.  (I speak from experience.)

  1. Lay down with your infant and put your finger in the air.
  2. Make a bzzzzzz sound and swoop your finger around until it finally lightly touches some part of his exposed chubby little body.

Eventually, just putting your finger in the air will be enough to prompt excited squeals of happiness.   (Pavlov’s Law at work!)

Tickle Game #2:
Tickle Spot

You know the game I’m Thinking of an Animal?  Now replace it with I’m Thinking of a Tickle Spot.  Only in this version, they only get ONE guess.

Guess correctly, and they get to tickle Mama.

Guess incorrectly, and…well…  *wink*

Tickle Game #3:
Favorite Kisses

This is one game my kids ask for EVERY single night before bed.  It’s very easy to play, and doesn’t really have a lot of tickles, if you have one of those kids who likes the concept behind tickles more than the tickle itself.

It also is a great way to encourage creativity.  I love discovering what “kisses” my Isabella has come up with that night!

Here are a few of our favorites to get you started:

  • The Butterfly Kiss—eyelashes against the cheek
  • The Eskimo Kiss— rubbing noses
  • The Doggie Kiss—a nasty tongue swipe on the cheek. (Do overreact, if you child chooses this! He will be so excited to gross you out!)
  • The Kitty Kiss—small little kiss on the nose
  • The Ghost Kiss—blowing gently into his ear (expect a lot of squirms!)
  • The Hug-n-Kiss—a strong hug, with gentle forehead kiss
  • The Tummy Kiss—mommy blows on child’s tummy
  • The Neck Kiss—mommy blows on child’s neck
  • The Eye Kiss—mommy blows raspberries (gently!) on each closed eyelid

Of course, my last kiss is always the same.

It’s the MOMMY KISS. mwah ha ha!  

  1. Pin hands down for clear access to the cheeks and forehead.
  2. Kiss rapidly all over the face.
  3. Abruptly stop and ask “NOW do you know how much I love you?”

Reply Guide:

Yes = Express disbelief and repeat, adding tickles.

No = Express shock and repeat, adding tickles.

My three girls LOVE the Mommy Kiss!

Tickle Game #4:
May the Odds Be In Your Favor

Tell your child that you’ve picked a number between 0 and 100. Ask them to see if they can guess your number. When they fail to guess correctly (because the House always wins), you win the right to tickle in the spot of your choice.

Tickle Game #5:
Mom’s Orchestra

Did you know your child is really a one-child band? Here are the different instruments for you to choose from:

  • Piano ~ play the back like a piano, particularly on either side of the spine.
  • Drums ~ rat-a-tat on that cute little bum.
  • Tuba ~ big tummy blows.
  • Violin ~ rub your index finger back and forth under the neck.
  • Trumpet ~ blow little raspberries on the neck.
  • Bagpipes ~ place one finger in an armpit and blow on the neck at the same time.

The Tickle Monster Laughter Kit is one of our favorites. Usually I’ll wear one tickle monster mitt and my 3-year-old will wear the other and we’ll take turns making each other giggle. The book and whole box set with tickle mitts is just the cutest. I’ve given it as a gift too. So sweet for memory making with my little girl!” – Christy Hall

Tickle Game #6:
Tell You a Secret

Whisper “I have to tell you a secret!” to your little one, gesturing for her to come.  Then lean super close to her ear/neck and whisper nonsense.  These little whispers and blows tickle the hairs behind her ear and will send her into a mass of laughs.

When she pulls away (because she will) say, “Hold still! I’m trying to tell you a secret!” and repeat.

Tickle Game #7:
The Chilly Finger

My 100-year-old house is pretty drafty in the wintertime. Poor old thing. On particularly chilly days, my index finger will decide (on her own, I’m completely innocent) to crawl into the closest child’s underarm cave to hibernate.

Ms. Pointer doesn’t move.  She just sits there, nice and cozy. Her presence, however, sends my little heater into squeals and squirms.

Tickle Game #8:
The Talking Backpack

This is a great tickle game for after a good nap.  (Not before, or you can kiss any rest goodbye!)

First, hide under the covers with your toddler.  Then say “SHHH! Did you hear that?” while running your fingers on the outside of the sheet. (It was at this point my 2-year-old Lauren would whisper, “It’s the Talking Backpack!” Gracias, Dora.)

With much excitement, let your toddler throw back the sheet and look around for the culprit. Repeat a few times, before letting your fingers crawl under the covers for one. last. tickle.

The REAL Purpose
behind These Tickle Games

Tickling is more than just a fun activity to play. It’s part of a deeper agenda.  Someday, when these tickle games are long gone, each of my children will come to their teenage crossroads and make a choice:

  • Will they let me stay on board their little ship of hormones?
  • Or maroon me on an island and sail on alone?

I want them to invite me to stay with them through the storms of teenagehood.  I want their hearts so tightly bound to mind, they would never dream of sailing off alone. (After all, I make a great danger-avoiding lighthouse!)

Gentle soft tickles (not pokes) are a good first step to secure a conversation stop at the future Teen table.  (Which is going to come a LOT faster than you think!)

These tickle games provide a strong heart-rope! So start tying!


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