Simple Group Game: “Dad Joke, Mom Joke”
Dad jokes are becoming ubiquitous these days. They’ve always been around, but for some reason they are enjoying a resurgence of popularity in our culture. The idea is simple: come up with a joke, usually a pun on words, that makes your kid roll their eyes. The cornier, the better. I’ve heard that there is a social value in Dad jokes in that it is a father’s attempt at connecting with their child (which is super important) by speaking the child’s language (which is playful and fun). Children are also still learning language, so puns and plays on words are fun ways to learn how the same word can have multiple meanings in various contexts.
Since I speak and perform at youth camps, I try to find group games that are simple and fun. Here’s one that I came up with that is super easy and uses the current popularity of Dad jokes. I call it “Dad Joke, Mom Joke.”
Here’s how you play: If I have a large group, I ask all the adults in the room to think of their favorite corny joke. Then I invite the men to come up (the women also get their own round; and it doesn’t matter what order you put the men and women rounds of course). Any adult is welcome to play whether they are a parent or not. I just call it Dad and Mom jokes because that’s what people generally call corny jokes these days.
For the Dad joke round, the men line up on stage and they each get one shot to tell their joke in the microphone to the kids. After all the jokes are delivered, the kids get to vote on their favorite one. I walk down the row with my hand above each contestant and the kids clap and cheer at each one. Whoever gets the loudest cheer from the kids wins. Repeat the process with the women (the “Mom joke” round).
I tell the kids to judge the joke on whatever criteria they choose, whether it be how corny, how dry, how funny, how witty, or whatever is important to them in a joke. It is a fun time for all and you learn some new jokes along the way!