THINGS KIDS LOVE

  1. Being smarter than you
    This will crack up younger kids to no end. Tell them the biggest number is 47. Refuse to budge. Politely suggest they're making those other numbers up.
  2. Pompous tomfoolery
    Some kids need permission to play. Pompous tomfoolery lets the kid know this is playtime and that they get to be the protagonist, acting out in ways that wouldn't be socially acceptable; ie, the thrill of calling an adult "stinky"
  3. Exaggerated reactions
    Again, this is a way to signal to the kid that you're playing theatrically
  4. Wry cleverness
    Kids love to banter. If the kid is sharp, really take them down the rabbit hole of the game or thought process. Challenge them wholly.
  5. Responsibility
    Trust this kid with something. Don't make a big deal about it! The more unthinking it is, the more it signals responsibility and respect
  6. To be leveled with
    "Hey; c'mon, man." Has won where "because I said so" never could.