5 Gross-Out Games for Kids

by Jenny Morrill

Kids have always been fascinated with the stuff adults try not to think about. Rude noises, bodily functions, and poop are part of most kids' repertoire of jokes, and toy companies have long been taking advantage of this. Some of the following games might be familiar to you—you might have even played them yourself at one point. But they all have one thing in common: you probably wouldn't play them in front of polite company.


Theme: Dog poop.
Object: Feed the dog and scoop up the "presents" he leaves behind.

Although invented in the late 1990s, Doggie Doo didn't reach the market until 2009. Now it's something of a household name, although not every parent is completely happy with the idea, and some have boycotted the game altogether.

Gameplay is pretty simple—feed the dog with special yellow "dog food," then roll the dice. The number on the dice is the number of times you must then pump the handle on the dog's lead. After a random amount of pumps, the "food" will come out of the dog's other end. Scoop the poop and you win!


Theme: Cow milking/cow pats.
Object: Milk the cow and try not to make the cow do a pat on you.

This game works in a similar way to Doggie Doo—you roll the dice then pull the cow's udders the corresponding number of times. Then the cow will either drop a pint of milk from its front (already in its bottle thankfully) or a cowpat from its behind.


Theme: Toilet blocking.
Object: Empty your “scuzz bucket” into the toilet and flush it.

Released in 1994 by Parker Brothers, Big John is the “electronic flush and burp game.” Each player has a bucket full of “scuzzies” (green balls of goo) which they have to empty into Big John and flush the handle. Big John then makes a flushing noise. However, if Big John gets too full, he will burp and release all the “scuzzies” out of his U-bend.

On one hand, this game might help younger kids along with toilet training. On the other hand, there's probably been a rise in the number of keys and wallets being flushed down the toilet since 1994.


Theme: Vomiting.
Object: Feed Ralph your leftover food, and try not to make him throw up.

It's probably obvious by now that most games of this ilk follow a similar pattern, and 1992's Eat At Ralph's is no exception. Roll the dice, then feed Ralph the corresponding amount of food. This game also has another option: if your dice lands on “stuff,” you can attempt to feed Ralph as much food as possible.

What happens when Ralph eats too much? You guessed it, he throws up all over the table. Thankfully, he only throws up the pretend food you just fed him. While the game would probably work just as well with actual food, any kids trying to make Ralph throw up the real stuff would likely find themselves grounded pretty quickly.


Theme: Nose-picking.
Object: Pick Louie's nose until his brains fly out of his head.

We've saved the worst for last. (Yes, this is more disgusting than a poop-scooping game.)

Louie is a plastic head with long strings of snot hanging from his nose. One of the snots is attached to his brain via a rubber band, and pulling that snot will cause his brain to break free and spring from the top of his head.

Why would anyone on Earth want to spend their time picking someone else's nose? There's possibly only one game that beats this: Piggin' Boogers.

With Piggin' Boogers, the snot is a lot more realistic than Gooey Louie's, considerably upping the gross-out factor. 

It's kind of like Russian Roulette, but with pig snot. Only one of the pigs has a snotty nose, and the goal is to guess which nose to stick your finger in. Technically, if you get the snotty nose you win, but in reality, that sounds like a loss.

If You Want Your Cat to Poop Out More Hairballs, Try Feeding It Beets

Have you ever wondered if there’s a way to get your cat to poop out its hairballs instead of hacking them up? If so, you’re likely a seasoned cat owner whose tolerance for gross stuff has reached the point of no return. Luckily, there may be an easy way to get your cat to dispose of hairballs in the litter box instead of on your carpet, according to one study.

The paper, published in the Journal of Physiology and Animal Nutrition, followed the diets of 18 mixed-breed short-haired cats over a month. Some cats were fed straight kibble, while others were given helpings of beet pulp along with their regular meals. The researchers suspected that beets, a good source of fiber, would help move any ingested hair through the cats’ digestive systems, thus preventing it from coming back up the way it went in. Following the experiment, they found that the cats with the beet diet did indeed poop more.

The scientists didn’t measure how many hairballs the cats were coughing up during this period, so it's possible that pooping out more of them didn’t stop cats from puking them up at the same rate. But considering hairballs are a matter of digestive health, more regular bowel movements likely reduced the chance that cats would barf them up. The cat body is equipped to process large amounts of hair: According to experts, healthy cats should only be hacking hairballs once or twice a year.

If you find them around your home more frequently than that, it's a good idea to up your cat's fiber intake. Raw beet pulp is just one way to introduce fiber into your pet's diet; certain supplements for cats work just as well and actually contain beet pulp as a fiber source. Stephanie Liff, a veterinarian at Pure Paws Veterinary Care in New York, recommends psyllium powder to her patients. Another option for dealing with hairballs is the vegetable-oil based digestive lubricant Laxatone: According to Dr. Liff, this can "help to move hairballs in the correct direction."

[h/t Discover]

Live Smarter
Don't Pour Alcohol on Your Bed Bugs—Try These Tips Instead

Getting bed bugs is a nightmare experience, one that’s sure to cost you oodles of time, money, and emotional distress. The bugs are painfully hard to purge from your household, and it’s getting even harder as they become more resistant to common insecticides. Unfortunately, home remedies are often no match for these parasitic insects. Dousing them with rubbing alcohol (a tip you'll often hear) won’t kill them; in fact, it might just burn your house down, as a woman trying to rid her Cincinnati apartment of bed bugs found out recently. As The Washington Post reported, the alcohol in that case was too close to the flame of a candle or some type of incense, and ignited. It wasn't an isolated incident.

In the last 10 years or so, people trying to kill bed bugs with alcohol have started several house fires across the U.S., including a different incident in Cincinnati just two weeks ago. So short of burning down your entire house and starting over, how do you get rid of them?

The short answer is: Give up on the idea of saving money and call an exterminator. According to 2014 research, plenty of DIY bed bug-killing remedies are woefully ineffective. Rubbing alcohol, in fact, only killed half of the insects sprayed by the Rutgers University researchers in that study. Researchers have found that other recommended home remedies, like moth balls, foggers, or ultrasonic bug repellers, are even less effective. And don’t even think about using “natural” type products that use essential oils as the main ingredient. They might smell nice, but they won’t help your bug problem.

But before you call in the big guns, there are a few effective, concrete steps you can take to reduce your infestation. As Rutgers bedbug specialists Changlu Wang and Richard Cooper wrote in their bed bug fact sheet, putting your belongings in plastic storage bins or garbage bags is a good place to start. Since the bugs don’t like to climb on smooth plastic, this can help contain the infestation. Just make sure to treat whatever you’re putting inside the bags or bins first by putting them through the hot laundry, steaming, heating, or freezing them.

You’ll need a mattress encasement, too. This will keep the bugs that have already infested your mattress from escaping, meaning they won’t be able to feast on you anymore and will die of starvation. Nor will any new bugs be able to get inside to nest. You’ll want to make sure it’s a scientifically tested brand, though, since not all mattress encasements are bite-proof or escape-proof for bed bugs. (Most experts recommend the Protect-a-Bed BugLock encasement, which costs about $81 for the queen-sized version.)

Next, pick up some bed bug traps. Set them up under the legs of your furniture and around the perimeter of rooms to help detect new infestations and reduce existing ones. According to Wang and Cooper, a one-bedroom apartment might need eight to 12 of these traps, while bigger apartments will require more.

You’ll want to expose all your belongings to extreme temperatures before you even think about touching them again. Putting them through the washer/dryer on its hottest setting will do the trick to kill both bugs and their eggs, but if you need to eradicate bugs lurking in items you can’t wash, you can freeze them in plastic bags (as long as your freezer gets down to 0°F). You can also kill them with a steam cleaner, especially if you need to purge them from your couch or other upholstered furniture.

If you’ve still got a large number of bugs lurking in your house, you can tackle them with a vacuum cleaner, sucking them out of seams, zippers, trim, and other furniture crevices. But you’ll want to use a stocking or some other method of protecting your vacuum from being infested itself. (See Figure 6 here.)

Some research has also found that desiccant dusts that dehydrate bugs to death, like diatomaceous earth and silica gel, can be effective at controlling bed bug infestations (silica gel in particular) when spread around the perimeters of rooms, on bed frames and couches, and on furniture legs.

As we mentioned before, you’ll probably want to consult a professional even if you do all of the above, because if you miss even one bug or egg, you'll be back to where you started. The cost of an exterminator pales in comparison to the cost of throwing out everything you own, moving homes, and then realizing you’ve brought the bed bugs with you anyway.

The bad news for anyone who’s already infested is that prevention really is key when it comes to bed bugs. So brush up on what the pests look like, make sure to check your hotel room for them when you travel, and if you spot them in your apartment, make sure to warn your neighbors.

[h/t The Washington Post]


More from mental floss studios