So I came up with the “Kitchen Ninjas and Samurai Mom” game. My kids loved ninjas at the time – they knew how ninjas were sneaky and never left any trace that they had been someplace. So I told the kids that they were going to pretend to be Kitchen Ninjas. Every time they went in the kitchen to get a snack, they had to be sure to clean up any mess and leave no trace so that Samurai Mom didn’t know they had been there.
They loved this game and would start laughing and quickly wipe up if “Samurai Mom” were heading in that direction. They loved outsmarting Samurai Mom. We even kept score on a paper on the fridge – ninjas would get a point if mom couldn’t see that they had been in the kitchen, and Samurai Mom got a point if a mess was left. Samurai Mom always gave advance warning of her approach; the clean counters were waaayy better than points :-)
Unfortunately, my kids have outgrown this game, but I thought I would pass it along to see if it might work for you and your kids.
One of the things that I think got my kids really excited about this game was that we had read the Magic Treehouse Series Book #5 - Night of the Ninjas in which Jack and Annie hang out with ninjas and escape a samurai.
Good luck and please leave us a comment to let us know if this one works for you or any other ideas you have. Thanks.