By Jayger’s Mom Heather
What would life be without laughter? No #LOL? No #LMFAO? I can’t even imagine! How would we manage our social media?! I’m half laughing, no pun intended… But in all seriousness, not only is a good belly laugh contagious, but laughing seems to be about the best remedy for almost anything. It’s good for mental, emotional, and even physical health. It’s proven to relieve stress, increase immune cells, diminish pain, and boost energy while releasing endorphins in the body. There is real truth to the saying “Laughter is the best medicine”. So why not try to make your kids laugh everyday.
Laughing is a reminder that not all situations have to be taken quite so seriously. It’s the ultimate diffuser and my favorite go-to when Jayger (my 3.5 year-old) is grouchy or irritable.
So, I thought it would be fun to share a few tricks I use to get Jayger and his friends to laugh.
- Funny faces. Especially when you pull them unexpectedly, like when you’re quietly eating lunch together or stuck in weekend traffic to the beach. The more exaggerated the better— and extra points if you can cross your eyes.
“If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.” – Robert Frost
- Falling Down or Tripping. What kid doesn’t bust out laughing when they see their parent just fall to the ground (faking a big owie of course!). Or what about pretending to trip over that bump in the floor, with an exaggerated flailing of arms and tossing of hair! Jayger finds it hilarious to see mommy “mess up”.
“The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.” ― Mark Twain
- Talking in a strange accent or made-up language. I have adopted a cross between a Russian and French accent, and I make up preposterous stories. Say we’re heading out to the grocery store or the pharmacy, I’ll tell Jayger that “We are on a secret mission and can tell no one; Come at once!” I like to throw in: “Under no circumstances at any point are you allowed to laugh during our mission.” That gets him every time.
“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”― Victor Borge
- Hide and Seek. One cannot underestimate the fun of this very simple time-honored favorite. Something about being found always elicits shrieks of laughter. What I find most hysterical is when I discover Jayger’s hiding spot simply because he was excitedly laughing at just the thrill of being found!
- Pillow fights and the Tickle Monster. If you really want to cause a ruckus and make your kids laugh, this is the way to go. In our house, if my wild child won’t go to bed on time, there’s a good chance an epic pillow battle may go down. If he still proves resistant, it may culminate to a visit from the Tickle Monster, aka Mommy or Daddy. We “plug-in the tickle monster” for a full-on-can-barely-breathe-I’m-laughing-so-hard tickling that will release any left over frenetic energy from the day, sending the little man into a deep and happy sleep.
“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” – Charles Dickens
Most importantly, Make everyday life FUN!
I have found that the operative word with kids is fun. If I can figure out how to make it fun, my foot is in the door and I have Jayger’s attention. And that is exactly how I got him to drink more water. Adding bubbles (a mild carbonation) made it fun for him. Adding delicious natural flavors, made it enticing. Hence creating Tickle Water! For our family, it’s proven to be a healthy way to stay hydrated— and a subtle reminder to add fun to life’s even smallest pleasures. Give it a try, make your kids laugh everyday.