Inside: It’s a scientific fact that laughter is the best medicine. In this post, explore 10 heartwarming ways to make kids laugh and learn why daily laughter is important for health, connection, and development.
Have you ever noticed that the people you love to be around most are the people who make you laugh?
Laughter, an involuntary contagious reaction (meaning that people can’t genuinely laugh upon demand, but once they are laughing, others around them will too), is a way to connect with others and relay information about social situations.
Laughter can ease uncomfortable, angry, or sad feelings and has the power to make you feel close to others.
Related: Anger Management Skills for Kids
10 Ways to Make Kids Laugh
Laughter triggers an endorphin release (endorphins are the brain’s “feel-good” chemicals) which causes us to feel happy. It’s a scientific fact that laughter is the best medicine. Here are 10 ideas to try at home!
1. Use Funny Words
There are several words that my boys find hilariously funny. I often slip them into conversations, just to make them laugh.
- Booger: It is a funny word, especially to 5-year-old boys. I usually reserve this one for story-telling scenarios.
- Noodle: I am not sure why they like this word, but when I say noodle, my kids can’t help but crack a smile.
- Belly button: My oldest likes to tell me, “I love you more than belly buttons.” This makes us both giggle!
And of course, any word that describes a bodily function gets them rolling on the floor. I try my best not to encourage “potty talk,” but you have to admit, farts are pretty darn funny!
2. Tickle a Belly
According to studies, human laughter might have evolved from the panting behavior of primates during rough play, like tickling! My youngest son loves to be tickled and has the silliest, most hardy belly laugh during tickle time.
To strengthen your bond with your child and reduce their general anxiety, lovingly tickle them—daily!
3. Have Some Fun Together
Laughter is associated with play, and play is associated with fun! Dressing up in silly costumes, blowing bubbles, or even playing a simple game of Freeze Tag are guaranteed to bring on the giggles.
Related: 28 Ways to Love Your Child
4. Crack a Joke
One of the pleasures of having a preschool-aged child is introducing them to jokes. Just today my son asked me, “What do chickens like to study in school? EGGonomics!”
For more funny jokes, check out our favorite joke book. It’s full of funny stuff to make kids laugh!
5. Play the Freeze Game
Imagine that your child is happily coloring a picture at the kitchen table while you cook dinner. All of a sudden, you freeze in motion! (Silly poses work the best). Your child approaches you, “Uhhh, Mommy?” but you stay motionless.
Your child pokes you, yet you remain frozen. He giggles and runs to get his little brother. Now two small boys are laughing like crazy, trying to make you move!
Eventually, they will give up and begin to walk away and as they do, you follow them! When they turn around to see you, quickly freeze into another pose. When they come back to you and least expect it, shout “BOO!”
The Freeze Game is one of my specialty moves. Try it! You’ll like it!
6. Change Something Up
The children’s book, Wacky Wednesday, is funny for a reason. Things are out-of-place and where they shouldn’t be, and the character’s normal routine is…well, wacky!
Whether it’s a shoe on a wall, breakfast for dinner, or inviting your child to eat spaghetti without a fork and spoon, wacky things are laughy things.
Related: Crafting Your Family Motto
7. Watch a Funny Movie Together
What’s your family’s favorite funny movie? Mary Poppins has been making children laugh for over 50 years!
8. Play a Harmless Prank
Recently, I asked my iPhone to call me by my youngest son’s name. He loses it with laughter every time Siri refers to me as “Owen.” Here are some more ideas for family-friendly pranks.
9. Read a Funny Book
Mo Williams is our favorite author. We can’t help but laugh together while we read about the adventures of Elephant and Piggie.
10. Lighten Up
Your kids will notice your light-hearted attitude and learn how to adapt, smile, and be positive when life gets tough. What an incredible lesson and coping skill.
I love the sound of my kids’ giggles and will do just about anything to get a chuckle out of them! After laughing together, I feel more connected to my kids and much less stressed.
Laughter is healthy…for all of us!
What makes your kids laugh? Share your stories in the comments below.
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Photography: © master1305 | Adobe Stock