This post is sponsored by Laffy Taffy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Life can be hard. We all need to laugh more! In case you don't know, March 19th is National Let's Laugh Day! Our family loves to laugh together. We're all pretty light-hearted and like to do things to make each other laugh. They say laughter is the best medicine. I don't know how “they” are, but in this case, I believe them. These 5 ways to get kids to laugh are easy and a great way to change the mood. Because with kids, there's pretty much always a mood.
Why Kids and Adults Need to Laugh
I refuse to watch dramatic movies and keep it strictly comedy. My husband has threatened to go to improv school to better his comedy skills. My oldest son likes to think of himself as the class clown. My youngest son, while probably the funniest of all of us, has a bit of anxiety and is a little bit more serious.
We've been working on learning techniques to help him get out of those moments that trip him up. One of the things that he does, while at school, is to bite his pencil between his teeth. We learned that it forces your mouth to mimic a smile (even if you don't feel like smiling) which tricks your brain into thinking you are happy and helping to forget that it previously thought something was a threat.
And it got me thinking. With laughter being such a great stress reliever, why not come up with some activities for the kids to do, or for us to do as a family, when we're in a bad mood that we need to get out of.
And as the mom to an almost teenager (excuse me really quickly, I'm going to go nervous laugh until I cry…) I know that life has been getting and will continue to get harder for all of us. There are new learning lessons popping up all the time that require expert level parenting. While my husband and I expect good grades and certain behavior, we are desperately trying to keep things light and encourage the kids to enjoy their childhood years and not grow up too fast.
We can get through anything together. Especially through laughter.
And ALL of these things can and should be done on Let's Laugh Day, every year.
Easy Ways to Get the Kids Laughing
1. Make You Laugh Challenge
I feel like this challenge happens inadvertently whenever I take the kids on errands with me. It doesn't require any special tools. You just need two people to try to make each other laugh. There aren't any rules, I just sit the kids down, facing each other, and the first one to laugh first wins. (In a pinch, this may also work with one child and a mirror – my youngest just spent half an hour making funny faces in the mirror in my car while waiting for his older brother..).
Sometimes the winner gets a Laffy Taffy. Other times it's just for the bragging rights. You may want to save this activity until after the homework is done so that the kids aren't too silly to focus.
2. Have Them Recreate Their Favorite Memes
I'm not a fan of memes. Pretty much constantly someone in my family is trying to force me to watch some silly animal video or kids saying things in funny voices. But I do enjoy watching my kids make silly videos of themselves. They like to recreate their favorite memes and I love that they usually have to work together to do this.
While I don't support the throwing of cheese at babies faces. I 100% support my kids throwing cheese at one another in the name of laughter. This is a still shot from the video my older son made.
These videos and photos will usually get sent around to different family members and on rare occasions end up on my social media account. And they are always sent to Dad, at work, in an attempt to make him laugh out loud in the middle of a meeting.
3. Joke Telling at Dinner
It's hard enough to try to get the kids around the table to eat dinner together, so we like to make it fun and tell jokes while we eat. It's really hard not to laugh when the rest of the people around you are laughing like crazy. We do have some rules for this since jokes can sometimes veer into personal territory and the point is to make sure feelings are not hurt.
Sometimes the jokes are brand new and sometimes they are old favorites. Sometimes the delivery is way better than the content but it always ends in laughter and it's a great way to lighten the mood.
And I can't confirm or deny, as I don't know who may be reading this, but my husband may or may not have a joke telling alter ego that performs for Cub Scout events…
If you don't have any joke books lying around, each piece of Laffy Taffy has a family-friendly joke on each wrapper! I really appreciate this because I'm usually the only family member that doesn't have jokes at the ready.
4. Watch Funny Videos
There are a few shows on TV that show only the best, funniest parts of other people's home movies. And these shows get our family rolling. It's pretty easy to find shows like this on your cable or streaming service. I don't like the ones where it shows people getting hurt. I prefer the funny kid stuff, the people using tractors wrong, you know, things like that.
Aside from laughing a lot, there are a lot of teachable moments you can find throughout. Like, what do you think is about to happen with that kid swinging the bat??? Or is it wrong to put a cucumber behind a cat if you know it's going to freak out?
5. Who Can Make the Dumbest Face
Literally, all you do is try to make the dumbest face you can and then the other person tries. Again, this can be done anywhere except where your laughter might disrupt something. Because you WILL laugh. It might be impossible not to. I think I laugh harder at this than the kids do. I couldn't even get a picture of my son because the camera was shaking too much.
Bonus: Whoopee Cushions
Maybe it's because I am a mom to two boys (and a husband who acts like a big kid) whoopee cushions are the fastest way to make kids laugh. This method is especially good for when kids are really deep in a mood where it might be super hard to jump right into one of the activities with other people.
And, of course, you can always watch your favorite funny movies together. Get dinner done early and snuggle up on the couch and get ready to laugh. This is certainly not the quickest idea to get someone out of a bad mood, but if you've got the time to put in, it just might work!
You can't help but laugh. Also, the technicolor tongue is courtesy of the strawberry Laffy Taffy.
Kids stress relief is something I don't think we talk enough about. With all the pressure we put on them to be good humans, we're sometimes not aware of all the pressure they put on themselves. Life is serious. But my husband and I try not to take ourselves too seriously. We encourage our kids to laugh and have fun and be kids.
Of course, all of these activities are perfect to do even if the kids aren't in a bad mood. There is a 3 year age difference between my boys and it can be hard to find things that they have a common interest in. Laughing together is always a great option!
We plan on laughing a lot and encouraging our friends and family to do the same on Let's Laugh Day! What will you do to celebrate!?
Pin These Tips to Get Kids Laughing for Later
Kids love to laugh. But sometimes they just need a little help shaking that bad mood. These easy ways to get kids to laugh will help you lighten their mood and get the whole family laughing together. Be sure to pass out some Laffy Taffy and guarantee that everyone has a smile on their face!