Laughter is the Best Medicine - Especially for Children!
Updated: Jul 26, 2018
Saturday, October 21, 2017
Have you ever had a really difficult day, only to burst into a fit of giggles over the littlest thing? Or perhaps, just the sound of your child’s laughter can help light up a bad day?
Well, laughter is after all said to be contagious. All thanks to mirror neurons! This is what triggers you to smile back at someone who smiles at you, which may well apply to laughter as well. Studies have also shown that laughing releases endorphins – those same feel-good hormones derived from eating chocolates, without the calories at least.
Here are 3 ideas to kick-start a weekend full of endorphins with the family!
1. Watch a Funny Family Movie Together
Movie nights are great fun, especially when they’re enjoyed together as a family - order in some pizza or get some after-meal snacks. Popcorns are highly recommended, it is after all movie-time!
Some suggestions for a good wholesome movie for the family include:
Patch Adams (1998) which is based on the true story of Dr. Hunter Adams. He uses the philosophy of treating his patients using humour and compassion. You might want to get some tissues prepared for this one as well.
The Parent Trap (1998) is a story about a couple who divorces after having identical twin daughters. Each parent looked after one twin and both girls ‘accidentally’ reunite over summer camp. Hilarious to boot as they try to bring their mother and father back together.
Nanny McPhee (2005) is a governess that helps discipline seven unruly children of a widowed undertaker. With a little magic and a whole lot of laughter, the family will most certainly learn a thing or two from this movie.
2. Read a Hilarious Book With Your Child...Even Before Bedtime!
Choose a book with a storyline of characters that will you know would tickle your child’s funny bone.
A little change from the usual subdued bedtime story might do some good for your child. Sleeps issues in children are often due to some form of emotional struggles that is not being addressed. As much as we’ve been told otherwise, lots of giggles might actually help them release some stress and most importantly, that all important connection with you.
Our favourites include:
In The Jungle by Grace Jones - Use funny facial expressions to mimic the different animals in the book. Perfect for little giggles before bedtime.
Seriously, Cinderella is So Annoying by Trisha Speed Shaskan - There is always two sides of a story. Read about Cinderella's Wicket Stepmother's version and you might see things in a different light. At the same time, this book teaches children that different people may have different views and to learn to accept them.
I Hate Reading: How To Get Through 20 Minutes of Reading Without Really Reading - A must-have for the reluctant readers of all ages. This hilarious book was written by two brother who ironically, hate reading.
3. Partake in a game of tickles
Little tickles may lead up to big tickles which will then result in both you and your child in a fit of giggles! What better way to lighten everybody’s mood over the weekend? Perhaps, even make a game out of it.
Here are some fascinating tickle games suggestions from MightyMoms.com:
Recommended Tickle Game #1: Mum's Orchestra
Did you know your child is really a one-child band? Here are the different instruments for you to choose from:
Piano ~ play the back like a piano, particularly on either side of the spine.
Drums ~ rat-a-tat on that cute little bum.
Tuba ~ big tummy blows.
Violin ~ rub your index finger back and forth under the neck.
Trumpet ~ blow little raspberries on the neck.
Bagpipes ~ place one finger in an armpit and blow on the neck at the same time.
Recommended Tickle Game #2: Tickle Spot
You know the game I’m Thinking of an Animal? Now replace it with I’m Thinking of a Tickle Spot. Only in this version, they only get ONE guess.
Guess correctly, and they get to tickle Mama.
Guess incorrectly, and…well… *wink*
Recommended Tickle Game #3: Buzzy Bee
Buzzy Bee is a tickling game created especially for babies. It’s so simple, even an exhausted mom who doesn’t want to get out of bed can play it. (I speak from experience.)
Lay down with your infant and put your finger in the air.
Make a bzzzzzz sound and swoop your finger around until it finally lightly touches some part of his exposed chubby little body.
Eventually, just putting your finger in the air will be enough to prompt excited squeals of happiness. (Pavlov’s Law at work!)
6 Reasons Why Laughter is The Best Medicine: http://www.chopra.com/articles/6-reasons-why-laughter-is-the-best-medicine
Social Laughter Triggers Endogenous Opioid Release in Humans: http://www.jneurosci.org/content/early/2017/05/23/JNEUROSCI.0688-16.2017
Chocolate on The Brain: http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/neuro/neuro04/web1/kcoveleskie.html
The Benefits of Laughter at Bedtime: https://www.handinhandparenting.org/2016/02/the-benefits-of-laughter-at-bedtime-2/