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Celebration | April Fools’ Day


Why So Serious?


Raising Kids With a Funny Bone Written by Ricky Roxburgh


Remember your baby’s first smile (the one that wasn’t caused by gas)? The squint in her eyes, the wrinkled nose, some drool on her chin. It’s addicting. Parents will do anything to get more of that smile. We work so hard at it the first few months of life, yet a lot of parents leave it at that. Did you forget it’s your job to nurture and develop your child’s sense of humor? How can you? By being funny, of course.


We spend so much time with “please” and “thank you,” sanitizing hands, shushing, apologizing for loud singing, making sure they can read before they can talk … but where is the focus on the sense of humor? The world can be a rough place, and sometimes the best way to deal with it is to laugh. Plus, laughter is good for your physical and emotional health, and has social benefits. Triple bonus!


Need some tips? We get it. Some of us are funnier than others. Here are some easy ways if you’re in need of a little assistance:


• Laugh at yourself. Laugh when you trip, laugh when you run out of gas, laugh when you accidentally toot, laugh when you stutter, laugh when someone says something funny (duh!).


• Smile. It’s the first stage of laughing, so if you keep a grin on your chin, then you’re one step closer to a full-on knee-slapper.


• Share funny stories. At dinner, ask what was the funniest thing in everyone’s day; that way the whole family will get some chuckles.


• Fake it ‘til you make it. Surround yourself with funniness until it catches on. Watch Wipeout on TV, follow Conan O’Brien on Twitter, put a funny background image on your desktop, read the funny pages, take a laughing yoga class at Yogamatrix Studio in Dr. Phillips (www.yogamatrixstudio.com) ... You’ll be belly laughing in no time.


Now that we got you in a better mood, here’s what you can do to make them laugh:


• Babies: Funny noises, silly faces and raspberries. Throw a diaper on your head and quack like a duck — go ahead ... do it!


• Toddlers: Peekaboo ... with you, a toy, the dog. “Where’s Scruffy? ... There he is!”


• Preschoolers: Unfortunately, bathroom humor. Whoopee Cushions come in handy at this age.


• School-age Kids: Jokes, puns and sarcasm (yippee!).


APRIL FOOLS’ GAG: Bust out the rod and reel, and bait it with a dollar. Throw it out on the driveway just as dad is getting home. As he bends down to pick up the bill, let your kid reel it in. You’ll be surprised at how long it takes dad to figure out what’s going on, and your little prankster will have the time of her life.


40 PLAYGROUND Spring 2011


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