How to Get Cheap Laughs With Your Kids

16 Jul How to Get Cheap Laughs With Your Kids

I recently came across a photo of my sons and me, who were 3 and 6 at the time. Not pictured is our 1-year-old daughter. They are all now young adults. The photo is of me sitting on the sofa with my boys on each side, with no room between us. The look on my face made me laugh out loud. I didn’t look sad. I didn’t look mad. I looked delirious. When I think back on their younger years, it is a bit of a blur. While I was nowhere near a perfect dad, despite all the chaos and exhaustion, I remember my consistent attempts to have fun and to be fun with my kids. But after seeing that photo, I wondered if that was more of a hope than a reality.

So, I got brave and asked my sons: “When you were little, do you remember me having fun with you?” They put my fears to rest and started sharing stories. It turns out I wasn’t just delirious. I was delirious and fun. And guess what. Everything they remembered cost zero dollars. Turns out my cheap laughs were the most memorable. So, in way of inspiration, I’m going to tell you what my 20- and 23-year-old sons said they remembered as fun. Maybe it will inspire you to create some cheap laughs of your own. (Don’t think you know how to make kids laugh? Be encouraged. The bar is low, so a little silly will go a long way.) Here are 5 things my sons remembered that created some cheap laughs.

1. Funny Fill-Ups

While pumping gas, I made faces at them through/on the windows. Pig noses were always a crowd favorite.

2. Lumpy, Lumpy

I had a slight variation on tucking my kids in at night. They would race upstairs to get in bed and hide under the covers. I would come in and roll on top of the bed, complaining how lumpy, lumpy the bed was. For some reason, it never got old, until it did.

3. Scare Tactics

I will admit it. I love scaring my family members more than life itself. Except for my wife, because she hits me hard when I do. But the kids are fair game, so I hide under the bed, in the bushes, everywhere. But my favorite is waiting outside the half bath and screaming when they come out. It is a good time every time—for me. (Yes, I’m talking about this in past and present tense. This one my kids will never outgrow.)

4. Catch and Release

Please try not to judge, but when my oldest son was a toddler, we took him to Disney World. As we were standing in line for lunch, he got restless. So, I put him on top of a trash can and had him jump to me. This provided, by far, his biggest laughs and smiles of the trip. And to think, I had a trash can at home.

5. Wrestle Mania

One of my favorite parts of being a dad is wrestling with my kids. When you’ve learned how to make kids laugh, this one comes naturally. When they were small, every day, when I came home from work, my boys were ready to wrestle. And I was ready to blow off some steam. Our wrestling matches have probably created the most laughs in our home. In fact, I wrestled with my sons last week. The great news is they still think I can take them. I’m certain I cannot. But the magic continues.

So go ahead, be a goofball. I still remember my dad turning his eyelids wrong side out to make us laugh. And it worked.

Sound off: If somebody asked you how to make kids laugh, what would you suggest? 

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