Editor's note: This article was originally published on Alison Wood's blog, Pint-Sized Treasures. It has been republished here with permission.
One of the best sounds in the world is a child's giggle. Don't you agree? Sometimes I have to take my strict mom hat off and become a silly mom to fill my house with that infectious sound that gets everyone's mouths turning in an upward grin. Do you desire to hear more giggles in your home today? Try getting a little bit silly with your kiddos - they'll love you for it!
"But, Alison. I am soooo busy and am under a lot of stress right now. I can't be silly."
Sure, I understand those times come, but one of the best stress-busters of all is playing with your kids - and kiddos love silly games! There is a time to be silly and a time to be serious, so save these silly mom ideas for those times when your house needs more laughter, more connecting and more stress-busting action. Ready for some silly mom tips? Here ya go!
Use your imagination
Kids don't have to have ANY toys to have a fun and silly time. Just the other day I felt like I really needed to spend some time just playing and connecting with my kids. I called all six of them to the living room and they sat on our large area rug. Quickly I searched my creative juices to think of a game. After staring at them blankly for five seconds I said, "Let's play psychiatrist!" It's a super-fun game that works for kids ages 4 and up, and requires no supplies. You simply send one player (the Psychiatrist) into the other room and the rest of the people (the patients) to decide upon a "clinical" problem that they all have. The "psychiatrist" comes out of the other room and can ask the "patients" questions. Everyone can talk and make gestures. The Psychiatrist is allowed three guesses.
We had many "problems." Our first one was we all thought we were Elmo. The next one, we all thought we were the person on the left side of us. Another time we were convinced that we were all Marines. The kids wanted to play over and over again and even my 3-year-old enjoyed hiding in the other room with the psychiatrist. They really thought I was quite silly, but we all were! Not sure what my husband thought when we were all pretending we were our German Shepherd, Sofia. He did cast a confused look our way, but he knows we have a tendency to play, so he just went on about his business!
Don't worry about the mess
OK, well, you should worry a little, but not too much. Build some tents with your kids, make some playdough, have a food fight, pop balloons, make foot and hand-prints on paper and make some messy, silly memories - those are the best kind! When all the silliness and giggles are over you can all clean up together. It doesn't take that long to fold all the sheets and put the large, heavy books back on the shelf after a spur-of-the-moment tent building contest, does it? Nah.
Yep. Playing in the water is some silly, crazy fun. Water-guns, tea pitchers, water hoses, sprinklers - you name it! Hey, if you have a wheel barrow that was my fave redneck pool when I was little. Just sayin'.
Turn off the screen
It's true. Screen time zaps our creativity and activity levels as a mom. Turn off your phone, computer or TV and get on the floor with your kids and be silly. It's very tempting to just relax at the end of the day and shut your kids out, but they need some silly time with you and you need some giggles and stress-busters. It works for everyone! Step away from the screen and start getting silly!
Start a war
Tickle wars, food fights, playing card wars, pillow fights and more! Nothing like teaming up and having some silly competitive fun with your kiddos. My brothers and I enjoyed making houses and buildings with playing cards and then taking turns throwing our remaining cards at each other's tower to see who could crash the other one first. It was fun! Just simple competitive games!
Get ready, get set - RACE!
We have some of the best giggles when we have races. We do simple running races, backward races, bike races, crab walking races, hopping races - you name it! The other day we had three older kids pretend to be horses and the three younger kids were the jockeys - so we had a horse race! I am sure my neighbors heard all the giggles and silliness going on at our house! It had to make somebody smile!
For your tiny tykes, taking time to read them stories with an animated voice automatically wins you the silly mom title. You can also talk to them with silly accents. My girls and I try to imitate the English accent quite often. When my husband isn't in earshot, we pretend we are English people while we are grocery shopping. Most of the people who shop in our neck of the world are not from America, so we think our accents fit in quite well! Don't like fake accents, try some silly words. One fun day I decided to call the kids "darling" every time they addressed me. I always answered, "Yes, darling?" "Sure, darling." They loved it, and it was super-simple to do! They would ask me questions on purpose just to hear me say "darling." It's the little silly things that count!
Think of something silly and fun and pull it on the kids! Tell them to eat dessert first, wear their pajamas all day, jump on the beds, have your kids put you to bed, tell them to play in the dirt - anything that is out of the norm for your family. It adds the spice back into your life and let's your kids know you're not all work and no play!
Do yourself and the kids a favor today and be a silly mom. Don't worry, I won't tell anyone. Your secret is safe with me!