Laughter is the best medicine. When times are tough, or the weather’s miserable, nothing helps like a bit of a giggle with the family. We’ve put together a few ideas to help you turn those frowns upside down.
1. Have A Good Old Sing-along
It’s impossible to do karaoke with a stony face. It always ends in hysterics. Try our guide to putting together a family karaoke session, from sourcing the music to crafting a microphone -- and, the tricky one, making sure all the family gets involved. You can have a sing-along with nothing more sophisticated than your own voices, but we’ve also written a guide to buying karaoke machines, and we’d like to sing the praises of these microphones.
2. Find A Joke On (Almost) Any Topic
Kidadl’s archives are packed to the gunwales with corny jokes to try on the family. We’ve compiled lists for just about any topic under the sun (and including the sun). Browse our guide to a joke for every occasion.
3. Or Try These Magnificent One-Liners
Every year, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival announces the best joke of the season. Many aren’t fit for a family audience, but some of the best are straightforward one-liners that the kids will love.
“I’m not a fan of the new pound coin, but then again, I hate all change.” - Ken Cheng
“People who use selfie sticks really need to have a good, long look at themselves.” - Abi Roberts
“Two flies are playing football in a saucer. One says to the other, ‘Make an effort, we’re playing in the cup tomorrow.’” - Tommy Tiernan
“I’ve got a new job collecting all the jumpers left in the park at the weekends, but it’s not easy. They keep moving the goalposts.” - Darren Walsh
"I've decided to sell my Hoover… well, it was just collecting dust." - Tim Vine
“As a kid I was made to walk the plank. We couldn’t afford a dog.” - Gary Delaney
“I booked myself on an escapology course. I’m really struggling to get out of it” - Adele Cliff
“I needed a password eight characters long so I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.” - Nick Helm
"Hedgehogs - why can't they just share the hedge?” - Dan Antopolski
4. Snuggle Up For A Comedy Film
If you’re not so good at telling your own jokes, let somebody else do it for you. Try one of these hilarious family films to unlock the laughter. You could even deck your living room up like a cinema, following these creative tips. No expensive equipment needed.
5. Make Smiley-Face Cupcakes
In 2020, we joined forces with charity Spread a Smile to put together this smiley-face cupcake recipe. They’re guaranteed to turn the frown upside down, both while baking, and munching. While you’re at it, try also our Spread a Smile bingo card, which is packed with ideas to have fun with the family.
6. Imagine Living In These Oddly-Named Places
Have a chortle at these unusual street names from around the world. Fancy living in Candy Castle Lane, Indiana, or Chicken Dinner Road in Idaho? You’d probably balk at Shades of Death Road in New Jersey or Fear Street, Australia. And then there are the mundane ones like Dull in Scotland or Boring in Oregon.
7. Funny Uncles
According to Peter Kay, “Everyone had an uncle who tried to steal their nose.” You may not be able to see your own funny uncle right now, or even have an uncle, but you can certainly conjure the avuncular spirit with these top uncle quotes.
8. Riddle Me This
Riddles are like jokes that get your brain ticking over. They’re a fun way to test language skills and lateral thinking. And they often lead to a bit of a giggle when the answer is revealed (or worked out). Try some of the following simple riddles on the kids:
1. I lack locks, but I do have keys. I’ve no room, but I do have space. You can’t go outside, but you can enter. What am I? Answer: A computer keyboard.
2. Two sons and two fathers go fishing. They catch one fish each, but they only bring home three fish. Why? Answer: They were father, grandfather, and son.
3. What do you usually get once in a minute, twice in a moment but never comes in a thousand years? Answer: The letter 'M'.
4. What can run but never walk, and has a mouth? Answer: A river.
5. Which word becomes shorter when 2 letters are added to it? Answer: The word "short."
We have hundreds of further examples for you to puzzle over in our riddles section.
9. Dressing up and Roleplay
Most kids love dressing up and pretending to be other people. To make things more gigglesome, you could make believe that they’re the adults and you’re the kids, and dress and act accordingly. Try facepaints, costumes and fancy dress. In our house, we like to act out favourite films or TV shows, but with characters who shouldn’t really be there (e.g. Peppa Pig’s first year at Hogwarts). Then there’s the old favourite of walking round the house in daddy’s shoes.
10. Get Active
Exercise will get the endorphins flowing and put you in a good mood for a giggle. You can’t always get outdoors to exercise, but plenty of fun can be had around the house. We’ve put together a list of 30 fun indoor activities that are sure to end in a laugh, including Twister, reverse limbo, balloon race, activity dice and ...a wheelbarrow puzzle walk?
11. Dance Away The Blues
And on a related theme, burn off the calories while putting a big grin on their faces with a dance exercise. Check out these energetic family dance videos for starters, then move on to these more creative boogies. You could even teach yourselves ballet with these resources.
12. And Finally...
Use the word “grinagog”. It’s an archaic, forgotten word that means “one who is always grinning”, but it deserves to make a comeback. Let’s all be grinagogs!
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
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