5 Ways to Encourage Giggles

Last updated: May 21, 2020, at 3:06 p.m. PT

Originally published: May 21, 2020, at 1:21 p.m. PT

Mom and two kids with crowns laughing

Laughter is truly the best medicine. Laughing lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormones, and increases muscle flexion. And who doesn't love to laugh so hard that you cry? Try some of these simple ideas to get the whole family in stitches!


Charades is s simple but awesome game to play at home that requires little more than some paper and a marker. Even kids as young as three can get involved in this classic drawing and guessing game. Check out these family-friendly instructions to have a blast and share some laughs.

Paper Bag Skits

Does your family have a flair for the dramatic? Have fun putting on paper bag skits! You'll need large paper bags and props. Ask someone who is not playing with you to put twelve props into the large paper bag. Gather things like a broom, dustpan, scissors, wigs, rags, paper, toys, or anything else that might make a good story. To play, each group of two or more is given a paper bag and they must make up a skit using all the props in the bag. Have fun, laugh, and over-exaggerate!

Dance Party

Move the furniture to create a dance floor! Choose some recorded music from dance-friendly genres or pick a dance music playlist on Spotify or a Pandora station. Add in extras to elevate the fun!  Whip out those strobe lights, disco balls, colored light bulbs, or black lights that have been collecting dust in storage. Glow sticks, necklaces, and bracelets are another way to play with light. Scarves, ribbons and other flowy things are great to wave around and especially fun for younger kids. And then, bust a move!

Silly Pranks

April Fool's redo? Try some of these silly, harmless pranks.

  • Coin Stuck to the Sidewalk Trick: Use super glue to stick a coin (or several coins) to the sidewalk and then watch as people try to take advantage of the unexpected windfall. Pay attention to how long they try to get the coin off the ground before giving up entirely.
  • "Special" Juice:  Take some food coloring and use it to color water the same color as whatever kind of juice or fruit punch you happen to have in the fridge. When your family member drinks it, they will be expecting the liquid to have a lot more flavor to it. Try not to laugh when they take a sip! 
  • T.P. in the Shoe Trick: Take some toilet paper and bunch it up. Place it in the toes of your victim's shoes. They will be wondering why all of a sudden their shoes don't seem to be the right size!
  • Lost in a Toilet Paper Factory: For this one, you go into the bathroom and unroll the toilet paper a bit. Take a marker and carefully write a message on it that says, "Help! I'm trapped in a toilet paper factory." Then roll the toilet paper back onto the roll. The person who happens to be using the bathroom when they see the message will get a good laugh, after they wonder for a moment if the message is genuine.
  • Tape Trick on Remote -  Cover up the remote sensor using a small strip of tape. Watch your kid trying hard to put their favorite TV show on but do not laugh. They may go as far as asking you to change the batteries!
  • Googly Eyes - Stick googly eyes on the eggs you keep in the refrigerator. As soon as your kid opens the refrigerator door, they’ll be taken aback for a few seconds. 

Read Hilarious Books

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”— Dr. Seuss.

Try these favorite books to laugh and laugh and laugh. Cuddle up on the couch and enjoy these together as you giggle your way through the pages.

Many other great recommendations can be found here.