Children especially need to laugh, and its absence often points to an underlying concern.
So.. how can you encourage healthy spontaneous laughter when you're with your grandkids.
* Dress ups. Keep a box or area for dress-ups and funny masks ready for the kids to play with, especially young ones.
* Jokes and Limericks. Kids love jokes and limericks and yes, they will drive you crazy with their constant jokes, but try having a few corny ones of your own ready to tell to them. They enjoy tongue twisters, too.
* Bloopers. Watch an episode or two of Funniest Home Movies or Best Ever Bloopers.
* Sing some silly songs together or play a silly songs CD. 'The Donut Man', Mary Rice Hopkins music or 'Veggie Tales' are just a few suggestions to get you started. See here
* Funny movies. Choose a great movie that you know will appeal to children's sense of fun, add in some popcorn, and enjoy a movie night together. Here's a few suggestions: George of the Jungle, Madagascar, Toy Story, Up, Baby's Day Out, The Muppet Movie.
* YouTube. There are some really funny clips on YouTube that you can share. Try: 'Emerson- Mommy's Nose is Scary,' 'Angry Birds Game- T-mobile,' 'The Best bloopers ever,' and 'Cat on iPad.' I'm sure the kids will know of some themselves. Check out the sample one below.
* Books. Read some of the humorous books available for all ages and kids will really appreciate it if you try to incorporate silly voices for some of the characters. The following list gives 18 suggestions of fun books for different ages. See here.
Remember, as worthwhile as laughter may be for physical and mental health, it's important not to encouraging laughter when a child is hurting or grieving, or if the laughter will demean or upset a child.