Lose the serious and get silly with your kids

With all of the parenting stresses we carry around with us, it's all too easy to take life too seriously. Here's how to relax, live in the moment and embrace the whimsy with your kids -- even just for an afternoon. Your kids will thank you for it.

Be still and let your kids remind you

One of the most magical things about children is the way they view the world with a sense of whimsy. They see the magic all around them and embrace every opportunity to express their joy.

Whimsy -- extravagant, fanciful or playful expression -- seems to escape us as we get older, and by the time we're parents and laden with responsibilities, whimsy is often but a memory.

But, if we are still and observant enough, sometimes the whimsy that comes so naturally to our children is contagious, and we can spend an hour or even a day enveloped in a whimsical bubble with them.

That whimsy and push to live in the moment can be one of the greatest gifts our children give to us.

Why happiness matters >>

Get lost in the moment

Here are some fun ideas for getting lost in the moment with your kids:

  • Grab a jump rope, and teach your kids those old jump-roping songs.
  • Twirl in circles in the backyard until you collapse in a heap on the grass.
  • Wear pigtails for an afternoon, and feel your hair brush your face when you turn your head. Take a moment to remember your childhood self.
  • Eat a Blow Pop. Savor the crunchy candy coating, and then have a bubble blowing competition with your kids with the sugary-for-a-minute bubblegum inside.
  • Lie in the grass and blow dandelions. Be still, and watch the seeds scatter in the wind.
  • Add a basket to the front of your bike, fill it with snacks and head for an afternoon ride with no particular destination in mind.
  • Play dress up with your kids, with no concern about how silly you might look. Truly get into character, complete with mannerisms and funny voices.
  • Find some chalk, grab your kids and go outside and play hopscotch. It's nearly impossible to hop on one foot and not laugh.
  • Pick up a hula hoop, put on some fun music and see if you still have mad hula hooping skills. You'll probably laugh so hard it will be tough to keep the hula hoop up for long.

Learn more about finding your happiness from this mother of five >>

Make time for whimsy

It can be tricky to carve out time to set aside our adult responsibilities and allow ourselves to get swept up in our kids' whimsy. But if we can manage to squeak out just a bit of time here and there, we'll remember those moments for a lifetime.

Steal those moments, even if it means adding it to your calendar -- in ink.

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