10 Reasons My Preschoolers Smiled Today

You know all of those posts about Why My Toddler is Screaming? There’s even an entire blog devoted to it. We’ve all read them. And we’ve probably all laughed (or cringed) because we’ve been in the same boat as the parents taking those pictures.

But you know what? There’s an equal number of reasons that my preschoolers have been smiling lately. Here are just the first 10 that come to mind:

1. Tickle fights. This one is a little bit obvious, but there is nothing that gets my kids laughing like being tickled. Except maybe getting to tickle mommy.

2. Doing something new by themselves. Both of my older kids are fairly independent (shocking, I know), so learning a new skill tends to lead to excited exclamations like “I did it!” accompanied by a big grin.

3. Playing the “silly game.” My kids have reached the ages when they are incredibly amused by the absurd. This oh-so-creatively-named game involves making up the silliest combination of things you can think of. Let me tell you, a cat holding a popsicle while flying a rocket ship leads to lots of giggles.

4. Helping mommy cook. Whether we’re baking cookies, chopping veggies for soup or mixing ingredients for spaghetti sauce, my kids love being up at the counter with me helping. Getting to taste the food before anyone else is an added bonus.Happy cooking kiddo

5. Making the baby smile or giggle. I think there’s something in all of us that wants to make other people happy. I love seeing how happy it makes my “big” kids to elicit a smile or coo from their baby brother.

6. Dancing to their favorite tunes. Does your family have dance parties in the living room? I especially love helping L practice her ballet skills to “Let It Go” from Frozen and teaching G-man to swing dance to “Jump Jive and Wail” big-band style.

7. Being read a story. It makes my heart just a little bit happier to know that our children’s book shelf is always overflowing (even when it’s organized!). The kids love to pick out a book and snuggle in with mommy or daddy to listen.

8. Singing along with Mary Poppins music in the car. My munchkins know every word to “Just a Spoonful of Sugar” and “Sister Suffragette”. They each like to request their favorites anytime we get in the car. Seeing their smiling faces bob up and down to the music makes it worth having the songs stuck in my head the rest of the day.

9. Getting a special treat for snack time. Snack time around here is usually something like yogurt cups or graham crackers, but every once in a while we break out the treats. How can you resist that grin?

IMG_20141124_19334610. Extra snuggles at bed time. My favorite trick for putting an end to bed-time stalling? Promising an extra three minutes of cuddles or backrubs before I leave. Let’s face it, my kids are snuggle bugs, and I’m happy to oblige!

None of these things cost any money. They don’t even take that much time to do. But the smiles and laughs that come with them make my heart just a little bit fuller.

What are you doing these days that makes you kiddos smile?

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