25 Ways to Make Your Kid Smile Today 😊

make kid smile make kid smile

There’s a factoid floating around the internet that says children laugh 300 times a day. And, you know what, I believe it. Kids, with their untamed wonderment at the world at large, often seem like aliens who fell to earth. Everything is new to them, which makes them an easy audience. Here are 25 super simple ways to make your kid smile today.

  1. Involve them in a grownup decision. Loop them into something you’re pondering: what to make for dinner, what to wear to work, where to mount a shelf, how to arrange a vase of flowers.
  2. Introduce them to your favorite treat from your own childhood. Fruit by the Foot has zero nutritional value. They’ll inhale it.
  3. Frame a piece of their art and put it in a prominent place.
  4. Clean their room for them. Just this one time. There’s no nagging and you can get it done in half the time it takes them.
  5. Put Nutella in the Trader Joe’s croissants and they’ll love you forever.
  6. Make a date with your kid for some one-on-one time. It doesn’t matter what you do. Setting time apart for just them feels special.
  7. Slip an easy-to-solve riddle into their lunchbox.
  8. Let them “overhear” you bragging about them to the grandparents.
  9. Try something new together where it’s a first time for both of you: a recipe, a sport, a craft. It’s really fun to be on a level playing field and learning the ropes together.
  10. Share a story from your life. Bonus points if it’s especially embarrassing.
  11. Jump into whatever they’re obsessed with at the moment. If they invite you into their world, make it a big yes. Do I love LEGO? Not particularly. But I love how much they love LEGO.
  12. Teach them one good joke. If you can get them to remember the punchline, the rest of the joke should stick.
  13. A package of Post-it notes can go a long way. Leave a funny doodle or sweet note somewhere unexpected or on the bathroom mirror for them to see first thing in the morning.
  14. Ask to watch their favorite movie or show with them, then actually watch it (i.e. don’t just scroll on your phone.)
  15. Wrestle together. That’s right—push up your sleeves and get on the floor for some rough and tumble, whether it’s a pillow fight, sword battle, or plain old tickling match.
  16. Pizza for breakfast, pancakes for dinner.
  17. Suds up their favorite toy in a mini sink-bath. My daughter’s Madeline doll washes her hair more often than I do.
  18. Ask them to teach you something. They’ll love giving you a lesson. I used to know Greek mythology and now that’s been replaced with Star Wars mythology. Oh well!
  19. Choose an author to focus on together and plan a deep dive! Arthur Yorinks is our current fave. He’s wildly funny and has a whole shelf worth of weirdness at the library.
  20. Put their window down when you’re driving — even if you have to blast the heat.
  21. Tell them a story about when they were little. Well. They’re still little. But, you know.
  22. Give in to something you’ve been holding out on since they were born. For me, it’s guns. Toy guns, of course. But I let down our ban recently. Water guns, Nerf guns… we have a whole artillery base now.
  23. Band-Aids. Just give in to their phantom injuries and give ’em a box of their own and let them go wild.
  24. Read their bedtime story in a funny accent.
  25. Break a house rule every now and then. Skipping bath time one night never hurt anyone.  Shoes on the couch—it must be a party!

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Toby Lowenfels is a writer and mom of three in Nashville. Follow her daily musings at @tobyfels.