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Live Longer by Acting Like a Kid

Updated on February 22, 2017
Will acting like a kid help you to live longer?
Will acting like a kid help you to live longer? | Source

Why Do Kids Laugh So Much?

It is commonly reported that little kids laugh 400 times a day while adults only laugh 17 times a day. I don’t know who did this research or how they did, but those are the numbers that are always quoted, so I am quoting them here.

Why do kids laugh so much? They laugh because everything is the world delights them. They are discovering how the world works and it is a source of great delight. Additionally, they laugh because they are not afraid to be silly.

I’ve seen children who are just learning to walk. They stand up--and plop they fall back on their plump bottoms. (Isn’t it wonderful how their center of gravity is such they land on their backsides and not on their faces.) Sometimes they will cry when they fall, but they are just as likely to laugh. They have just experienced the feeling of falling and it delights them.

We all laughed our silly little heads off as kids, but then we grow up, we feel we have to be dignified and serious. We stop laughing. We stop having fun.

Put more fun in your life to increase your years.
Put more fun in your life to increase your years. | Source

Why Should Adults Act Like Kids?

Of course, adults have to be serious, but every once in a while, why not act like a kid? It will add years to your life and life to your years. (This is a variation of a quote often attributed to Abraham Lincoln: “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”)

Longevity researchers attribute long life to several factors. Some of these factors are hereditary. Some are related to taking good care of yourself (These life-style issues are a nutritious diet low in sugar and fat, regular exercise, healthy weight, no smoking, and either no or only moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages.) These factors are pretty obvious to everyone.

However, psychological factors are less obvious. These factors include a positive mental attitude, strong social and emotional connections (friends, spouse, family), and happiness.

The research in psycho-nuero-linguistics has demonstrated a strong connection between your thoughts and your health and longevity. Having fun is part of this.

Laughter also provides great physical benefits. It provides a physical release from stress, it gives you a full-body workout, and it can actually rev up the immune system. (See Why Laughter is Good For You: Physically, Emotionally, Socially)

You will feel like a kid when you have a big lollypop.
You will feel like a kid when you have a big lollypop. | Source
Stick your tongue out and make a funny face like a kid.
Stick your tongue out and make a funny face like a kid. | Source
Balloons will make you feel like a kid, especially if you pop one.
Balloons will make you feel like a kid, especially if you pop one. | Source
Nothing says "kid" like a funny hat.
Nothing says "kid" like a funny hat. | Source

Declare Today “Act Like A kid Day.”

One way to feel happy is to go back to our childhood pleasures and act like a kid again. Every now and then we should declare an "National Act Like a Kid Day."

Other people may stare and wonder if you have lost your marbles. Don’t mind them; in fact, the reactions of others are part of the fun.

Here are 30 ideas for ways to act like a kid. Have fun!

  1. If it is raining, put on your boots, and stomp your feet in a puddle.
  2. If it is snowing, lie down in the snow, fan your arms from hip to above your head, and make a snow angel.
  3. If it is sunny, take off your shoes and socks and walk barefoot in the grass.
  4. Get a bottle of bubble solution and a bubble wand and blow bubbles.
  5. Eat a tootsie-roll lollypop, slowly licking the hard candy away until you get to the chewy center. Chew away. Or how about a great big all-day sucker. I bet you can't eat the whole thing.
  6. Watch a block of Saturday morning cartoons. Silly, stupid cartoons. Laugh out loud.
  7. Eat a bowl of Froot Loops or whatever cold cereal you most enjoyed as a kid. (Maybe the one your mother would never let you have because it wasn’t healthy. Your mother was right, it’s not healthy. And that’s part of the fun.)
  8. Make a chocolate cake from scratch and then lick the bowl. When the cake is done, eat it with your hands.
  9. Make funny faces. Let your eyes bug out, pull at the corners of your mouth, grimace in ridiculous ways.
  10. Sing. Sing loudly. Sing off-key. Just enjoy singing. Maybe you’d enjoy a chorus or two of the song from Peter Pan, “I Won’t Grow Up."
  11. Dance. Not a ballroom dance or line-dancing or any dance with steps, just free-style moving to the music. Get a little wild. You could pretend to be a ballerina.
  12. Tell someone a silly riddle that involves a silly pun. Then tell another one. Example: What do polar bears eat for lunch? Ice berg-ers.
  13. Remember the Monty Python bit where John Cleese is the Minister of Silly Walks. Do some silly walks.
  14. Ride a see-saw. This requires a partner so talk a friend into joining you for “Act Like a Kid Day.”
  15. Blow up a balloon and pop it.
  16. Pick a bouquet of wild flowers.
  17. Eat an ice cream cone.
  18. Throw pebbles into a pond and watch the ripples.
  19. Make a paper sailboat and set it sailing in some water, The rainwater flowing towards a sewer grate is great. However, if there is no water handy, use the water in your bathtub.
  20. Make a paper airplane and fly it. Maybe do it in an inappropriate place, like in a supermarket. (Be careful with this one. You don’t want security to escort you out.)
  21. Fly a kite.
  22. Take a ride on a merry-go-round. Just you. By yourself.
  23. Get some crayons and draw a picture. Don’t try for artistic merit. Draw it like a six year old would.
  24. Get some finger paints and make a sloppy gloppy free-form design.
  25. Think of a word that sounds funny and say it out loud over and over. Change the emphasis and intonation. Examples: Zippity-doo-dah, alakazam, bumfuzzle (it means confuse) or cattywampus (it means kitty-corner).
  26. Make noises like a train:.Clickety Clack. Whoo Whoo. Chooga-Chooga.
  27. Get in a kiddie pool and splash. A lot. You could also sit atop an inner tube at the beach and splash like crazy.
  28. Run around the room with your arms outstretched like you are an airplane. Dip to the left and then dip to the right. Say Zoom! Zoom! Zoom!
  29. Get on all fours and bark, pant, and beg like a dog.
  30. Put on a silly hat. A great big ridiculous hat. Maybe add a feather boa. Isn’t it fun to play dress up? Enjoy the stares this elicits from other people. If anyone asks why you are wearing a silly hat say, "Today is National Act Like a Kid Day.”

Do What YOU Like To Do.

In brief, do whatever you like to do. Have fun. And don’t care one bit if it is silly. Look at the above list as just a few suggestions to get you started. (If any of the suggestions made you smile or laugh, that was just a bonus.)

You could do some of these things when you are alone, but everyone has more fun when they play with others. Do all of the above activities with a young child. Tell the children it is a game. Children love games and they love silly games best of all. If you don’t have children or grand-children to play with, find someone else’s children to play with. Babysit for friends and neighbors. Volunteer at a children’s shelter.

Celebrate those milestone birthdays with an act-like-a-kid day.
Celebrate those milestone birthdays with an act-like-a-kid day. | Source

Throw an “Act Like A Kid Party.”

You could also throw an “Act Like a Kid Party.” Everybody has to come dressed like a kid and then act like a kid during the party. Maybe they would like to bring some of the toys they liked when they were little kids. Wouldn’t this be a great way to celebrate your 50th, or 65th or 90th birthday?

Are you still in contact with your childhood friends? What a great reunion idea. Don’t just talk about “the good old days.” Re-enact them!

It’s all about feeling happy and laughing. These are two important ways to add life to your years and years to your life.

What do you think?.

How do you feel about older adults acting like a kid?

See results

© 2014 Catherine Giordano

I always enjoy learning what you think.

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    • Dreamworker profile image

      Dreamworker 2 years ago

      This is absolutely delightful! Thank you so much for writing such an uplifting article. I love it that you included the Peter Pan stuff...I watched it the other night and DID feel young for the duration. Voted up and awesome.

    • Dreamworker profile image

      Dreamworker 2 years ago

      Catherine, it appears you accidentally posted this twice. I just noticed that and thought you would want to know.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Thank you, Dreamworker. What a lovely compliment, "delightful."

      You are seeing two hubs because there was an accident with the url. So I deleted the first one and reconstructed the hub so it would have a correct url. So far as I know, the author can't see the url until after the hub is published. I deleted it, but evidently it is still showing up.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Great advice; laughter is great medicine!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Thank you, Jackie. Let's all keep laughing.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      I don't know about getting the little children to do this sort of thing with me - I am directed to do them every time I'm with my grandchildren!!

      During the last week I've danced like a ballerina, 'choo-chooed' like a train, scuffed through a pile of leaves, made silly faces, laughed until my sides ached, rolled around on the floor, sung at the top of my voice and through it all I've had such a great time. Last time it snowed I made a snow angel and we all love acting like an aeroplane. I thought that was normal!!

      It's amazing how laughing makes us feel so much better, lifts us out of a depression and, the best part, makes others around us laugh, or at least smile, too.

      Great hub full of wonderful suggestions, Catherine; I can hear you laughing from here!

      Ann

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      The wonderful thing about having children and grandchildren is that it gives us an excuse to do all these fun things. "I'm not being foolish, I'm playing with the kids." Laughter and doing childish things keeps us young. Let's do them even if there are no children around. Thank you so much for your comment, annart.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 2 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Since I'm 75-going-on-39 years old, this is just right down my alley. "We don't stop playing when we grow old, we grow old when we stop playing." I love this Hub, and wish more grown ups wouldn't take themselves so seriously. Good, honest fun and laughter are, after all, the best medicine one can have. :)

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Hi Nancy, I agree with you. We should never stop playing. It is so nice to hear that you love this hub. I think it is one of my favorites. I had fun writing it.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Pleasure landing in here today. What a delightful read and yes, I'll never let go of the kid in me. It certainly keeps me going.

      Excellent hub! Voting up, useful and sharing.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I should live to a ripe old age of 100, because I will always be a kid at heart! :)

    • PinoyMom profile image

      Shiela Gerona 2 years ago from Philippines

      I still watch cartoons even at the age of 32. I believe that laughter is the best medicine and your hub is awesome. Me and my grandmother are still young at heart.

    • easylearningweb profile image

      Amelia Griggs 2 years ago

      What an absolutely wonderful hub, incredible and very true! Amazing! A million hats off to you for putting this hub article together.

      I definitely agree that laughter is the best preventive medicine. :-)

      Thank you, voted Interesting, Funny and Useful.

    • creativelycc profile image

      Carrie L. Cronkite 2 years ago from Maine

      Thumbs up for this hub! Acting silly in a while is totally good for your health. This weekend I had a blast making my 7 month old granddaughter laugh by making silly faces at her. I also love dancing silly dances with my nine year old granddaughter. I'm definitely going to declare those days as "Act Like a Kid Day." Voted up and shared!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Sunshine: Thank you I'm aiming for 109 myself. That's gonna take a lot of laughter. (The age 109 is a little in-joke. I mention it in my hub "Embracing My Inner Crone.")

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      PinoyMom: The great thing about kids is that they give us an excuse to watch cartoons and do other kid stuff. They remind us what it was like to be a kid. Thanks for comment. Kids keep us young.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      CrisSp: Thanks for voting up and sharing. I appreciate your enthusiasm for my writing and ideas. Keep that inner kid front and center.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      easylerningweb: I very much appreciate that you voted up and shared. You enthusiasm is making feel like getting up a dancing a happy dance. I'm as happy as a kid on Christmas morning.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Thank you, Creative. I'm feeling so much joy now. You and the others who have commented have been so wonderful to me telling me that this hub is delightful. That is exactly how I wanted people to feel. Thank you for reading, taking the time to comment, and vote, and share.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 2 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I love the comments almost as much as the article! Number one on your list (splashing in puddles) was my breakthrough act-like-a-kid activity years ago when my chronological age was young but I suddenly realized I was far too old otherwise. I'm much younger now than I was back then and puddles always make me smile - just before I splash!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Thanks Susan. I love the comments too. It is raining right now. I think I will find a puddle to splash in. Think young and have fun.

    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 2 years ago

      Catherine you always fascinate us with your wonderful thoughts. Yes, we should have innocence and carefree attitude of a child that will clearly distinguishes us from others. Thanks for sharing.

      How do you percieve your ideas if we act like a hundred years old garandma or grandpa?

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      m Abdullah: Thank you for your lovely comment. There are times to be serious, but we can give ourselves permission to act like a kid whenever e can.

    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 2 years ago

      You are most welcome.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Who was that sad somebody who told us to act our age? Your article is thoroughly delightful and starting today I want to redeem my laughs. Thanks a bunch!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Thank you, Ms Dora. I am delighted that so many people have used the word "delightful" when commenting on this hub. Whatever the reason, acting like a kid makes us laugh and makes us feel happy. Go do something silly and have a laugh.

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      You made me laugh so I feel like you added at least 5 minutes to my life. If I add that to all the other times you've made me laugh I've probably gotten an extra day. Woop! Woop!

      I'm not at all embarrassed to say that I have done or do at least 9 of your 30 silly activities on a semi-regular basis. I'm also pleased to report that my children still play with me, especially my twenty year old. She's a silly goose that helps keeps me young and happy.

      Wonderful little gift of an article to start my day. Just wonderful. Thank you for making the world a happy place. :)

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Thanks so much for your comment, Iris. How nice to hear that you think my article is "Just wonderful. " And how very nice that you are able to do silly things together with your grown daughter. I'll keep writing funny inspirational stuff so we can all laugh more and live longer.

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      It's a deal. :)

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      I'm just 8 views away from hitting 10,000 views. Here is a fun hub to read and put me over the top so I can earn a new accolade.. Thanks.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 22 months ago from New Delhi, India

      This is so delightful and uplifting hub . I loved your bright pictures and the Peter Pan stuff as well.

      I believe one must remain a child at heart howsoever grown up we are. The innocence, the curiosity, the cheerfulness of the child should always remain. Moreover it is children who have the great ability to 'forget and forgive'.

      How happy is the life of a child!

      You made some very interesting points here. Very nice and insightful. Thank you for sharing!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Thank you ChitrangadaSharan: I'm so glad you were delighted and uplifted by my ideas about acting like a kid. I hope you have a joyful day.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 22 months ago from SW England

      Congratulations on getting so many hits. Hope this comment helps! You always have an upbeat, straightforward approach, often with a refreshing sense of humour. I always enjoy reading your hubs, Catherine. Here's to many more of them!

      Ann

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      annart: Thanks, you are one f my favorite writers on HP also. I enjoy doing these upbeat humorous hubs the most. I appreciate hearing from you.

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