I recently went with my daughter, four grandsons, ages 3 to13, and two young friends to the Bakken Museum. If you have never been there, I would recommend it! Earl Bakken is the founder of Medtronics and his museum is in a mansion on the west side of Lake Calhoun. The theme of the entire museum is electricity. That sounded boring to me at first but when I experienced the hands-on exhibits, build-it-yourself project room, and guided experiments with old generators and batteries powering lights, mini fans and “junk” from Axman Surplus Store, I changed my mind. The kids were loving it all. Big smiles and chuckles could be heard. It seemed like magic. The real clincher was hearing the belly laughs of the kids as the museum volunteers created static electricity that made their hair stick up and confetti jump out of their hands as fast as we tried to drop it into their hands. When we formed a circle holding hands, Karl was asked to touch the charged metal tip of a glass container to the volunteer’s hand. We all got a mild shock at that moment. Gasps and laughter filled the room. Don’t you love hearing the sound of laughter?
Laughter can be found everywhere. We certainly hear it at Preschool. When we take the parachute out and bounce objects around, the children fill the room with giggles. Silly storybooks bring smiles and snickers. Songs with surprise endings like “I’m A Little Teapot,” can bring down the house. Touching a wiggly worm found in the garden causes screams of delight. Laughter brings us together giving us a common experience in the moment and in the future as we recall the fun times we’ve had!
As parents, teachers, grandparents and friends we are the ones who can sow the seeds of laughter in our families. Turn off the news. Put the phone on mute. Live in the moments with the children. Your day will be more positive as well as theirs. Laughter is the best medicine for all of us. When I am smiling as I listen to the delight in their voices I imagine what God might feel like as he watches his children (yes, us) giggling as we enjoy his world. I imagine a smile on his face or maybe a good belly laugh as he takes it all in. He must have a good sense of humor. After all, he made the potbelly pigs, earth worms, woolly bear caterpillars and kids! What’s not to like about those? This spring as the the sun warms the soil and dandelions begin to bloom, sow laughter as well as seeds. I think we’ll all love the results!