Goofing off is important! Yes, I said it—I should know. I’m a goofing off professional. But it’s not only important for adults (and it really IS important for adults), but for kids too. And I’m not just talking about recess, although that’s definitely important and I’ll get to that as well. Goofing off in places where we’re really not supposed to, like in the classroom or even over a family meal, can have a positive, lasting impact on a child.
Let’s start with the basics. Usually goofing off leads to laughter, and laughter is incredibly important to our overall health. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are both short and long term effects of laughter. Some of the short term effects include: stimulating your heart and lungs, releasing endorphins, and stimulating circulation which can aid in muscle relaxation. As for the long term effects? It has been shown to help with your immune system and lessen depression and anxiety. So crack a few more jokes. It’ll benefit yourself and everyone around you.
Children goof off in all sorts of ways, and physical play is probably the most important. Early Childhood teachers already know that play and learning go hand-in-hand, but what happens if they don’t get the play time they need so much? Play helps children develop important physical, social-emotional, and cognitive skills and without this precious play time, children can grow into “adults who are less trustful and less cooperative” according to the Urban Child Institute.
So have a sense of humor and encourage the kids in your life to do the same! KidsHealth says, “Kids with a well-developed sense of humor are happier and more optimistic, have higher self-esteem, and can handle differences (their own and others') well.” Now, I’m not suggesting you take all the seriousness out of your day—everyone needs structure. But consider injecting a little more time to goof off into your everyday life or classroom routine.
While you’re at it, be sure to check out our latest free Goody. It’s the perfect way to get your goof on!