By Shannon Cannon

      "Why did the leaf cross the road?"

      "I don't know, why?"

      "Leaves can't talk!"

      My kids like to tell this joke over and over again and laugh and laugh and laugh. Of course, it doesn't make any sense, but they don't seem to be bothered by that fact. I'm sure that one day when I get very old and senile, (some would argue that I'm there already) I will sit in my little rocking chair and tell jokes like this, because after all of the child-rearing, that's what my mind will be reduced to. It's okay. It's the only way I can get my children back for making me listen to hundreds of thousands of jokes that either don't make sense or aren't funny. Kids are way more entertaining when they aren't trying to be. But then, aren't we all? So anyway, here are some options to dumb joke telling.

      • Get a box big enough to hold a child, sing "All Around the Mulberry Bush", and then take turns being the one to turn the crank and the one who pops up like a jack-in-the-box.

      "All Around the Mulberry Bush"

      All around the mulberry bush,
      The monkey chased the weasel.
      The monkey thought it was a joke,
      Pop! Goes the weasel.

      • Eat jawbreakers and talk about what and where your jaw is. As you are eating them talk about why are they called jawbreakers.

      • Help the children start a journal. Read some fun things you may have written in the past about your daily life. Then have them dictate to you what they want you to write in their own journal (a simple notebook would work fine). Then let them draw a picture to go with the words. Do this each day this week. For fun you could take pictures of them and add them to the pages as well. You could do this in scrapbook style too, but then that would be "s" week.

      • Gather several different foods and categorize them as junk food or non-junk food. Talk about the benefits of eating healthy foods. Have some yummy, creative, non-junk foods this week. For example: Bugs on a Log (celery sticks filled with peanut butter and sprinkled with raisins (for the bugs) or Edible Lincoln Logs (cheese cubes connected with pretzel sticks) or Fruity Faces (cut fruit into bite-size pieces and make your own funny faces on a paper plate).

      • Talk about several different jobs and their descriptions; have stations set up where the children can go and "try out" a job. Try a secretary station with a phone, a typewriter, paper and pencil or a doctor station with a stethoscope, a reflex hammer, a lab coat, etc. or a computer programmer station where you go do research and development by playing computer video games with your colleagues, chat back and forth to your friends through email and have free recruiting lunches every other day.

      • Gather some oranges and make your own juice; have the children give suggestions for fruits that you could get juice from; try juicing these other fruits. Then gather several different kinds of juice (from the store) and have a taste test; see if you can guess by the color or taste, what flavor it is. Make sure to vote for your favorite.


Few things in life are more fun and rewarding than curling up on the couch with your kids and a good book. If you truly want your kids to learn to read well, then READ TO THEM EVERY DAY! There is no better way to teach your kids that reading is fun and interesting.
Click here to see a list of ALL the books we have read to our children.

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