Tickle Monster

When my kids were younger, they presented me with the opportunity to learn about the need for a good laugh. With three children busily hollering in the back seat of the car on one of those overscheduled, super-hot days, I had reached my momma patience limit. After my son threw a toy car at my head, I pulled the car over.

I’d had it!

I glanced into the rearview mirror to see my kids, hot, freckle-faced and…well, completely miserable.

I had intended to give them a stern talking to. I didn’t. If I was miserable on that day, it occurred to me that they were probably doubly so. They were young, didn’t understand the pressures of running errands, or paying bills and most certainly shouldn’t be expected to be happily sequestered in their car seats for so long without a break. I drove to a nearby park that had a built-in kid friendly water feature and let them have some time to be kids and to just play.

As they played and I splashed them, we all laughed and the stress of the day evaporated. It was a parenting lesson that stuck with me for years to come. Kids need to play, they can handle just about anything as long as they are able to get some free, unstructured playtime in.

How much do they need it? Well, it’s hard-wired into their little kid brains. It is how they learn and experience the world and play has been demonstrated to have innumerable positive benefits, stress-relieving effects, and is just plain fun. More seriously, it helps kids cope and process life’s traumas.

Care givers who are often overwhelmed with the tasks of chasing down stray pieces of homework or running from doctor’s appointments and soccer games may sometimes forget to let kids have some quality down time. If this has been the case in your household, I’ve got a real treat for you.

“Tickle Monster” by Josie Bissett, and illustrated by Kevin J. Atterberry is a great read for children.  Even better, the “Tickle Monster Laughter Kit” is exactly what stressed kids and caregivers need to recharge, reconnect and kick off a session of that oh-so-essential playtime.

As Bissett said, “Some of the best days of childhood are those spent with our parents and grandparents in play and laughter. That’s what this wonderful kit is all about.”

The kit comes with the “Tickle Monster” storybook and a soft, fluffy mitten for parents to wear while they read the story about the tickle monster from planet tickle. With charming prose that encourages the reader to tickle the socks off of the kids enjoying it, this kit is sure to inspire giggles from little ones.

It works like so. You read a section of book…“I may not be right, but I’d venture to say you ought to be ticked ten times a day. So please don’t you move, you better stay putsie, my first stop will be your…adorable footsie!” Then you use the tickle mitt to tickle the toes of any kiddos within reach. I assure you it’ll get the fun going and put everyone into a great mood. (Just don’t get carried away… there is such a thing as too much tickling. Thanks Uncle Kevin for the tickle torturing!)

The little monster from Planet Tickle makes a great kid-antidote to our uber-serious, results-driven culture. Honestly though, you don’t need to take my word for it. The giggling the laughter kit inspires should be plenty of evidence for you.

The book and kit are available here.