What adult can forget that old, animated cereal commercial, with the children admonishing the Trix™-addicted rabbit that the brightly colored breakfast confection was “for kids”? Alas, the rabbit was deemed “silly” (was that also his name?) and deprived of the only thing that he so desperately desired.
Of course, we always rooted for the rabbit, hoping that one TV spot would offer an alternative ending. At Contagious Laughter™, as the name states, we are all about spreading joy to kids and kids-at- heart alike. As adults in an increasingly stress-filled, electronic age, we need to access that joyful, playful part of ourselves, now, more than ever. We benefit from connecting with that part of us that can savor the now—the moments of joy that we must make.
It is said that joy has the highest vibrational energy of any emotion. While we know that laughter has healing powers, we also just love to do it. So why should kids have all the fun? As grown-ups, we have been there and done that, so we have the capacity to recognize the multiple levels and nuances of humor that a child cannot.
Moreover, when adults face illness or difficult times, we tend to spiral down into our own story, in a way that children have not yet learned to do. So why not send a Barrel of Laughs, Artie’s Crafts, Space Capsule or any other play box to an adult, today? One adult Barrel of Laughs recipient reported that while hospitalized, recovering from a stroke, it brightened his day. It sounds simple because it is.
When a friend or loved one endures a trauma like that, we tend to feel powerless to make things better for them. That is just not true. The gift of laughter is not only physically and emotionally therapeutic, it also provides a nice change of pace from flowers, beautiful and fragrant as they are.
While illness and suffering are not funny, we require resilience in order to endure, heal or overcome. I can state from personal experience, that my resilience is rooted in my ability to laugh and experience joyful moments. For me, a joke, a snuggle with a dog, a funny story, beautiful music, nature, art, a moving novel—these things fed my soul. They gave me strength to see beyond my story and to pull myself out of it. In fact, the creation of Contagious Laughter™ has fed my soul immeasurably. Furthermore, it gives me great pleasure to share this joy with others.
Consequently, based on what we know about the high vibrational, healing power of joy, it would seem that the rabbit was doing the kids a service; he made them laugh. Didn’t he deserve that Trix™ fix? Some days, a smile is an enormous victory for us grown-ups, so let’s feed and nurture each one. If an adult you know is having trouble doing so, start them off with one of our lunchbox play kits. I sincerely believe it will bring that joyful energy to light.
Since children are inheriting this planet, it’s comforting to know how enthusiastically many of them take to green practices and sustainability. In addition, kids and adults alike know that recycled paper shred provides more eco-friendly cushion for play kits for kids, than Styrofoam peanuts.
Those peanuts, while soft (and mostly non recyclable), can be mistaken by very young children as—you’re thinking food, right? In fact, as a kid, my brother believed that one belonged in his ear. Our family can laugh about it now, as the offending peanut was removed safely, in an emergency room, some 40 years ago.
I recently learned that the color of the packing peanut provides some distinction. The pink and white ones are petroleum based and non-recyclable. The green ones are made from 70% recycled material, which can break down in the environment. But how long does that take? I don’t know more details, beyond that. We use recycled and/or recyclable paper shred or newsprint to cushion or fun-filled play boxes for kids.
What is it about packing materials and boxes that kids find so fascinating? Well, to a child, everything offers the opportunity to play; boxes and peanuts are blank slates for their enormous imaginations. I still recall loving climbing into a big cardboard box. It became a car, spaceship or fort. Since they are compact, yet filled with hours of fun, however, there is little danger of packaging mishaps, with Contagious Laughter™ play boxes for kids.
Furthermore, the concept of a box filled with goodies inspires fun, while discouraging waste. While we hope that your child enjoys the play box for a long time to come, we encourage eventual recycling of the box and any recyclable plastic, vinyl or paper inside.
While the play boxes for kids provide easy storage, travel and clean up, they also offer kids a container to hold special items of any sort, for as long as they like. In fact, most of the items inside our play kits were chosen because they can be enjoyed repeatedly. Gifts that inspire the imagination should do so more than once.
Interestingly, some eco-friendly packing materials are edible, including real popcorn and those banana flavored, orange colored peanut candies. Rest assured, if Contagious Laughter™ ever goes that route, we will remind customers of all ages that edible filler is safe to place in mouths, not ears.
There are a few central concepts at the core of Contagious Laughter™ play kits. While pure fun is the one most relevant to children, bang for the hard earned buck resonates most with parents. In such difficult financial times, that theme is more relevant than ever.
When you purchase an Artie’s Crafts, Barrel of Laughs, Box Office, Music Box or Space Capsule play kit, you get many gifts all in one safe, colorful and reusable tin or gable box. Each play kit includes a range of high quality, safe and non-toxic gift items. Some tactile items are even gluten-free. There are five original stickers and one original character bookmark, with a poem, in each kit. Affordably priced, around $22.00, each box continues to give, every time your child opens it up.
With many families choosing land travel over air, the kits keep kids entertained during those long trips. In addition to affordability, the play kits offer portability and easy clean up. Contents are easily stored when not in use, so your child can keep track of all of his Martian fingers or face paint tubes. With the increased need for flexible travel plans, Contagious Laughter™ remains committed to providing parents with the peace of mind that accompanies a high quality gift that inspires independent play. After all, parents need to concentrate on the road and listen to that modern miracle known as GPS.
Can children’s lunchbox play kits cure illness? No, but they are imbued with the high vibrational properties of play, music and creativity. Let’s face it, being sick stinks, especially when you’re a kid. Flu, ear infections and chicken pox feel lousy.
Furthermore, chronic conditions test our physical, mental and spiritual fortitude. Having experienced chronic illness as an adult, I emerge from it grateful for many aspects of the process. One of these is timing. I was not a sick child; this was a blessing. Of course, in a perfect world, no child would ever experience disease. Our world, however, is not yet a perfect one.
Until the planet that we inhabit has achieved harmony and perfection, I am grateful that my personal experience informs Contagious Laughter™ play kits and puppet prototypes. Studies have revealed that laughing and smiling reconnect us to that part of ourselves that “gets it” on an unconscious level, I continue to try to comprehend and process the impact of illness upon my life. However, all children want and need to play. Play is their language. Play is how they comprehend and process their experiences.
For this reason, it’s my hope that sick children can enjoy this reconnection through play, by making music with the Music Box, creating something new with Artie’s Crafts, giggling with the Barrel of Laughs, visiting other worlds with the Space Capsule, or escaping into a fantasy with the Box Office. We all need balance in our lives, and illness robs us of that. How can you restore some balance and control to a child who isn’t feeling well? It’s child’s play!
At Contagious Laughter™, we love to hear about the inventive ways that children use the items in their lunchbox play kits. For example, three year-old Jaden, of California, uses his Box Office fairy tale finger puppets to mount bath time puppet shows for his mom.
Certainly, the colored fizzy bath tablets in the Barrel of Laughs play kit are meant to add some color and effervescence to the bathing experience. Furthermore, the water-resistant vinyl toys can also add a whole new dimension to your child’s nightly soak. Similarly, the Space Capsule offers your child a more cosmic puppet experience, with its colorful alien finger puppets. The Martian fingers in the same kit make for a perfectly silly space alien/sea creature transformation.
In addition, the guitar inflate in the Music Box will make a huge splash, during tub time sing- alongs. Each vinyl toy can make the getting clean routine just a bit less so. As it turns out, while enjoying his Box Office play kit on both surf and turf, the intrepid Jaden may have also discovered a way to protect against those pesky prune fingers!
When a family welcomes a newborn, and wants the older sibling to feel loved and special, we often get this child a gift. So why not make it a gift with which she can entertain herself, like a Contagious Laughter™ play kit? Since parents will be busier than ever, the play kit encourages the older sibling to engage in activities that invite more independent and interdependent play. (Kids will enjoy sharing the kits with friends.)
Furthermore, reinforcing the very important role of big brother or sister is fun, with our unique lunchbox play kits. They offer a great opportunity for the older child to engage with his new family member. Depending upon the box you choose, the big sib can gently play some musical instruments, perform a puppet show with alien or fairy tale finger puppets, or even craft a welcome gift, with the Artie’s Crafts play kit.
In addition to these options, the big sib can simply take some time just for himself (supervised). He can enjoy his new role as the big kid, who deserves his own lunchbox play kit, to enjoy whenever and however he chooses.