Laughter IS the Best Medicine

The way you can measure a society’s soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Nelson Mandela

Issue No. 43 – 9th August 2007

Welcome to Kidz Newz especially to all new subscribers.  Kidz Newz is a regular newsletter with information and teaching tips for anyone involved with young children.  You are receiving this because you have attended one of my workshops, purchased a book, or you have requested to be on the mailing list.  Thank you.  Please forward this to anyone you feel it may be of interest to.

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New Book

The much anticipated second book in the Kidz-Fiz-Biz series has finally arrived!  It is called Kidz-Fiz-Biz MULTICULTURAL.  Subtitle is ‘learning about other cultures through drama, dance and song’.  All the rhymes, fingerplays and music are in foreign languages with translation into English.  It contains loads of activities and is fully illustrated.  The music is fantastic and I’m sure teachers and children alike will find it great fun. 

For details of this and other products, please go to

Teachers are often subject to a great deal of stress, and as we all know, laughter is the best medicine.  I recently came across the following article by funnyman Dennis H Moore from The Circus of Life (  He has given me permission to share it with you.  Enjoy.

Laughter IS the Best Medicine

Do you know what happens to your body when you laugh? There has been lots of research carried out both in America and Australia on how laughter affects our immune system. Some of that research has shown that the endorphins released during laughter can be harnessed to control chronic pain. This research has also shown what happens to your body when you laugh.

The areas in the brain that control crying and laughter are in the same spot . When you have been laughing for a few minutes, the crying spot may be stimulated also. Your tear glands will also work to keep your eyes moist, and those tears contain immunoglobulins, an antibody that is your first line defense against some viral and bacterial infections.

Your brain and body produce beta-endorphins, opiates that help you to relax and reduce pain. Stress hormones produced by your adrenal gland are reduced. Cortisol levels increase in an unhealthy way during stress and they decrease significantly with laughter. Air is expelled at a very fast rate from your lungs when you have a good laugh. Your whole body gets thoroughly oxygenated, which is good for both aerobic fitness and for thinking clearly.

Your physical and mental well being benefits you each time you find something to laugh about. It is particularly important with regard to stress. That laughter helps us deal with stress mentally is something we may not need to be convinced of, but the problem is that during the most stressful times we believe laughter is inappropriate. Next time you are in a stressful situation, remember the benefits to your body that laughter brings.

How the funny line will raise the bottom line

People who are relaxed and enjoying themselves on the job are more productive, more creative, more committed, they give the company greater loyalty and are healthier, so there are less sick days.

Laughter is not only good for your health but is good for the health of a business too. University of Wisconsin-La Crosse professor Stu Robertshaw noted that one corporate study showed that after a trial period during which humour was incorporated into the workplace in a variety of ways, including everything from a special humour bulletin board to silly hat days – the company experienced a 21% decrease in staff turnover and a 38% decrease in Friday absenteeism.

Humour is a tool that we can use in business and relationships and like any other tool there has to be an emphasis on safety. It can have positive effects and it can have negative effects. Obviously, any joke or activity in the workplace that echoes with racism or sexism or just being foul mouthed is going to land the employee and most likely the company in trouble.

So you have to give it the TAPP test before you turn it on and let it flow: Is the humour Timely? Is it Appropriate? Is it Positive? And is it Professional? If your answer is yes to all four of these, then there is a good chance that the humour will work for you. If you answer no to one of them, then chances are it will backfire on you and could even make the situation worse.


I also discovered this interesting fact from the tail end of an article on laughter in The Independent, Dec 14th, by Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor –

Children laugh about 400 times a day; adults just 14.

Quotes of the Week

“A leader without a sense of humour is apt to be like the grass mower at the cemetery – he has lots of people under him, but nobody is paying him any attention.”  – Bob Ross.

You have achieved success when you have lived well, laughed often and loved much. – source unknown

You can’t make footprints in the sands of time if you’re sitting on your butt.  And who wants to make buttprints in the sands of time? – Bob Moawad


Are you mad?

During a visit to a Mental Asylum, a visitor asked the Director what the criterion was which defined whether or not a patient should be institutionalised.

“Well” said the Director, “We fill up a bath, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the patient & ask them to empty the bathtub.”

“I understand,” said the visitor. “A normal person would use the bucket because it’s bigger than the spoon or the teacup.”

“No.” said the Director, “A normal person would pull the plug. Do you want a room with or without a view?”


It was really helpful and practical.  Ideas that you know will work and appeal.  Thanks.            
Anne Wilson – attended ECCPA session

Great material and variety.  Maija Upenieks – attended ECCPA session

Marlene is really fit and inspiring.  Karen White – attended ECCPA session

About The Author

Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA

Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at festivals. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her ‘Kidz-Fiz-Biz’ program.

57 Henry Lawson Walk, East Perth WA 6004
T: +61 8 9325 1204 M: 0410 64 2781 E:

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Until next time – continue being a legend in your classroom.

Marlene Rattigan, Editor
Kidz Newz

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