Our readers share their best cures for bad moods.

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Get All Aboard for Fun

I tell everyone to get ready: we're going on the Fun Train. It always has three stops, and the only one who knows where it's headed is me. Stops might include the library, our local doughnut shop, or a toy store. There is never any arguing when I say the Fun Train is leaving for its next stop.

Alana Greene

Buford, GA

Share a Smile

We go to our Smile Box. Inside are slips of paper on which we've written suggestions for goofiness. The moody person might choose something like "Make the silliest face you can" or "Do a crazy dance move." It always gets us to stop what we're doing and laugh.

Hope Curry

Chepachet, RI

Use a Joke Book

We pull out a joke book and read aloud the best jokes.

Dominique Poli

Farmington, CT

Raise Your Voice

Whether I'm cooking dinner, folding laundry, or picking up my kids' rooms, I start singing about it in a big, deep, operatic voice. At the least, it startles the kids into smiles when they're frowning or in tears; at best, we end up in rollicking laughter.

Leo Hwang

Montague, MA

Play With Pets

A surefire remedy to bust my kids' bad moods was a trip to the local pet store. We'd make a beeline for the puppies and get licked, chewed, and loved. Problems solved!

Christopher A. Casale

Longmeadow, MA

Go for the Laugh

My 5-year-old likes slapstick humor, such as my pretending to trip or bump into something. I'll really ham it up so she knows I'm not hurt, and she can't help but laugh at her normally very serious mom turning into a complete goofball.

Denise Behnke

Cranford, NJ

Give Them Some Dough

When my children were younger, a no-fail game changer on bad days was making play dough. I'd let each child pick a color, and we'd have fun measuring, mixing, and cooking it.

Tanya Rapinchuk

Cummington, MA

Count Your Blessings

Through the year, everyone in the family adds notes of good things we've received -- "playtime with a friend," "field trip to the aquarium," "tire swing" -- to our Blessings Box. When someone's in a funky mood, these always get us smiling.

Lucy Fultz

Bowling Green, KY

Take Out Cheer-Up Toys

I break out the balloons or bubbles for my kids, Emery, age 3, Jamis, 5, and Wyatt, 7. I'm pretty sure it's impossible to remain grumpy when these fun objects are around.

Jennifer Tollefson

Peoria, AZ

Change Your Outlook

I "turn our day around" and get my 5-year-old, Abigail, giggling by spinning her a few times. Turns to the left don't work? Turn her to the right!

Katie Wheeler

Orange Park, FL

Do a Little Dance

If my kids are in a bad mood, we have a "1-2-3 dance party." I count to three slowly, turn up some music, then yell, "Dance party!" It works every time.

Celeste Knights

Fairchild AFB, WA

Originally published in the May 2015 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

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