Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 17.27.07       29%  of North Eastern parents only laugh once a day or less with their children
 
·         Ahead of the Easter break, 32% of local parents say they find it stressful keeping their children entertained
 
·         63% of parents in the region believe that laughter relieves stress
 
·         Expert psychologist encourages parents to laugh more with their children as shopping centre owner launches ‘laughter parties’ for families over Easter
 
We all know that laughter is the ‘best medicine’ and new research shows that stressed out adults could learn a lesson or two from their children on how to laugh more.
The research carried out ahead of the Easter break by intu, owners of some of the largest and most popular shopping centres across the UK , reveals that 29% of parents on Tyneside laugh just once a day or less with their children.
32% of parents in the region also said they found it stressful keeping their children entertained but 63% believe that laughter is a great way to help relieve stress, followed by fun family activities (56%).
Psychologist Emma Kenny, who analysed the research findings, said:
 
The wonderful thing about young children is their ability to experience the here and now, which enables them to react to life moment by moment. Adults are often struggling with their work life balance, or focussing on things they need to do next, which impacts on their time and the opportunity to have fun and laugh at life. It’s so essential for adults to laugh with children and each other as it unites, inspires and reminds us of how wonderful it is to be human.
 
“With millions of us taking time off this Easter to spend more time with our children, it is a brilliant time to focus on all the joy and laughter being a parent can bring us. Plan ahead by finding those opportunities to laugh and spend quality time together as a family, so that they can become part of your daily routine.”
 
It is with laughter in mind that intu have partnered up with Nickelodeon UK & Ireland, to host a series of ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ Laughter Parties’ for families at intu Metrocentre and intu Eldon Square over the Easter break.
The research also showed that 68% of parents of 0-16 year olds surveyed in the region think their children make them laugh the most, and 29% share a good laughter session with their children at least once a day.
Emma believes that there are educational benefits to laughter too, as it induces a positive affect in people which makes it easier to learn new things. This is why laughter and play go hand in hand, with playful activities an excellent way for children to learn new skills, and laughter signalling that they are in a safe environment to learn.
There are also many health benefits to laughing, with 68% of local parents polled selecting the top benefit as young children.This was closely followed by comedians (48%) and silly jokes (45%) all of which are good reasons why adults should do it more often.
Local parents were also asked what they thought their children would most like to do over Easter, and 49% believed that their children would want to spend time with family.
intu will be hosting SpongeBob SquarePants’ Laughter Party at intu shopping centres over Easter with a range of free family friendly activities that are not to be missed.
Visitors will be able to dive into SpongeBob SquarePants’ world of Bikini Bottom to join the ultimate sea bed laughter party, packed with interactive fun and games including the Giggle Groove silent disco, Snail Slalom racing, Laughter Limbo and much more! Activities are free, with no booking required and are open to all ages, but are particularly suitable for children in pre-school and early years.
Karen Carr, regional marketing manager, intu north, said:
“There will be a lot of giggling going on this week at intu Metrocentre on Tuesday 5 April, when SpongeBob SquarePants will be encouraging his young fans to be silly and pose for photographs, and everyone is looking forward to the fun SpongeBob Laughter Party coming to intu Eldon Square from Tuesday 5 to Friday 8 April.”
The laughter will also continue on air as Nickelodeon asks SpongeBob fans to ‘Show us your Funniest SpongeBob Laugh.’ Kids can submit clips of their best laughs for a chance to win a certificate signed by voice of SpongeBob Tom Kenny and a chance to appear on Nicktoons as part of a special interstitial campaign.
To find your nearest intu centre, details of what’s on and opening hours visit www.intu.co.uk/spongebob