One of my absolute favorite things about middle school boys is their ability to have fun. They do it with such ease and they can have a ton of fun in the most unexpected ways.
Over the years I have discovered three essential elements that contribute to a fun experience with middle school boys:
- Randomness: Randomness allows you to make up fun activities on the fly using unrelated objects, ideas, and rules that are seemingly pulled out of thin air. Don’t let your adult rationality inhibit your imagination—random fun is often more memorable than planned fun.
- Silliness: If I’m doing something that makes me and middle schoolers smile but I wouldn’t necessarily want my adult friends seeing what I’m doing, then I’m probably doing something silly. Perhaps silliness allows middle schoolers to temporarily forget how uncomfortable life can be for them. Or maybe they like silliness because they’re still so much like kids.
- Laughter: A good laugh is a life-giving thing for all of us and bonds people together. If laughter doesn’t flow easily when you’re with middle school boys there’s probably something wrong. Middle school boys LOVE it when they know you are truly laughing along with them. They don’t want forced laughter from the adults around them.
I recently spent time with two middle school boys and we had the time of our lives. Here are examples of how the three essential elements of fun were present during our time together:
- Randomness: The guys held plastic grocery bags out the car window as we were driving down the freeway and it made a loud noise as the bags rustled in the wind. They thought it was the coolest thing ever. Who knew plastic bags could provide so much entertainment?
- Silliness: While at an outdoor restaurant we tucked our arms inside our shirtsleeves until only our forearms were sticking out so we looked like dinosaurs. Then we danced and acted like dinosaurs and chased each other around. I’m glad nobody I knew saw me doing that.
- Laughter: We laughed throughout the entire night. It was therapeutic for my soul. We laughed so much that it made me wish I could laugh like that much more often.
If you put all these elements together at once you can create fun moments with the middle school boys in your life, but it’s going to take courage and humility to pull it off. You may have to take off your adult persona for a while and enter into their world at their level. But this doesn’t mean you have to act immaturely. Some of the most mature adults are the best at being random and silly and allowing themselves to laugh.
Who knows? Having fun with middle school boys might be exactly what your soul needs to be refilled with joy.