Blogging, Learning, Life

What is Fun? The Why and How Too

Bringing back fun from the archives this time with a post I wrote about the what, why, how of fun… While I am not sure I answered the question years ago, I have attempted to add some more to it as I make minor updates to the post for this revival!

What, Why, How of Fun?

[August 2021 Update: Years ago, I had a themed weekly schedule planned out where Fridays were to be Fun Friday posts; and this included posts about movies, board games, video games, and fun facts, places, and things. But I know I did not always end up posting stuff that way. And while I am attempting to head back to a schedule of sorts to help myself, Friday posts will not all be about fun. Sure, some of them will be, while others will be #FoodFriday posts or #FlashbackFriday or #FoodForThoughtFriday and etcs]

Anyways, revisiting the questions –

What is Fun?

Wikipedia says: Fun is the enjoyment of pleasure and, according to Johan Huizinga, “an absolutely primary category of life, familiar to everybody at a glance right down to the animal level.”

Usage notes for the word says: Fun is often confused with funny. Fun things make you happy, while funny things make you laugh.

So what makes you happy, or what is fun for you, might not work for others. In fact, it might be their form of torture. I can attest to things like that – while I consider reading fiction and watching Gilmore Girls fun, my DH does not (and I am sure there are others I know too who do not). And he (my DH) can spend hours happily reading technical books (while I…).

In spite of these differences, everyone still knows when they are having fun and when they are not. And because of these differences, even when we do things that are considered or regarded as fun generally (go to the movies, party), we might not be having fun at all. And conversely, have lots of fun doing things that are not considered fun (do the laundry, clean out the stalls in a stable).

But there is one important thing about fun – we need it!

The Why of Fun? Why Do We Need It?

Well, here is a list. Fun

  • Makes you happier
  • Brings you joy
  • Relaxes you
  • Fills you with optimism
  • Energizes you you more energetic(!)
  • Makes you laugh; and hence makes you healthier
  • Increases creativity
  • Leads you to explore and discover
  • Gives you something to look forward to
  • Builds relationships
  • Helps you become a better person because you are happier, optimistic, energetic, relaxed (at the same time, yes, why not), healthy, creative, with wonderful family and friends.

 And because of all these benefits, as well as the fact that, when you have fun – you enjoy your work – you can do more and do better,  it’s OK to want to have fun in everything you do in life. Life is bettered with fun.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay


How each person has fun is so very different so go do your fun thing today, now (whether it is playing with your kids, relaxing with your cup of coffee, saying ‘No’ to something, reading the dictionary or spelunking!) And when you are
done with your fun thing, explore more fun at these wonderful sites:

  • Toy giant Mattel did a study of ‘What is fun?’ and Mattel’s Michael Shore shared the knowledge in a TED talk. They found that some of the top ways children (and maybe holds true for adults too) children decide what is fun is when they have total freedom, when they are being goofy, when they learn/accomplish something. You can watch the video here.
  • Fun equals a change for the better! One of my favorite videos to watch:  
  • – I discovered this while looking for a few quotes to include in today’s the original 2011 post and it was love at first read! You should definitely have a look too. [Aug 2021 update: While the author and owner of the DeepFun blog is no longer with us, his legacy remains through his words here; and his efforts to make fun a part of our lives as well]

5 Quick and Free Tips To Have Fun

So how do we have fun? You can check out Bernie DeKoven’s tips and games over at DeepFun for details but here are a few quick tips.

Change up your routine – just a little bit!

Wake up a little earlier (or a little later), eat breakfast for dinner, take a different route than useful for your walk or drive to your usual wherever. Take your reading or your lunch outdoors – picnic in your backyard. Or simply choose a different spot than your usual (I am sure you have a favorite chair at home; I know I do, and I am sure my kids avoid sitting there even when I am not home!) while watching TV or eating dinner together!!

You never know what surprises lie in store for you. Just this week, I discovered a part of our neighborhood (literally three miles down the road) that we had never seen before since we moved in almost 15 years ago to our current home. And that is certainly a scenic route to a cousin’s home!! Granted, it was a result of trying to find a ‘avoid-highways’ driving route for my son to practice some more but I realize I should do that more often.

Try something new (or something you have been putting off)

I have been thinking of going geocaching for a long time now (since the time I saw it as one of the potential badges for my Girl Scout); while we have since moved on to join Scouts, the geocaching dream remains just that, a dream. So I am putting it on the list for this weekend.

Revisit Old Favorites

Now that I have talked about being creative and getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new, I take a huge step back. Bring out that old board game from the top shelf in your closet or garage; dust it out and play together as a family. Maybe it is a childhood favorite like Sorry! or Monopoly, or that carrom-board you have.

Party It Up

Make it a party. Are you eating a Mexican meal tonight? Maybe some cheesy bean enchiladas; you can jazz it up easily. Find a playlist online to add the right mood to the meal – maybe some Mariachi music like this one below. And you can dance to work up an appetite.

Or you are having close friends or family over for a casual get-together. Party it up by having an impromptu game-night – play charades, or even UNO. Or dance to tunes like the Cha Cha Slide (even reluctant adults and teens and younger kids can join in on these!!)

Make a list!

Yes, as simple as that! Make a list of things that have made you smile, LOL, giggle-snort, chortle, or any other variant. Then close your eyes and visualize it. If you can, recreate it/relive it in reality; if not, through your memories.. No matter which way you choose, you will have fun again.

And a Bonus Tip (Obvious one though!)

Watch a funny video, show, or movie. Read jokes, puns, or funny stories and books.


Fun does not come in sizes.” – Bart Simpson (If it did, I would choose the Largest size!)

If you never have, you should. These things are fun and fun is good.” – Dr. Seuss

People rarely succeed unless they have fun in doing what they are doing.” – Dale Carnegie

Time you enjoyed wasting is not wasted time.” – T.S.Elliot (that is smart and makes me feel less guilty too!)

If it is not fun, you are not doing it right.” – Bob Basso

So what is fun for you, or not? Do let me know.. Also, any comments on this post are welcome..

Further Reading/Related Reading

Friday Memes

[August 2021 update: This Friday Memes section has both the selections from my original post; with minimal updates; and current reads]

I am reading multiple books, as usual, and so my Friday memes below include two of them. Reading for myself, reading for my kids, with my kids and reading for challenges is a whole lot of reading.. [aug 2021 update: reading with my kids part has changed since 2011!]

Book Beginnings

This is was a weekly meme hosted by ‘A Few More Pages,’ and later at Rose City Reader
How to participate: Share the first line (or two) of the book you are currently reading on your blog or in the comments. Include the title and the author so we know what you’re reading. Then, if you would like, let us know what your first impressions were based on that first line, and let us know if you liked or did not like the sentence.

From the 2011 post
  • “Before Bean met Ivy, she didn’t like her. Bean’s mother was always saying that Bean should try playing with the new girl across the street. But Bean didn’t want to.” – From – ‘Ivy and Bean 1: Bk.1’ by Annie Barrows Chronicle Books. Kindle Edition.
  • “Ramchand had overslept, waking up only when the loud noises of a brawl in the street below had jolted him out of
    – From ‘The Sari Shop’ by Rupa Bajwa
For the 2021 Update

While I am always confused about whether to include sentences from the prologue or the introduction or any other such part of the book before that first chapter, I am doing so here for both examples..

  • “The globe is spinning in front of us, countries blurring before our eyes. All Rosie has to do is stop it with her fingertip, but I know she won’t. She won’t make such a big decision based on something as flimsy as fate.” – From the Prologue in Aria’s Travelling Bookshop by Rebecca Raisin
  • “Looking on at the scene of quiet chaos in front of him, his mind oddly goes to the mapmakers – colleagues in his own government offices – who will need to redraw their lines dramatically after this day. For now, they remain blissfully unaware, safely tucked up in their beds.” – From the Prologue in The Girl Behind the Wall by Mandy Robotham
The Friday 56

is a bookish meme sponsored by Freda’s Voice. It is really easy to participate. Just grab a book, any book, and turn to page 56. Find a sentence that grabs you and post it.

From the 2011 post
  • “Very tricky, thought Bean. Ivy was turning out to be a lot more interesting than she had expected”. – From – ‘Ivy and Bean 1: Bk.1’ by Annie Barrows Chronicle Books. Kindle Edition.
  • “When he woke up in the morning, he got out bed groggily and remembered that today was the day. He wouldn’t be spending the day in the shop.’- From ‘The Sari Shop’ by Rupa Bajwa (again a reference to Ramchand waking up!!)
For the 2021 Update
  • “Tiny fairy lights blink in the shadowy space, dark wooden shelves curve around the room in an arc, snaking from the floor all the way up to the ceiling.”– From Aria’s Travelling Bookshop by Rebecca Raisin
  • “Guidance? Advice? This is in no handbook, there’s no contingency for half a city being detached, out on a limb. Maybe she’ll find someone with an idea, or a modicum of common sense, because the world appears rapidly to be running out of it.” – From The Girl Behind the Wall by Mandy Robotham

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, have you read any of the featured books? What is your idea of and about fun – for the what, why, how of it? And of course, even the where, when, and other ‘w’ and ‘h’ question words you can think of?! Do recommend your “funnest” book or movie or TV show…. and of course, what you do for fun.

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