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Wellness > Mental Health

Laugh Off the Midterm Stress: Funny Things My Preschoolers Said This Week

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at PSU chapter.

Everyone needs a good laugh lately. I’ve been feeling the stress piling up from classes, extracurriculars, work, trying to find the time to cook and clean and more. Luckily for me, I work in a daycare, and there is nobody who can both humble you and make you laugh like a bunch of 5-year-old kids. So, I figured I’d spread the joy and share a few of their (adorable) nuggets of wisdom with you.

The great leaf battle of Tuesday morning

The playground at the daycare sits under two giant oak trees, and sure enough, when we took the kids out after snack around 10 a.m. on Tuesday, these trees had decided to shed their leaves. The ground was all crunchy, orange and brown. The kids could not have been more excited about it. Sure enough, most of their thoughts converged on one genius idea: leaf fight.

And lucky enough for me, Miss Emma seemed like the greatest target they had ever seen.

It started when G (4 years old) started scooping leaves into a pile, giggling while he made eye contact with J (also 4 years old) and he started doing the same thing. These two are our resident troublemakers/partners in crime, so I knew what was coming. I pretended not to notice while they snuck up behind me and started throwing their arsenal of leaves at me as fast as they could.

After about a minute of letting them shower me with dirt and sticks, I pulled one of the leaves out of my hair and started scooping up my own pile.

J: You wouldn’t.

Me: I would.

I threw the leaf pile up in the air and let them fall down on the kids. P (4 years old) gasped as I had just screamed a curse word. And just like that, the leaf battle commenced.

The preschoolers and I ran around the tiny playground, dodging the babies and toddlers crawling around and throwing leaves at each other. It’s been a week and I still have leaves in my coat pockets and sweater.

At one point, J got down on the ground and made direct eye contact with me while he scooped leaves into a pile that was obviously too big for him to pick up. He gave me a stink eye and said, “This is for you, Miss Emma.”

At another point in the battle, J and G hid behind the two giant oak trees right next to each other with their piles of leaves. I pretended not to notice them and asked all of the kids around me, “Where are J and G?” while they giggled and pointed at the trees.

At that moment, G jumped out from behind the one tree and screamed “SURPRISE!” A second later, J jumped out and in the most intense, action-hero voice he went, “Double surprise.” They both ran around opposite sides of me and started pelting me with leaves while their captive audience of toddlers laughed and clapped.

P also wanted to participate in the leaf battle but wasn’t the biggest fan of the running part of the game. Jogging after me with a pile of leaves, she decided to stop, drop the leaves, pant and yell, “HOLD STILL SO I CAN PUT THIS STICK IN YOUR HAIR!”

After about forty minutes, I had to leave for class, but the kids were pleased that they left their mark. I spent the first thirty minutes of Sociology picking leaves and sticks out of my hair.

child-on-child crime

Kids are great at humbling adults, but they’re also pretty skilled at roasting each other.

We have a toy kitchen on the playground with a tiny oven. Sometimes, the kids like to crawl in the oven and close the door on themselves, which is a little weird, but we roll with it because they seem to understand that it’s plastic and they can’t do that with a real oven.

This Thursday morning, K (4 years old) crawled into the oven and closed the door, giggling while we tried to “figure out” where he went. After about ten seconds, he yelled, “I’m coming out!”

The door just barely started to swing open when P went, “No you’re not,” and slammed it shut on him. Absolutely brutal.

A few minutes later on the same day, one of the babies started to cry. H (4 years old) walked over, tugged on my sleeve, and walked me over. She pointed at the baby and with the most disgusted face said, “I think you should take this.”

When G found a mushroom on Friday afternoon, he proudly announced to everyone, “I’m MUSHROOM MAN!” P just shook her head and went, “No,” and walked away. Another crushing blow delivered by Miss P.

Later the same day, the Party Freeze was playing, which is a song that has the most intense hold on these kids. It comes on and they instinctively look up and gather around the Alexa to dance. H walked over to me while the song was playing and said, exasperated, “They aren’t dancing!” I looked over at all the kids jumping around and spinning in circles, then back at H.

I said, “Of course they’re dancing! Do you see them all moving?”

She just shook her head and went, “This is not good,” and walked back to her friends. We might have a future arts critic on our hands.


One of the little girls already knows the importance of coffee. It’s a lesson it seems like she learned from her Mom, but it’s very funny when she decides to speak out about it.

The other day, one of the kids got upset and threw a toy across the room, which hit me in the thigh. We sat down and had a talk about how it’s okay to be upset but not to throw toys, how we could have accidentally hurt our friends, etc. and then he went back to playing.

Right after, sweet H walked over to me, kissed my leg where it hit me, and went, “You should drink coffee. Coffee fixes stuff.” It was around 8 a.m., so she was right. Drinking the coffee I brought definitely did make me feel better. But, there’s nothing funnier than hearing a 4-year-old prescribe coffee as a cure-all.


Bugs bring out another side of kids. They are either TERRIFIED of them or so interested in them that you can’t pry them away when they see one. Most of ours seem to lean toward the terrified side, though.

The other day, a pretty creepy-looking bug was sitting on the roof of the playhouse. J walked over, pointed to it, made a disgusted face, and then turned to one of the other teachers. “If that thing got in my hair, I would say freak that.”

A little later, the kids wanted to use one of the areas of the playground to make a “leaf pit.” They asked me if they could, and I said, sure why not? They all SQUEALED in excitement and got to work gathering leaves. As soon as they started, though, P let out an earth-shattering, “STOP!” Everyone dropped their leaves to look at her.

She literally stood up on top of the slide like a soapbox and said, “Yesterday, I saw a bug in the spot where you want to build the leaf pit!”

All of the kids collectively said “ewww,” and started deciding on a new place for the leaf pit. Even the memory of the bug was enough to destroy that spot for them. Understandable, I guess, but also pretty silly.

They also love collecting pinecones. I’m not sure why, but pinecones are pretty much the coolest collectible item available in preschool. You can practically use them as currency. I’ve definitely offered a pinecone or two before in exchange for the kids doing a good job cleaning up.

Earlier this week, the kids had a collection of about 20 pinecones in a bucket outside. J was watching the bucket and forcing P to go collect the pinecones for him. When she dropped the 20th in, she asked, “Can this be enough now?” He yelled, “No, we need MORE!”

Seconds after this announcement, a bug landed in their pinecone bucket. They both screamed and quickly yelled, “Dump them out! Dump them out, get rid of them!”

So, the moral of the story is that pinecones are worth an awful lot unless they’ve been touched by a bug. Then, they’re cursed.

“You can’t say that”

There are a lot of things that kids are not allowed to say. There are also a lot of things that adults most certainly are not allowed to say, according to them.

L (3 years old) has a very cute hat that looks like a frog. The other day, I told him, “Wow, I love your frog hat! That is so cool!” He looked at me, deadpan, and goes, “You can’t say that! It’s not a frog.” Confused, I said, “Oh, I’m sorry, L. What is it? A lizard? An alligator?”

He quietly touched the hat and whispered, “No, it’s a frog.”

Gaslight, gatekeep, girl boss.

On Friday, one of the teachers told J, “Come on, big man! It’s time to finish snack and go outside!” J, with the most serious look on his face, went, “You can’t say that!”

She asked him why, and he said, “You can’t call little kids ‘big man’! We’re little!” Then he leaned in and said, “If you say that, the whole place could explode!”

holiday prep

The kids have been so excited about the holidays lately, which is adorable. They are all planning Halloween costumes, talking about seeing their families and getting ready for snow. This has led to some pretty funny conversations.

The other day I was talking to one of our 4 year old boys about what he was dressing up as for Halloween. He excitedly told me, “A cow!” I responded back, “Wow, a cow! That’s so fun! So are you going to walk around on all fours like a cow?”

He looked at me confused and said, “I’m going to be a hamburger cow or a milkshake cow. They don’t walk.”

Later that day, I was talking to G. “Did you know there are 11 days until Halloween?” I asked him. He responded happily, “Yeah and then it will be Christmas and it will be snow!”

I laughed and told him, “You’re right, there will be snow soon! Are you excited about it?”

G just looked me dead in the eyes and went, “Oh yeah. I’m going to throw a big snowball right in your face, Miss Emma.”

I fake gasped and looked offended, then told him, “Oh yeah? I have bigger hands so I’m going to throw an even BIGGER snowball in your face.”

G, without any hesitation, just looked down at his chest and mumbled to nobody in particular, “Nah, I’m the snowball guy.”

Emma is a third-year Elementary and Early Childhood Education major at Penn State University. When she's not writing, you can usually find her singing, reading, painting, going on walks, hanging out with friends/her incredible boyfriend, and drinking iced chai lattes. Outside of Her Campus, Emma is the President of the Penn State Singing Lions, a Students United Against Poverty Ambassador, a member of the Phi Eta Sigma honors fraternity, and works at an after-school program.