A good sense of humour can brighten any family life. You can blow raspberries on a baby’s belly, make a silly face or funny noises and chase your toddler around the house.
As children grow into pre-teens, you can share puns and jokes as their sense of what is actually funny grows more sophisticated. Laughing together is a fantastic way to connect and a good sense of humour can make children healthier, smarter and better able to cope with every day challenges.
Humour is not a part of our genetic makeup, like long hair or blue eyes. A sense of humour is not something a child is born with, it actually is a learned quality that can be developed in children.
Humour can be one of a number of things, like singing, art or imaginative and dramatic play, that children can create. It fosters a relaxed and playful climate in which creativity is more likely to occur. Humour, creativity, playfulness, and play are closely connected, so a home that’s conducive to any of them is likely to have an abundance of all of them and be filled with the laughter of happy children.
Even in the most supportive families and classrooms, there are constant pressures for children to conform to the expectations of others. To have humour and laughter is crucial to balance your child.
Humour is what makes something funny. A sense of humour is the ability to recognise it. A child with a well-developed sense of humour has the ability to recognise what’s funny in others and can usually amuse them as well.
Babies don’t really understand humour, yet they sense when you are smiling and happy. When you make funny noises or faces and then laugh or smile, your baby is likely to sense your joy and imitate you. He or she is also highly responsive to physical stimuli, like tickling or blowing raspberries on their tummies.
Babies between 9 and 15 months understand that when mommy puts a diaper on her head or quacks like a duck, she’s doing something unexpected and that it is funny.
Toddlers appreciate physical humour. with an element of surprise like peek-a-boo. As children develop language skills, they will find nonsense words and silly rhymes funny, and this will continue for a couple of years. It is around this time many children start trying to make their parents laugh. Your child will find it hilarious if you point to your ears and call it your eyes, or they might want to put your shoes on to clomp around the house.
A pre-schooler is more likely to find humour in a picture with something out of the ordinary like for instance a pig wearing sunglasses, than a joke or pun. Incongruity between pictures and sounds is also funny for this age group. As they become more aware of bodily functions pre-schoolers often start delighting in bathroom humour.
I am sure your child cracks you up multiple times a day. Savour these silly little moments and try to record them for future reference. Sometimes their jokes can be baffling and rather than pretending to laugh at some of them, why not teach them a joke or two? Encourage your child’s sense of humour and give your little one a giggle with these funny jokes:
Q: Where do cows go on a Saturday night? A: To the MOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooovies.
Q: How do you make a tissue dance? A: Put a little boogie in it.
Q: How do all the oceans say hello to each other? A: They wave!
Q: What do you call a fly without wings? A: A walk.
Q: What kind of witch do you find at the beach? A: A sand-wich!
Q: How do you start a teddy bear race? A: Ready teddy go!
Q: What is black and white and goes round and round? A: A penguin in a tumble dryer.
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