Laughter is Contagious

I think one of the most wonderful things about being an educator is the opportunity to be around happy children and the sound of their laughter.   Let’s face it, adult life is hard and right now it’s even more challenging.  It can be hard to find the humor in anything at this time, but children still can and we can learn from them or do they learn from us?

According to the Association for Applied and Therapuetic Humor, at age five children laugh 7 to 8 times per hour during play.  How many of us can say we laugh that much at the office or our work place?  But there are individuals who manage to find the humor in anything and everything.  As parents you model a sense of humor for your children.  Parents who laugh easily, tease or joke with their children and help them to see the humor in situations, encourage their children to do so by example. 

Humor for children looks very different at each age and stage of development.  Babies don’t understand humor but they do find their Moms funny when they smile at them and coo or blow raspberries on their belly.  Toddlers love to laugh when someone plays peekaboo with them.  They find it hysterical when a familiar adult suddenly pops out from behind their hands to surprise them with a smile and a laugh.  Preschoolers find humor in things that are odd or not how they’re supposed to be.  If a preschoolers’ teacher says that today’s snack is bugs and worms, children of this age will erupt in laughter because they know that this could not and should not happen yet somehow the possibility is funny.  One thing that preschoolers love and teachers do not is bathroom humor.  For children of this age laughing about what happens in the bathroom and using bathroom words can provide a lot of entertainment on any given day.  Somehow this topic brings peals of laughter in a typical preschool classroom.

To encourage laughter and a love of language, I love to tell jokes to and with children.  I love to see how their mind works as they try to figure out the punch line or learn the art of delivering their own joke,  Knock Knock jokes are a preschool favorite because of the repetitive nature.  Children love to make up their own Knock Knock jokes and most are pretty silly and make little to no sense at all, but command a huge laugh and numerous giggles from friends. We can’t forget as adults that it’s funny and healthy to laugh and we need to model this for children.

Enjoy the article below about helping your child develop a sense of humor.

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