One of the reasons I love kids so much is the answer to the above question: EVERYTHING!
Isn’t it contagious when you hear a little child laugh. They laugh at the simplest things and make you feel like are just an original Jim Carrey. One of my favorite things to do is to get my little boy to laugh. Making funny faces, playing peek a boo, crawling after him on the floor, or watching my husband bark at him (weird, maybe, but our little boy LOVES it and it’s hilarious to watch)!
I think the phrase “laughter is the best medicine” triples when you are listening to that of your child.
Although just hearing my child laugh makes me feel like he is happy and healthy, I didn’t realize all of the benefits of humor to young children until I read this great article. Paul McGhee, a long time researcher on humor, says humor “builds vocabulary and both pre-reading and reading skills, helps solidify the child’s knowledge of the world, supports creative thinking, builds social interaction skills, boosts popularity and self esteem, and provides the foundation for a skill that will help cope with life stress throughout the adolescent and adult years.”
In Dr. McGhee’s article he also gives lists of different kinds of humor that kids react to at different ages. He says that humor reflects a child’s “newest intellectual achievements”, and is the funniest a few months after it begins to be understood. One example is a 1st or 2nd grader loving riddles, while older children and adults may not think they’re as funny.
Get Kids To Laugh:
- Waddling like a penguin
- Making silly faces
- Sticking half a banana out of the mouth
- Making exaggerated animal sounds (We’ve tried it, it works!)
- Putting a bowl on your head
- Using a shoe as a telephone
- Calling someone/something by the wrong name
Whatever you do to try and get a giggle, I truly feel like laughing together bonds your family and is one way you can show your kids you love them.