EduKids Early Childhood Education Centers

Have Some Fun with Your Little One!

Posted on: April 18, 2011

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Humor is a brain stimulator.  Babies smile and giggle while playing peek-a-boo and when you bark like a doggie or meow like a kitten for their amusement.  Toddlers think that funny hats and mixed up clothes are a riot. Now that they know language, they look for language to make sense.  When you tell a young child that the silly dog was hopping around the yard like a bunny and you said to that silly dog “Silly dog, you are not a hopping bunny.  You are a doggie, mister!”  they think you are the funniest person in the world and they will ask you to repeat this with all of the dramatic effects a million times.  

While preschoolers are really starting to “get it”, they will often laugh out of turn or at inappropriate things (they have a hard time not laughing at potty words).  Mixing fact and fiction results in both lots of fun and questioning looks.  Because preschoolers are starting to attach fun and amusement to people they think are fun or places they like to be, humor takes on a much more personal note.

Studies clearly point to humor and levity as healthy outlets and positive responses to a sometimes stressful world.  Laughing keeps us balanced.  People who are fun to be with make us feel better about ourselves when we are in their company.  If someone thinks we are fun to be around, we are flattered.

It really isn’t much different for children.  We like it when our children smile.  We love it when they laugh.  We can’t get enough of that “roll on the rug, throw their head back” abandon.  No matter what their age is, we encourage smiling and fun from very young ages.  Older infants and toddlers turn and smile at the camera without even being asked to.   Preschoolers can be quite the “hams” when it comes to showing off their teeth and their style!  The message is clear: humor is good for you.

What do your children think is fun or funny?  Here are some answers from little ones I know:

  • “Mommy.”
  • “The fish. You know, Nemo”
  • “Spiderman and Batman go with the cars.”
  • “It is funny when Claire’s mommy dropped the towel.”
  • “Dempsey (my silly oversized dog!)”
  • “Miss Z. was hilarious. (why?)    I don’t know.”
  • “It was so fun when the soccer ball went flying!”   (They are certainly not ready for Comedy Central, but they are stars of their own little shows!)

Getting the order of events right takes time.  Extending ideas and thoughts comes later.  Grammar tense is worked on.  But children light up when you recognize their delight and ask them to share it with you.  This is the message of value.  You value them, who they are and what they think.  You like it when they share funny stories with you.  You help them recall people and things that give them pleasure. You laugh with them and this brings you closer.   Humor is stimulating.  Humor is connections.

What do your children think is fun or funny?  Ask the questions and enjoy the answers!

“Knock, knock.”  “Who’s there?”  “Banana.”  “Banana who?”  “Banana Banana.”

“Knock, knock.”  “Who’s there?”  “Banana.”  “Banana who?”  “Banana Banana.”

“Knock, knock.”  “Who’s there?”   “Orange.”  “Orange who?”  “Orange you glad I didn’t say Banana?”

Kate Beale’s (age 5) favorite joke

-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director


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