Children can start developing the sense of humor from a young age. But what is funny to toddlers would not be funny to preschoolers or teens. For helping your children at every stage of their growth and development, it is very important to learn what amuses your child and how to praise your child
Babies do not really understand what humor is, but they know when you are happy and smiling. When you make the funny faces or noises and then smile or laugh, you baby senses the joy and imitates you. The babies are highly responsive to the physical stimuli, like the tickling. Sometime between the age of 9 to 15 months, babies learn enough about their surrounding and notice when their mothers quack like a duck, make other funny noises or do unexpected acts to put a smile on the face of their babies; and the babies find this funny.
Toddlers appreciate the physical humor, especially which has the element of surprise. It could be anything like an unexpected tickle or playing peek-a-boo with them. But you have to make sure that you have all the safety equipment for kids
of this age at home. As the children develop the language skills, they would find nonsense words and rhymes funny and this would continue well till the preschool years.
Preschoolers find more humor in pictures that have something out of the whack (like cars with square wheels, or a pig who is wearing sunglasses) than just a pun or joke. Incongruity between the sounds and pictures (like a horse saying moo) is funny as well for this particular age group. As they become aware of the bodily functions, the preschoolers start delighting in the bathroom humor often.
As children move to kindergarten and beyond, slapstick, exaggeration and basic wordplay will be increasingly funny. Children of this age group discover pleasure of telling the simple jokes and would repeat the jokes again and again. Older grade-schoolers usually have comparatively better grasp of the words and what they actually mean. They are also able to play with the words and they like riddles, puns and other types of wordplay but one has to be careful while children of this age are playing too rough
Humor Basics- What Can You Do
It is never too early for starting the development of your kid’s sense of humor. The laughs and smiles of children, especially toddlers, are so cute that you do the smiling or tickling intuitively several times in a day for hearing them laugh. It is very important that you keep encouraging them as they grow. When you are humorous and playful with your children, delighting in laughter and silliness, you are actually helping them develop a humorous and playful attitude about life. Another way for doing this is to spend good amount of time being receptive to several opportunities that your child gives for laughing or smiling. Be playful, spontaneous, and completely aware of what the child finds funny at the different ages. Be game enough as well for laughing so the jokes do not fall flat.
Where To Actually Draw The Line
No parents wish to rain on the parade of their children, but they need some boundaries as far as humor is concerned, just like they need in other areas. There is no need to encourage off-color or mean-spirited jokes. You need to pay special attention and be extra careful while using such humor in front of your children as it might affect in their growth and development. If someone is telling an inappropriate or hurtful joke, do not laugh. Take time and explain to your children why that joke was not funny.