Finding Laughter: Children and Laughter

. at . 6 comments

Finding Laughter 31 Days of writingA sense of laughter can be learned. Just as children learn qualities of kindness or persistence by example, so, too, do children learn about humor.

“They model themselves after the adults in their lives. Parents with good senses of humor often have children who enjoy humor and are funny themselves. Having a good sense of humor and recognizing and taking opportunities for laughing out loud help develop . . . 

  • good social skills,
  • pre-reading skills,
  • problem-solving techniques,
  • creativity,
  • and reasoning skills.” ~ Jackie Silberg

Silberg says, “Laughing increases learning and retention. Laughing stimulates both sides of the brain. People get the message quicker and remember it longer.”

The use of humor also helps develop bonds, strengthen relationships, and helps the child figure out what is acceptable and what isn’t.

Children think differently from adults. They find the absurd, nonsensical and out-of-the ordinary funny. I.e. rhyming words, nonsense syllables, and silly actions. Want some ideas? Silberg’s book, The Learning Power of Laughter, is a great resource. It offers over 300 playful games, activities, & ideas that promote learning with youngsters.

NOTE: I bought this book used from Amazon for $4.00. It will be a great resource to use with my toddler grand-daughter.

Help your child develop his/her sense of humor. Do this by listening to and appreciating their attempts even if it is nonsensical, too silly for your taste, unrelenting, or not expressed well. Joke back with them. Read funny stories to them. And try some of the exercises in Silberg’s book.

And check out the links below. They will also give you ideas on how to grow your child’s funny bone . . . and maybe your own.


Henry Hyena, Why Won’t You Laugh? by Douglas Jantzen . . . This book shares how Henry learned there are different kinds of laughter and not all of them are appropriate.

“It’s not that you’re sick, and you’re far from a fool. You’ve just learned that laughing at others is cruel”, said the wise old giraffe.

Lincoln Tells a Joke: How Laughter Saved The President (And The Country) by Kathleen Krull & Paul Brewer . . . I did not know that President Lincoln was a jokester. He told silly stories, read funny books, and collected jokes and puns.

Lincoln lived a HARD life: impoverished as a child, not good-looking, insomnia, nightmares, failed romances  lost political races, and many enemies (because of his political views and frequent joking). He handled his hard life and the difficult people with his humour.

Any book by Laura Numeroff is funny. My favourite book is If You Take a Mouse to the Movies. Maybe because it is also a Christmas book and I collect Christmas books.

Here are a few others by Numeroff . . .  If You Give a Dog a Donut . . . If You Give a Cat a Cupcake . . . If You Give a Moose a Muffin . . . If You Give a Mouse a Cookie . . . If You Give a Pig a Pancake .

I’m Encouraged. This Jackie Silberg book was an encouragement to me; (she has written many other books as well). I started this post with her belief that children can learn to laugh. If children can, I imagine that adults can as well. So I take this as GOOD NEWS for me Finding Laughter.

Your Turn . . .

  • Do you have a child in your life that you want to help in their laughter learning? Or are you the one in need of help?
  • Is there something new you will do or continue to do because of reading this post?
  • As always, do share a resource (movie, book, anecdote, or joke). All are appreciated.

I am joining 100’s of others at #write31days to write every day in October 2015 on a single topic. My topic is 31 Days of Finding Laughter. I will spend time each day studying laughter to see if I can improve my laughter quotient.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts in one spot.

Read, learn, and discover with me what this world of laughter is all about and is it all that it’s cracked up to be. And be sure to leave a comment. Talking together will make for a richer, interactive experience for all of us.

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. gr8mom4  |  . at .

    Good post. It seems like children love to laugh and their laughter is so contagious, and funny. It is fun to laugh with our kids.


    • 2. susan2009  |  . at .

      I so agree. I remember the first time I made my first born belly-laugh. It made me laugh and laugh and I felt like I accomplished something big. Now I love to make my grand daughter laugh.


  • 3. warriorhippie  |  . at .

    I love Laura Numeroff’s books. When I taught preschool they were always a hit. That Silberg book looks interesting, I may have to purchase that.

    My 15 month old already loves to laugh and be silly, and I want to encourage that.


    • 4. susan2009  |  . at .

      Numeroff’’s books make me laugh anytime I read them. I refer to them frequently. It would be awesome if she wrote a senior version, like If you Give Grandma a Gecko.

      I want to check out other Silberg books since the one I have is a great treasure.

      Hurray for your silly, laughing 15-month-old. THAT is the best treasure.

      Liked by 1 person

  • 5. Anita Ojeda  |  . at .

    funny you should mention Lincoln–I have a book of his stories, jokes and riddles published in the 1800s! I need to pull it out and look it over (it belonged to my great grandpa).


    • 6. susan2009  |  . at .

      Wow – what an awesome keepsake, Anita. I am going to see if I can find this at the library. Please let us know of the jokes and riddles you find especially funny.


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