Humour can get us through the toughest of situations sometimes. So it’s important to recognize its power. Teaching kids to see the funny side of things from a very early age can surely only be a good thing. Here are some delightful ways to encourage it.
1- Playing “peek-a-boo”
No official survey has been carried out as far as we know. We’re guessing this is the first game over 90% of all parents play with their children. It helps very young children realise there’s such a thing as funny and that they’re allowed to express it.
2- Graduate as they get older
I remember reading Dr Seuss as a yound child and being both fascinated and amused by the clever rhyming within the strange stories. It’s something that never leaves you and it gave me a great interest in words and how they sound. Puns are another example of using humour to educate, whether it’s a corny joke or a knock-knock one.
3- Funny literacy
Introducing kids to humour through reading is a great way to bring out their sense of humour and enable them to learn word structures. Quite often, if the book they’re reading is the first in the series, they’ll want to read the rest of the series. Take them down to book shop and into the children’s book section and let them choose for themselves. Quite often something will catch their eye and quite possibly because of their sense of humour. Bring it out and let it thrive!
4- Start a scrapbook
This works particularly well if they’ve already read a few funny books. Suggest they make a book of their own by collecting writings and drawings they find funny. Better still, why not ask them if they can create their own cartoon strip to encourage and develop their drawing, story-telling skills as well as their humour. It will also help to build their confidence and belief that they can be funny too.
5- Teach them ‘values’
Humour can help in many ways and these include teaching kids what’s socially acceptable and what’s not. For example laughing with someone and laughing at them. It’s funny to crack a joke, but never at someone elses expense. If all kids were taught this from an early age, it would certainly help to eliminate certain aspects of bullying. Negative humour and sarcasm are fine for adults, but children don’t really get it till they’re a bit older and we’d suggest concentrating on the positives instead.
6- Develop their humour, together
Reading funny stories or watching comedy films together is a great way to bond with your child, especially if it turns out you have the same sense of humour. It also gives you the opportunity to point out jokes they may have missed and quite often they’ll point out jokes you’ve missed too!
A good sense of humor is a tool that kids can rely on throughout life to help them find their way such as being sponteneous and looking beyond the obvious. It will also help them to not take themselves too seriously and to enjoy playful aspects of life to the full.