Laughing is a Sign of Learning

Did you know having a sense of humor helps children develop self-esteem, learn to problem solve, foster creative thinking, and hone social skills? This is according to author Louis Franzini, who wrote the book Kids Who Laugh: How to Develop Your Child’s Sense of Humor, in an article on Parents.com.

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The root of humor is taking something familiar and changing it in a unusual way. Typically, babies will start laughing around the age of 4 months. Up until this point, they are just beginning to learn how the world looks, feels, and sounds. As a child develops,  she learns to use humor as a way to build up self-esteem for a friend who may be feeling blue or for her own self if she makes a mistake. Laughter or a good sense of humor can help a person look at things in an unusual way.

So what are some ways you can encourage your child’s sense of humor? Read funny books, of course! Play with puppets! Make up stories! Sing silly songs together! Play dress up! Play Peek-a-Boo! Have fun with your food!

Here are some favorite laugh-out-loud picture books from our staff at the Stark County District Library.

  • Goldie Locks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems
  • We Are in a Book by Mo Willems
  • The Book with No Pictures by B. J. Novak
  • This Book Just Ate My Dog by Richard Byrne
  • Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
  • Steve, Raised by Wolves by Jared Chapman
  • Mother Bruce by Ryan Higgans
  • John, Paul, George, and Ben by Lane Smith

Add to our list! Comment with your favorite laugh-out-loud books below!

 

3 Questions

Have you ever asked your child what his/her day was like? What is his/her response typically? Is it “fine” or perhaps “I didn’t do anything” or maybe even “I don’t know.” Well, I read an interesting blog post today about the three questions you should ask your child every night before bedtime. And these three questions will hopefully cure those “I don’t know” answers–but it may take a little time.

At the end of each day, as you are tucking in your little one, ask him/her these three questions. Put down your phone. Turn off the television remote. You may be surprised by the answers.

  • What is something that made you smile today?
  • What is something that made you cry today?
  • What is something that you learned today?

 

Children need three things as they develop: attention, bonding, and communication. These three questions help you give your child just that. You are giving him/her the one-on-one attention and focus they crave (even if they don’t say so). You are bonding with your child and learning about them in those little moments. And you are communicating with them…talking and discussing things. By talking to your child everyday, hopefully, you can teach them to talk to you about all things…happy, sad, confusing, scary, etc.