Most young kids are naturally playful and open to humor. However, the peers and adults in their lives must nurture this sense of humor in order for it to thrive. Laughter offers quite a few long-term benefits including building self-esteem, connecting kids with other kids and promoting general optimism and well-being. Laughter releases endorphins, increases blood flow, lowers blood pressure, relieves stress, improves digestion and prevents depression.
The following ideas will help you encourage your preschooler’s sense of humor:
Create funny moments Instead of waiting for something funny to happen, make it happen yourself. Watch silly movies, make up funny rhymes and read humorous books. Catch your child off guard by changing the words to one of his favorite songs. Don’t be afraid to do something silly together like have an impromptu dance party wearing dress up clothes or pretend to be pirates. When something is funny to you, laugh out loud. You child will follow suit and laugh with you.
Be spontaneous You don’t have to plan elaborate funny moments for a child. Follow your gut as inspiration strikes, such as making up funny words to an instrumental song on the radio or putting a bowl on your head while cooking. Taking advantage of these opportunities teaches your child to seize them as well.
Laugh at yourself When you make a mistake or something doesn’t turn out quite as planned, don’t be afraid to laugh about it. Kids will learn to take themselves less seriously and to deal with situations that don’t go as planned, which helps them keep things in perspective. This mentality also encourages creativity and the ability to think outside of the box.