Kindergarten Readiness: Laughter is for Learning

Laughter is for learning, so having fun telling silly jokes can be part of the day for children’s development and kindergarten readiness. This time of year, there are some great Christmas jokes for kids, like this one:

Q. What do monkeys sing at Christmas?
A. Jungle Bells, Jungle Bells…

To find that funny, brains need to do some complex thinking. First of all, the mind has to process that the name of the song should be Jingle Bells. Of course, monkeys live in the jungle. The brain has to compare Jungle and Jingle. Those two words are very similar but the difference between jingle and jungle is so important that it creates the joke. To understand that took some higher order thinking skills.

To figure out humor, children first need to notice what is happening and recognize that it is not usual or normal. After all that, there is also an emotional response. Once kids understand whatever it is that’s unusual, they need to match their feelings and behavior, either laughing or displaying another reaction. That’s several things that all need to be connected so kids ‘get’ the joke.

Monkee Micky Dolenz-Mrs. ADoing all of this thinking can be complicated. It’s quite usual for kids to mix up jokes and punch lines or make up any answers as they are learning about humor. But this is all part of development. Everyone has their own sense of humor, but humor is also something that is learned and developed.

The website, Nurture Store  has a whole series of printable Christmas jokes for kids. It’s on my Pinterest Christmas board. (Now, just in case you can’t see the joke in this picture, this is a photo of me with Micky Dolenz, from the Monkees. That’s some extra humor!)

Do you and your children have some favorite Christmas jokes, riddles, or funny stories?

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