- From birth until around 6 weeks, the baby can smile. These smiles are, however, reflexes. Indeed, they are not made consciously. They are rather physiological smiles of well-being that the baby can make after feeding or when he has just fallen asleep. This is what is called “smile to the angels”. Also Read: X Words
- It is between 6 and 8 weeks that the first smile appears that the baby makes in reaction to something that occurs in his environment. This conscious smile is usually a reaction to the sight of his parents’ faces. For example, the Kid smiles because he imitates his parents who smile at him. Moreover, his smiles express the pleasure of seeing them and being with them.
- Around 4 months, the baby begins to laugh. Among the things that can make him laugh, there are light tickling, funny facial expressions, grimaces, funny sounds, the game of ” bug that goes up, goes up, goes up…”, etc. At this stage, laughter is mainly provoked by the stimuli that come to him from his senses, namely sight, hearing, or touch.
- Around 8 or 9 months, the game of “cuckoo” amuses him a lot. The baby laughs when he hears ” hello ” and sees the person reappear because it confirms what he thought: the person is still there, even when he no longer sees him. He begins to understand that objects and people still exist, even if they are not visible.
- Around 1 year, he laughs at unexpected behavior, for example, if dad tries to put on a baby hat or if mum crawls by his side.
- Around 2 and a half or 3 years old, with the development of language, words now cause toddlers to laugh, especially when the wrong word is used to designate an object. For example, the parent says, “I’m going to get your hat” and he comes back with a diaper that he tries to put on his head. Swear words or the famous “pee and poop” also make him laugh a lot.
- Around 4 and 5 years old, the child has already started grouping things according to different categories (eg animals) and sub-categories (eg those who fly, those who run). Thus, a toddler may find situations that do not meet these categories very funny. For example, the idea of a blue giraffe flying through the sky or a fully-clothed man taking a bath can make a child laugh.
- Around 6 and 7 years old, the child understands word games and riddles better. He then discovers that words can have several meanings and he has fun with them. For example, he may find this riddle very funny: “What does a mother whale say to her baby who moves too much? “Cetacean” (that’s enough). At this age, a child also laughs at the awkward gestures of others. Such as tripping over their shoelaces. Tumbling down the stairs, and spilling their juice.
How does a child’s sense of humor evolve?
- Around 18 months, the child begins to play make-believe. For example, he pretends to feed his doll by giving him an imaginary soup spoon. He then diverts the use of objects by placing, for example, a plastic bowl on his head to make it look like a hat or by using a hairbrush as a telephone. It is the birth of the sense of humor. To find this change of function amusing, however, the child must know the primary function of the objects.
- Around the age of 2, he understands and uses more and more words. He laughs when two words are reversed, for example when a cat is called a dog. Likewise, he laughs if someone says to him, for example: “Did you know that my dog meows? This represents the second stage of the humor. To find out if your toddler has reached the second stage, show him the picture of a dog and say with a smile: “Look at the beautiful cat! » If your child smiles too, it’s because he understands that it’s a game. If he seems surprised, it’s because he’s still at the stage of learning the names of things.
- Around the age of 3 and a half, he likes to imagine comic situations. At this age, he finds it funny to connect two things or concepts that don’t go together (e.g. cows flying in the sky, mother jumping from one skyscraper to another to avoid traffic, a car that can ride underwater to observe fish, cauliflower cake).
- Around 4 and 5 years old, the child likes to play with words. Having fun making rhymes, especially if they are silly, helps him discover the complexity of language. The parent can thus play by starting a sentence that the child will have to end with a rhyme. For example: “I’m going to the store… to buy grapes!” »
- Between the ages of 6 and 8, he repeats jokes or riddles told by adults. This allows him to understand that words can have several. Meanings and that there are different ways to be funny. This is what will lead him later, around the age of 10 to 12. To use more diversified forms of humor, such as irony and sarcasm.
How to develop a sense of humor in children?
Family is a great place to learn how to be funny. The first thing you need to do to boost your toddler’s sense of humor is to be funny yourself, as they develop their sense of humor a lot through imitation.
Besides, your reactions to your child’s funny faces or jokes have a great influence. The development of his sense of humor. Indeed, if you never laugh at your child’s antics or if he is punished. As soon as he experiences things, there is little chance that he will continue to want to be laughed at.
A toddler’s sense of humor develops based on the reactions of those around him. You are his best audience. For this reason, don’t hesitate to laugh at his jokes, even if you don’t always find them funny.
Don’t laugh at all his jokes though, as some may be inappropriate. It is up to you to guide him in this learning Education of humor by telling him that certain words can shock people or hurt them.
Similarly, approach life’s little problems (eg, stained clothes, broken vase, failed recipe) with humor and show your child that you can laugh about them. Thus, your child will discover that everyone can experience failures. Your reaction will also help him deal with his disappointments with humor.