Humor and laughter are exclusively human phenomenon. There are other animals that laugh, but only if some kind of physical interaction is involved. A child’s smile, an expression of joy, is one of the most beautiful things there is for a parent. It is sometimes hard though to joke with kids without falling back on time-tested clichés.
Kids’ laughter often begins as a reflex. Later, as with the use of words, they assimilate the action and begin using it to communicate. It’s very important that children are instilled with a sense of humor; it’ll make life easier for them and help them face challenges they’ll come across throughout their lives. It will also help them understand the contrast between humor and reprimand and will serve to put that difference into perspective in their future.
The topics that kids find funny are quite similar to those that adults are amused by: challenging authority, when things go wrong, humiliating or scary situations, plays on words, and of course vulgar expressions. The less complex the joke, the more likely kids are to laugh. They may find intricate double entendres, situations that require great imagination, or abstract depictions, complicated and not very funny.
We must keep in mind that humor should be a part of kids’ everyday lives. As with all things positive in kids’ lives, we must encourage them to maintain a good sense of humor. We must also know how to set limits and educate kids to clearly see the boundaries between what’s funny and what’s just rude, so they know not to cross the line.