I have two boys; one is naturally funny. He doesn’t even try to be. He just is.
My other son is not funny at all, not in the least, but he has learned how to be funny.
Raising funny, witty, and spontaneous kids is so important to me. Making people laugh is a lifetime gift that’s appreciated beyond your childhood.
Here’s how you can teach your child to be funny:
We’ve all had our toddlers proclaim that they are stuck in a couch cushion in an attempt to make us laugh. At a very young age, kids learn physical humor transcends language. Physical humor is also a direct example of cause and effect or action and reaction. When they get stuck, we laugh. When they bonk their head, their little sister laughs, so they do it again and again. The easiest way to incorporate physical humor is in your storytelling. Have your kids tell a story but have them add sound effects (huffing and puffing, for example). Have them use their body to exaggerate or explain the story (how big was the fish they caught, how sore was their leg).
Coach them on timing and delivery. A perfectly timed joke or story will evoke belly laughs. Whereas a joke without the much-needed pause before the punchline will fall short. Memorizing jokes is a great alternative for the kid who is not naturally funny.
Being creative without preparation is the talent of a superhero. Improvisation is the combination of physical humor, jokes, puns, impersonations, and performance art. Simple ways to encourage improvisation are to mute the cartoon and have your kids improvise the storyline. The sillier the characters are, the better. For older kids, try to replicate some of the classic TV show, Whose Line is it Anyway games.
Good humor doesn’t tear down—it builds up. It takes more creativity, wit, and intelligence to be funny and kind at the same time. Stick with impersonations of fictional characters or grandpa’s silly sayings. Keeping it honest and wholesome, and you won’t run the risk of being offensive.
Be a Funny Mom
The best way to encourage humor in your kids is to be funny yourself! When the opportunity presents itself, make them laugh. Do something uncharacteristic or spontaneous.
I promise you there will be giggles.