What are they laughing at? LOL 101 for Grownups

There’s a lot of learning going on when little ones are laughing. Here are some tips for engaging children in silly behavior at each developmental stage.

Laugh.Shack.2014a.9844-1.300d.RGB1.  Babies and Toddlers love surprises!
These little guys are learning a lot about how the world around them works, so unexpected actions can really crack them up.

Put a shoe on your head.
Quack like a duck.
Make funny faces.
Gently tickle tummies or chins.

Caregiver Tip: Tricks that bring giggles one time may bring tears the next. Be sensitive; babies get overloaded, and toddlers are a tough crowd.

2.  Preschoolers love nonsense!
Three- and four-year-olds are starting to see that jokes follow a format. To you, their punch lines might seem to need a little work, but they find them utterly hilarious!

“Knock knock,”
“Who’s there?”
“Spaghetti monster! Ha ha ha!”

Caregiver Tip: Super-silly stories and taboo topics (like potty humor) are also big at this age. Hang in there, parents!  Most outgrow this by age 20.

3.  Ages 5 – 7 love MAKING SENSE.
They’re learning the twists and turns of language and understanding the double meaning of words in riddles and puns:

Toy store sign: “Don’t feed the animals, they’re already stuffed.”

Caregiver Tip: Get used to hearing the same old joke! Young comics must hone their timing and delivery skills.

4. Ages 8 – 9 love SOCIAL HUMOR.
At this age, they’re having fun sharing humor with friends. They especially enjoy looonger jokes, funny books and videos, quick and witty comebacks, and, oh joy, sarcasm.

Caregiver Tip: Help children understand that hurtful and demeaning humor is never okay.

Through Labor Day, hone your funny bone and get seriously silly at the Laugh Shack, Chicago Children’s Museum’s pop-up comedy club just for kids!


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