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Knock, knock.
        Who’s there?
Banana
        Banana who?
Knock, knock
        Who’s there?
Banana
        Banana who?
Knock, knock
        Who’s there?
Orange
        Orange who?
Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?

Children respond to humor with laughter and enjoyment, even when the joke isn’t funny! Not only does humor make people feel good, but enables one to think about word usage and word meanings. For a child with a language-based learning disability, it is important to develop these receptive and expressive language skills.

5 ways to use humor with children

  1. Tell your own jokes. Be a model of humor. Each age calls for a different attempt. Sometimes it is a short joke, sometimes a story that is funny.
  2. Laugh at a child’s attempt at jokes. When they are very young, it may be silly but laughing together is a wonderful treasure.
  3. Read silly, fun books or poetry. Or watch funny videos. Help your child choose appropriate books and shows that are hilarious.
  4. Do tongue twisters and play with words. Sing a silly song together.
  5. Teach your child about boundaries - appropriate timing (and place) for jokes, not being mean-spirited through joking or teasing, and the difference between an inappropriate joke and an ok joke.

A good sense of humor can help a child develop perspective taking, encourage spontaneity, develop flexibility in language, emphasize playfulness, and reassure one to not taking things too seriously. Go tell a joke today!

Blogger and Director of Learning Programs, Carmen Mendoza, MEd, shares her expertise in understanding students with learning disabilities. If you have questions, please contact Carmen at cmendoza@springer-ld.org.

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