Who doesn’t love a good joke? Jokes make kids laugh and giggle, but they also help develop language and social skills. Read along to learn why they are funny, how they help and a few good jokes.
Jokes often rely on homophones or multiple meaning words to elicit laughs. Homophones or multiple meaning words are words that sound the same but are spelled differently. Telling jokes like these will help increase your children’s vocabulary.
Q: What do you call a piece of wood with nothing to do?
“Bored” describes how the piece of wood is feeling while “board” describes the piece of wood.
Q: Why do bicycles fall over?
A: Because they are two-tired.
This one plays on the homophone “two” and “too.”
Joke telling requires memory and timing to help with delivery. Even if a child reads or hears a joke, they have to remember it long enough to share it. Sometimes we forget jokes quickly. Sometimes we remember them. If your child thinks one is particularly funny, then it may become part of short-term or long-term memory if it is then shared at a family gathering or at pre-school.
Many jokes have a question and answer format, and the joke teller needs to remember the answer to complete the joke.
Jokes often have a question and answer format, which teach turn taking skills and scripts. Each person has to wait their turn in order to tell a joke, especially a knock knock joke. Knock Knock jokes follow a mini script and the basic format of Knock Knock jokes is predictable.
Person 1: Knock knock.
Person 2: Who’s there?
Person 1: Police
Person 2: Police who?
Person 1: Police open the door, it’s cold out here!
Scripts help us predict the flow of conversation between two people or in a new situation. For instance, when you go to the grocery store, the cashier may greet you, ask about the type of bag you want, scan the items, ask if you have any coupons, then collect payment. You may go into a store you’ve never been to before, but you idea of what you and the cashier will say because of scripts.
If you’re looking for more kid-friendly jokes to share with your child, check out joke books at your public library or local bookstore for more laughs. By doing so, you’ll be encouraging reading too!
As a child, Jann Fujimoto, MS, CCC-SLP, dreamed of telling jokes on the Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Instead, she became a speech-language pathologist and launched SpeechWorks in 2013 where she helps toddlers to teens become confident communicators.