Babies start laughing by four months of age, but that is more in reaction to your happiness and love, rather than due to humour. But it is an important part of developing a sense of humour. Once they get to about ten months to a year, they start getting more involved in physical humour. Till they learn to talk, physical humour remains the the primary source of entertainment for them. And as you foster it, their sense of humour starts to ripen and confidence and creativity flow from it.
See our article on why humour is an important skill to develop in a child.
Here are some tips on how Indian parents can foster a sense of humour in children under the age of 2 (babies and toddlers)
- With babies, who are 10 months old or less, laugh a lot with them. If babies see parents laughing, it tells them that is an important emotion
- Blow raspberries with your baby, especially if she is drooling (a "raspberry" is where you stick your tongue out and make a vibrating noise. There is a risk of blowing saliva out at the people around you)
- Nuzzle your baby's tummy with your nose (called tummy "raspberries"). Don't over do it though.
- Sometimes, you will run into a situation where something you do, makes your baby laugh. Do it a few more times and get them to laugh.
- "Peek-a-boo" is always a fun game to play (typically from the eighth month onwards)
- Play some pretend games with your baby. For example, if she is eating her finger food, pretend that you are going to eat it all up.
- Once your baby becomes a year old, and is developing mobility, physical humour will be helpful. It will also help you.
- Use exaggerated physical gestures in any abnormal situation. For example, if a heavy noise is heard, open your mouth wide without making a noise and look shocked.
- Make silly faces.
- Just act silly. Be a child yourself. For example, walk with exaggerated gestures or waddle like a penguin or walk backward. Do a silly dance.
- Pretend that you can't see your child even though they are obvious. Search up and down for her. She will love it.
- Use things in a way they are not meant, like, putting a toy on your head as a hat.
Feel free to add any more tips in the comments below....