International Joke Day: The Benefits of Laughter and Joke Sharing for Young Children

Every July 1st, we celebrate International Joke Day, a day dedicated to the joy and benefits of humour. For young children, sharing jokes and laughter is not just fun; it’s a vital part of their development. According to the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) Version 2.0, humour plays a significant role in enhancing memory, language, and problem-solving skills, as well as fostering social bonds.

Laughter and humour engage multiple brain regions, creating stronger neural connections that enhance memory retention. When children learn and share jokes, they practice language skills, understanding wordplay, and puns, which enriches their vocabulary and comprehension. Additionally, creating and understanding jokes involves problem-solving and cognitive flexibility, helping children to think critically and creatively.

Socially, laughter is a universal language. It builds connections and strengthens relationships, as children who share jokes and laugh together are more likely to develop strong, trusting friendships. This aligns with the Early Year’s Learning Framework’s V2.0 emphasis on children developing a sense of belonging and building relationships through shared experiences.

Incorporating humour into early childhood education not only makes learning enjoyable but also supports holistic development and learning. So, on International Joke Day, let’s celebrate the power of laughter and encourage children to share jokes, enhancing their cognitive and social skills in a fun, engaging way.

Consider:

-How can we recognise International Joke Day and consider respect, fairness and social justice……having the conversations about what is fair, respectful and ok in line with having fun and enjoying experiences together even in the tension?

‘Anti-bias approaches begin with reflective practices that tune the senses into what’s fair and unfair. Discussing the goals with your colleagues and unpacking ways to recognise bias in your everyday practice can help guide you’.

Scarlet, R. R. (2020). Pedagogical provocations: The Inclusion Room. p.18 : Erskineville https:// learning.theinclusionroom.com.au/courses/pedagogical-provocations

Wish to know more about Anti-Bias approaches?

Further consider:

-the biases of what you think is funny, may not be funny to someone else

-Nevertheless, remember to embrace having fun and a sense of wonder and delight…… maybe try unpacking ‘jokes’ with children and what might be fair, and what may not be fair

Some jokes to share with children

Q: Why did the computer go to the doctor?

A: It had a virus.

Q: Why did the student eat his homework?

A: Because the teacher said it was a piece of cake!

Q: What did the beach say to the tide?

A: Long time no see!

Q: What time do ducks wake up?

A: At the quack of dawn!

References

Australian Government Department of Education [AGDE] (2022). Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (V2.0). Australian Government Department of Education for the Ministerial Council.

Scarlet, R. R. (2020). Pedagogical provocations: The Inclusion Room: Erskineville https:// learning.theinclusionroom.com.au/courses/pedagogical-provocations

Scarlet, R. R. (Ed) (2020). The Anti-Bias Approach in Early Childhood. MultiVerse Publishing:  Erskineville.

Useful resources

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