Arnold, Tedd. Parts. New York: Puffin, 1997.
The guest blog on puns, I recently posted was the first of two on humor. I expect you could write an endless string of blogs on this subject, but for now I will stick with two. Let’s face it, laughing and smiling are human behaviors. Think about a very young, child playing peek-a-boo with a parent. It is a silly game and both are delighted with the activity. I recently watch a short video of my one-year-old nephew playing this game with his momma. They both were clearly enjoying the game and were crowing with laughter.
As they grow and learn, jokes, riddles and puns are a way children learn to play with words and ideas. Think of this knock, knock joke (one I heard many times from my girls).
Orange, you glad I didn’t say banana.
Some of the humor in this joke comes from association that bananas and oranges are both fruit and that orange sound a little like “aren’t”. I love young humor! It can be infectious! Jokes like this one and others help children learn the interplay between words, sounds, context and meaning¹. They learn to move beyond the standard meaning of a word or words to look for other interpretations of what they heard².
Laughing is so good for you! You know, Reader’s Digest has been running the section, “Laughter Is the Best Medicine,” for as long as I can remember. It was their small way to bring better health to the masses. Laughter relaxes you, boosts your immune system, and burns calories among other benefits³.
I encourage you to read a silly book to a young child. It is delightful to hear their giggles! Here is a suggestion for you. As I was looking for a book on puns for young children at the bookstore, I came across Parts by Tedd Arnold. It is not a book with puns, but is a very silly book. It made me laugh! What better book to share in an article on humor.
Do you have a worrier? This young man is a champion worrier! Do hairs in the comb mean he is going bald? Do boogers dripping from his nose mean his brains are leaking out? Oh, woe, does the discovery of belly button fuzz signify the beginning of the loss of his internal stuffing?
Read this go book with a young friend and see what “parts” this boy does or doesn’t loose. Maybe they have had a similar experience!
Here are two fun puns to enjoy.
- Why did Tigger stick his head down the toilet??? He was looking for Pooh
- What do you call a blind dinosaur? A Doyouthinkhesawus
Here are some supplemental articles that I found interesting and enlightening.
- Humor in Children’s Literature. http://childrensbooksdaily.com/humour-in-childrens-literature/
- Humor as a Key to Child Development. https://psychcentral.com/lib/humor-as-a-key-to-child-development
- 10 Legitimately Funny Books to Read Aloud with Your Kids: http://www.readbrightly.com/funny-books-to-read-aloud-with-your-kids/
- Laughing All the Way: Teaching English Using Puns: https://americanenglish.state.gov/files/ae/resource_files/forum_teaching_english_using_puns.pdf
Go forth laugh, giggle, chortle, snort, snigger, crow, or howl. Get even with you children or friends and make them groan with an excellent putn! Teach a child the value of a good pun and play with language!
- Pollack, John. The Pun Also Rises. New York: Gotham Books, 2011, p. xxiii.
- Language-Based Humor Development in Children: Jokes, Puns, and Riddles. https://prezi.com/-obsr5mq8rb8/language-based-humor-development-jokes-puns-riddles/
- Laughter Is the Best Medicine: The Health Benefits of Humor and Laughter. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/laughter-is-the-best-medicine.htm