Sunday, November 17, 2013
Giggle Games Galore
One of the true blessings that come with being human is the ability to laugh. Adults often don’t realize that children begin honing their own comedic skills at impressively early ages. Supporting your child’s attempts at humor really is important because at its core, humor is creative. Even if your child is simply retelling a joke she’s heard elsewhere, she’s had to do a bit of mental gymnastics herself to grasp the humor. And on those occasions when she comes up with her own joke, she is demonstrating both mental flexibility and creativity no matter her age.
Find the particular giggle games that you and your baby both enjoy, and play them often so that your baby has a chance to enjoy predicting what comes next. For some babies and at some ages, these might primarily involve touch and movement, either in mild forms (like being wrapped and tickled in a towel after the bath) or no-so-mild forms (like being tossed in the air). Other babies may find weird noises emanating from your mouth particularly hilarious or absolutely crack up at seeing their big brother make funny faces.
Whatever the routine, remember that babies at all ages are good at learning what to expect. In fact, the giggling usually starts leaking out in anticipation of the event. The opportunity to form expectations like these, apart from the actual tickle or toss, is pleasurable all by itself.
Happy Signing (and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook)!
Linda Acredolo, Ph.D.
Co-Founder, the Baby Signs® Program
Professor Emeritus, UC Davis