Have you heard a good joke lately? When is the last time that you told one?
Young children love humor, but their idea of what’s funny is often very different from ours. It’s not uncommon for a three year old to say, “Knock-knock!” and when you answer “who’s there?” they begin to laugh uproariously as though the joke were already over. Or, “Hey, mom, guess what?” “What?” “Nothing! Ha-ha-ha!”
My grandmother raised her three girls alone in the tenements in Boston, Massachusetts during the Great Depression and World War II. They lived on next to nothing, but my mother recalls her childhood as being happy. Her mother made it that way. And one of the family traditions they created was the after-dinner belly laugh. They were each expected to share a humorous story or joke at the end of a very meager meal, “to aide in their digestion”.
My father loved to hear me tell jokes. There was one I used to tell, and he always claimed he couldn’t get the punch line right, so he’d have me tell it again and again. My dad had a perfect memory, so I’m guessing he just enjoyed my company. Memorizing jokes helped me to develop a really good memory, too! In middle school I memorized Hamlet with a girlfriend of mine, just for fun. I’ve been in a lot of community theater productions, and I can play some piano “from memory”. I even attribute my graduating summa cum laude to my ability to memorize well. And it all began with a knock-knock joke!
Laughter is not the cure for everything, but it can certainly help us learn to cope with some pretty serious issues, from depression and anxiety to life-threatening health problems. Laughter truly is good for “what ails you”. So learn a few good jokes. Memorize them. Tell them often – at work, on the phone to friends, and especially to your children. Laugh at your preschooler’s not-so-funny jokes (if they aren’t inappropriate, many preschoolers find potty words especially funny) to encourage a good sense of humor.
Here’s a few jokes to get you started. Then, if I haven’t made you laugh yet, be sure to play the video at the bottom! I dare you to keep a straight face. Oh- and play it for your preschooler!
Why did the cookie go to the doctor? Because it felt crummy.
Why did the chicken cross the playground? To get to the other slide.
Why did the gum cross the road? Because it was stuck to the chicken.
Why is six afraid of seven? Because seven eight (ate) nine!
What do sharks eat with their peanut butter? Jellyfish.
What is the police officer’s favorite desert? a copcake.
Why did the elephant paint his toenails red? So he could hide in the cherry tree. Have you ever seen an elephant in a cherry tree? See how good it works!
Where do sheep get their hair cut? At the baaa-baaa shop.
Did you hear about the skunk who went to church? He had a whole pew by himself!
What do you call it when a cow sings?
What did the sea say to the sand?
Nothing, it just waved.
What kind of cookies do baby monkeys have with their milk?
No! Car go beep-beep!
How do you make a Kleenex dance? Put a little boogie in it.