Here’s a look at your child’s growing sense of humour, and the benefits they’ll get from having a good laugh

Legend has it that a four-year-old laughs more than 400 times a day, and an adult just 17 times. Whatever the frequency; your child’s sense of humour is still developing at this age and life can be one chuckle-fest after the other.

Why laughing is good for us

First of all, laughter establishes a connection between you and your children, and there’s no better lift for a weary parent than a giggling toddler!

But laughter can actually help boost learning. Your child will realise that we approve of what she has said or done because you are laughing too. They realise that a light-hearted attitude can be applied to the process of learning serious things, too.

As well as being good for your child’s social and mental development, laughing is incredibly good for their health.

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Research has shown that laughter triggers the release of ‘feel-good’ hormones such as endorphins, reduces stress hormones, and boosts the immune system. Muscle tension is reduced, circulation and breathing patterns are improved and the amount of oxygen in the blood rises, too.

And of course, laughing shows that your child feels happy, and that’s the best news of all!

It may sound obvious but one of the best ways to encourage laughter is with a tickle-fest!

1. Get goofy

Slapstick humour is a big hit with the average four-year-old. “My daughter Skye thinks people falling over is the most hilarious thing in the world,” says Tesco Baby Club parent Mel. Try hitting yourself on the head with a pillow and falling over, or pretending you can’t find them when they’re hiding in an obvious place – always a winner.

2. Encourage them to tell jokes

Your child will love telling you ‘jokes’. They may not make any sense at all but just by listening you are encouraging story-telling, language development, sequencing and creating confidence. Make sure you laugh at your child’s jokes – even if they’re not that funny!

3. Roll with the toilet humour

By four, kids realise that toilet talk is largely taboo, so it’s a natural focus for humour. My kids laugh uproariously at farting noises and anything to do with toilet-talk. Do act mildly shocked by their ‘rude’ jokes. And obviously rein them in when there are visitors!

4. Be silly

Read books using silly voices, make those leftover peas talk or sing a silly song together, featuring your child. Children love their own personal stories, especially if they are made funny.

5. Tickle them

It may sound obvious but one of the best ways to encourage laughter is with a tickle-fest!

6. Find the funny in everyday life

Whether it’s building a comical creation out of Lego or making a face out of your child’s dinner, it’ll help develop their sense of humour, while also inspiring their creativity. And it’ll also help you to up your own daily laugh quota – which has to be something to chuckle about.

That’s the WHAT and WHY. For the HOW, contact [email protected].