I asked a preschooler, “Why did the turkey cross the road?” He said, “My grandma tried to tell me it was because the chicken had a day off. I LAUGHED at her because that is NOT the right answer. Chickens walk around off the road and on the road, they don’t have days just off! I sometimes have stuff I need to teach to my grandma!”
The humor of a preschooler is different from that of an adult. Research online says preschoolers laugh about 400 times a day while adults laugh only about 17. That is a huge difference. Preschoolers have the innate ability to laugh at almost anything. They see humor where adults do not.
If you try to tell a group of preschoolers a “Knock, Knock Joke”, be prepared to take some time. They will want to share their own jokes back with you. They will consist of things like, “Knock, knock. Who’s there? Turkey. Turkey who? Gobble, Gobble, Gobble.” Then enormous laughter will erupt which will lead another child to try their version of a joke that no adult understands yet every preschooler wants to literally roll on the floor with laughter. It will become the oddest comedy club anyone could imagine.
Preschoolers laugh when people trip on their shoelaces. They laugh when a door squeaks or someone sneezes or when they see themselves in a mirror. They laugh when you can’t find them in hide and seek. They laugh when you do find them in hide and seek. They laugh at times adults just cannot understand.
Since laughter is contagious, what adults can do is try to catch as much of it as possible. Research shows laughter leads to reductions in stress hormones. While laughing, the brain can also release endorphins that can help ease physical pain. Laughing boosts the number of antibody-producing T-cells that help build a stronger immune system. A good belly laugh exercises the diaphragm, relaxes muscles and gives the heart a good workout as well as contracting abdominal muscles. More good news is that just thinking about laughing can have positive benefits.
Yoga laughing classes, Laughing Clubs and humor therapy in hospitals are all becoming more popular as the world understands the need for laughter. There is so much new research for something that a preschooler has already programmed into them. Laughing is something preschoolers can easily teach adults.
So back to that turkey story….. “Why did the turkey cross the road?” The preschooler’s response, “I don’t know why the turkey crossed the road, but I know he is very happy. The farmer has not caught him, and he is still ready to play.” I asked,”Did your grandma like that answer?” The preschooler said, “My grandma started to laugh. She gave me a big hug and told me I make her happy. I TOLD her the turkey was the happy one. See, there is a lot of stuff I still need to teach my grandma.”
- What is something you really laughed hard about in your life? (Remember, just thinking about laughing is good for you!)
- Why do you think people don’t laugh as much as a preschooler?
- Will you take a day and try to add more laughter to it?
“You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.” Michael Pritchard
“The power of a preschooler will change your life…..if you let it.”