Sharing laughter at any age is a great way to bond and improve your well-being. But for babies and toddlers, it’s also a great chance to learn and show that they’re beginning to understand the world around them.
“Humor is about development, but that’s not all!” says Professor Vasu Reddy, a specialist in children’s humor from the University of Portsmouth. We laugh and play together because it’s fun; it brings happiness, satisfaction and well-being. And while there is no single way to cultivate a sense of humor, experts have found some common behaviors and stages as they emerge.
What is the earliest age when children show humor? Researchers at the University of Portsmouth found that at seven to eight months of age, babies deliberately use their face, body, and voice to make adults laugh or smile. And a University of Sheffield study found that babies as young as 16 months old can tell the difference between pretending and joking.