Don’t you just love a good laugh? Any kind of laugh is awesome, right? I mean, I’ll take a light chuckle, a hearty giggle or a deep belly laugh that leaves me teary-eyed and out of breath any day over being sad and gloomy. My guess is most humans, big and small, agree on this point. We all just like to be happy!
Scientific research proves the health benefits of laughter, and that it is really good for us! Without getting too medical-ly here, laughter promotes relaxation, stress reduction, socialization, improved communication and creativity, to name just a few benefits. For these reasons and more, people love to laugh and we all should be promoting more of it!
So how does this help with getting children to read?
Ask any child reading a book why they like it and I guarantee if it is funny, he will point that out. I have tested this over and over and every time without fail it happens. Kids tell me that they love funny books and they love books that make them LOL (If your child texts, you know that means laugh out loud). Sometimes those books tell silly stories, or have outrageous characters, or hysterical illustrations. Sometimes they are funny throughout, or just have funny parts sprinkled here and there. The ways a book can be funny are numerous, but the effect is still the same. They make kids happy, they make kids laugh, they make kids want to keep reading. Want to test me on this one? Go ahead! Just do a quick Google search on "funny books for kids" and see how many websites pop up with tons of recommendations. Why? Because there are dozens of great books out there that will make you laugh so hard you shoot milk out of your nostrils and my friends, we like to share the good stuff when we find it.
For a quick resource that gives you some awesome titles to pick up right now, download:
As if you needed more reasons to find some funny books to put in front of you child, here are several:
- NOTHING makes for a better read-aloud than a funny story. Really.
- When your child has had a hard day at school, a funny book can pull her out of a funk.
- Some funny stories actually teach lessons, have a moral, or help you drive home a parenting point. Use them accordingly.
- Some funny stories have absolutely no point to them whatsoever except they are just funny. That is perfectly fine too and makes for lighthearted reading which is a benefit unto itself.
- Humor may just be the absolute easiest way to hook a reluctant reader to open a book. Start with funny books if you just don’t know where to start. I promise, you can’t go wrong!
- Sometimes the illustrations are the funniest part. Use them in a read-aloud to get your child talking about what the illustrator is trying to say through pictures.
- Authors who use humor are often crafty in their language. Maybe the book is rhyme-y or poetic. Funny language can be a great tool for easily remembering new vocabulary words.
Last week on the blog we covered how to create a reader-friendly home. In that article and in the free essential checklist available for you to download, I suggested you set up a book nook; a place for your child to get cozy and read. I also suggested making a basket of books and other readable items for your child to always have access to (keep it in a SUPER conspicuous location!). Today I build on those recommendations for your child who avoids reading. Fill that book nook and book basket with loads of humor and you’ll have a whole lot less trouble pealing him away from the video game console. Go ahead, test it out. I can't wait until you see the results!