Things That Toddlers Find Funny

By Liezel L November 20, 2023

A child’s laughter is one of life’s most cherished treasures, and while it may seem effortless to evoke giggles from toddlers, it helps to understand precisely what tickles their funny bone. Here are nine amusing activities that can trigger a toddler’s laughter: tickling, physical humor, little white lie jokes, rhymes, exaggerated melodrama, silly faces, wearing clothes backward, funny sounds, and others laughing along.

While figuring out what makes a toddler laugh can be challenging, as each child has unique preferences and perspectives, there are several tips for teachers, parents, or anyone interacting with toddlers regularly to elicit those precious giggles.

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Tickling is a favorite among toddlers, reflecting their developing sense of humor. The Tickle Me Elmo toy has long been a popular choice for eliciting laughter from toddlers, with its ability to provide safe and playful tickles. Understanding the distinction between “light” and “heavy” tickles remains a topic of speculation among scientists, with various theories regarding the reasons behind this laughter-inducing sensation.

Engaging in physical humor, such as exaggerated movements during storytelling or playtime, can easily amuse toddlers. A sudden fall or wearing unusual items like a shower curtain can bring hearty laughter from little ones.

Toddlers aged around 2-3 years begin to grasp language-based jokes, making little white lie jokes effectively evoke giggles. Utilizing familiar concepts and creating absurd scenarios can engage their evolving language skills and accelerate their vocabulary development.

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As toddlers reach the age of three, they start to appreciate rhymes and phonological awareness, making rhyming jokes a great option. Using familiar characters and incorporating Disney-based jokes can keep toddlers entertained and engaged.

Exaggerated reactions and melodrama to positive actions or even knock-knock jokes can elicit laughter from toddlers. Overreacting in response to their jokes or actions can create an atmosphere of playfulness and amusement.

Silly faces and wearing clothes backward or inside-out can humanize adults in toddlers’ eyes, allowing them to relate better and find humor in unexpected situations.

Funny sounds, including animal impressions or sound effects, can be incredibly entertaining for toddlers, especially during storytime.

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Finally, sharing laughter with toddlers is a simple yet effective way to trigger their amusement. Human laughter is contagious, and toddlers often mirror the laughter they see in others, making it an essential tool for social bonding and emotional connection.

Understanding these various ways to amuse toddlers, caregivers, and parents can create an environment that nurtures their development and fosters joy and laughter.