The way a child and adult respond to a specific joke tells a thing or two about how far they've come in life. Humor, in general, requires a bit of intellect to appreciate; you can't laugh at a joke if you don't get it, after all. However, the jokes one laughs at in his childhood days may not have the same effect to him when he grows up.
Dr. Lawrence Kutner, clinical psychologist at Harvard Medical School, believes humor is key to child development. A months-old baby may be amused at a simple peekaboo act; but as he learns new things, the peekaboo act will cease to amaze him. This is why rib-tickling and funny children's books are designed to cater to a specific age range although this doesn't mean that they can't be appreciated across all ages.
Kutner says children can learn a new concept and play with it; this opens children to newer avenues of learning in their later years. Children may learn to laugh at odd things, which Kutner states as their way to learn the existence of order in the world. In his example, wearing a sock on your foot isn't funny, but wearing it on your ear may likely be.
However, just like most jokes, child humor can grow stale over time when done multiple times. Soon enough, the child, especially if nearing adolescence, will look to other, more complex jokes to tickle his funny bones. This further proves that the child is moving to new avenues of learning, which is essential for overall development.
Story writers are careful not to be too intricate with their stories and not include ideas children may not understand. Good writing skills also entail knowing the target audience and adapting the language accordingly to properly communicate to that audience. Reading may create future leaders and success stories, but adding a dash of laughter can ensure an entire generation of them, and to think it all starts by looking for interesting and funny books to read.
You can read Kutner's article at PsychCentral.com for more information on how humor can help a child develop. Encourage children to read in their early years. This will make them appreciate reading more as they grow older.
Funny Children's Books Help in Child Development according t