“OO-ee-oo-aah-ahh, ting tang walla walla bing bang.” When your parenting advice starts sounding like the Witch Doctor, you know you are set up for some silliness and laughter. Actually, as a parent, I consider it quite an accomplishment when I can make someone in my family laugh out loud. It can be as important as feeding them a good meal, although we can benefit from it way more than 3 times a day. One of my summer goals is to LAUGH more with my family. So I plan to share some serious silliness, and it’s benefits, with as many families as possible through Kindermusik and fun filled articles this summer. Join me !
Much of the fun of songs full of non-sense words is that the language and the laughter is universal – it sounds the same in any language. And to a child, funny things can be found anywhere – mouth noises, silly faces, spinning until you are dizzy then trying to walk…
On average, children laugh about 200 times every day. It is fascinating to watch a child as they begin to develop a sense of humor. Babies can simply get started giggling when presented with silly faces and sounds. Peek-a-boo takes it to the next level ! Toddlers, with a growing sense of understanding an order, start to see things that are not quite as they should be, they often find this as FUNNY (instead of frustrating, like us adults). They LOVE to catch you and correct as you say and do things that are not the same, like saying “I’m tickling your ear.” when in fact you are tickling their knee, and then they LAUGH at the surprise on your face when you “realize your mistake”. Parents often choose to become delightful actors on the stage of parenthood, as all good stories need some comic relief.
Silliness is a great way to evoke laughter and foster the development of humor. So in our Kindermusik classes, we include a lot of it in class each week, including singing songs with silly words (guli, guli, guli, guli, guly ram sam sam), playing egg shakers up high, down low, or hiding behind our back. How many can I hold (or gather) is a popular silly game in our class, and it is ever so much more fun watching the initial interactions of young ones sharing and laughing in the music making process.
In our Saturday Family class this summer, we take a little rhyme called “Itsy Bitsy Mousekins” and make it into a finger play with a surprise tickle at the end, and extend the fun into a full body movement game in which we hide under a blanket (to hide from the cat) and peek out to see if it is safe. The theme of the whole unit is “Silly All Over”, and we explore silliness in so many ways with the whole family.
Our 2014 Kindermusik Summer Adventures for families and preschoolers are also full of silliness. The “Monkey See, Monkey Do” song from Zoo Train starts out as a simple game, but once it gets silly – watch out for rolling laughter !
Babies start to anticipate the sudden stops and drops in the middle of a silly lap bounce for the “Busy Days” babies class, and it just gets their giggle buttons started.
All that laughing encourages your child’s physical, emotional, and social health… as well as all the same benefits come to the parents who laugh along with. Smiling and laughter can strengthen the immune system, lower blood pressure, and reduce stress levels in children and adults. This posting “The Family that Laughs Together“, by Kindermusik International, discusses even more of the benefits.
PLUS, silliness and laughter can be a developmentally appropriate way to motivate, engage and redirect your child during these years.
What silly songs does your family like to sing? Does your family spontaneously break into “Doot- doo-do-doo-do — Ma-na-ma-na”? We do, even my hubby gets in on that one. It has easily been modified to motivate my daughter to “Do Do the Dishes…”. Even though my daughter is singing “ma-na-ma-NO”, she is still putting the clean dishes away, and dancing around the kitchen, until she is “Doot-doot-doot-doot-DONE”.
“Waddly Atcha Waddly Atcha, Doodly Doo, Doodly Doo” – Did you sing that song as a child? It’s FUN, It’s SILLY. “It’s the simplest song, nothing much to it, all you’ve got to do is doodly doo it.” Starting to this song, and coming up with new nonsense words to use with the melody has often been used on long car rides to prevent or redirect some annoying behaviors.
Although not a part of Kindermusik, The Witch Doctor song is one of our family’s favorites. And occasionally, like when the “why” question is on its 100th round, this answer might erupt, sometimes stated in a full bodied low voice sounding gruff, like at the beginning of this video. And we get totally set in a new direction after singing this a bit !
We have lots of silly songs, and sounds, and movements to share with you through Kindermusik, so join our classes this summer and expand your repertoire. A bit of levity can make the family’s overall daily routines so much more fun and less stressful. Honestly, adding laughter to your day is as important as eating well in your efforts to stay healthy !
How do YOU use humor in your daily lives with your children? Please share !