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The New York Post revealed that new research shows how old kids are when they start appreciating humor and cracking jokes and it’s probably sooner than you think. Researchers with the University of Bristol in the U.K. conducted The Early Humor Survey on 671 children from newborns to four years old to determine how humor develops as kids age.

They identify 21 different types of humor through the ages and find one month is the earliest age babies start to appreciate humor. The study also tells us what kids find most funny as they grow up:

  • The majority of kids are laughing at just two months old
  • Around 50% start making their own jokes by 11 months old and keep them coming often while engaged with others.
  • Babies younger than 12 months respond most to physical, visual and auditory humor through play, like a game of peek-a-boo, tickling, and using silly voices
  • When they’re about a year old, kids start to appreciate play-acting, like making animal sounds and trying to startle others
  • By the time they’re two, they enjoy what researchers call “nonsense humor” which can be funny statements like “dogs say ‘moo.’”
  • Understanding more complex gags, like puns, hand tricks and using no-no words comes around age three.

Study authors say that socialization is crucial to developing an appropriate sense of humor. Dr. Elena Hoicka explains, “Humor is a complex, developing process in the first four years of life.” Understanding how it first develops can give experts a better idea of how humor helps young kids “function cognitively, socially and in terms of mental health.”

Source: New York Post