Wednesday, October 8, 2014
NAEYC has an article about putting humor in the classroom. They suggest making up silly rhymes. When I would sing to relieve stress or frustration this is what I was doing. Sometimes I would do it as they suggest and use phases like I just finished a puzzle wuzzle. I would do this when a child was learning how to talk or having a hard time with a certain syllable or the sound of a word. The children would try to repeat this and often made me laugh but it also helped the child learn the sound.
Another suggestion NAEYC makes is to do tongue twisters. Where I worked with toddlers this really couldn't be done. Children this age already have a hard time learning the syllables and sounds and it would only frustrate them. I instead brought this concept in with music and would play music that did tongue twisters and dance to the music. If a object was mentioned in the music that happened to be in the room I would hold it and point to it when the music said the word.
Other suggestions it mentions are replacing key words in songs and being absurd. Being absurd was never a problem. This is when I had the most fun and so did the children. I would often do this when the room was full of children crying. It got them to calm down and stop crying because I would be acting so absurd it would make them stop crying and they would stop and watch me and listen to the silly song I was singing.
This article also suggests modeling humor behavior in the dramatic play area, and reading humorous books. Some of my favorite authors who do humor well are Mo Williams and Sandra Boynton. I would read these authors a lot to the children and point things out in the pictures to show the humor. The article suggests having a silly face contest which would be fun to do with preschool and pre-k aged children.
The last three suggestions are to sing funny songs which I did on a daily basis and would play funny songs to lighten the mood in the room. It also says to fill a hoola hoop with preschoolers and see how many it will hold. The last one is to laugh and to let the children see you laugh. The children did see me laugh almost on a daily basis but certainly a weekly one. At least once a day someone would do or say something that made me laugh. Here's a link to the article if someone is interested.
Ideas for bringing humor into the classroom