The How To Of Baby Laughing
Bring a baby to any adult – even the grumpiest or most inhibited – and see what happens. Without exception, they will try to make the baby laugh. Anthropologist, psychologist as well as other experts have some ideas about why this is so. For me it’s enough to believe that whenever a baby laughs, our humanity is somehow elated. Here in The How To Of Baby Laughing we will go over all the ways you can make baby laugh.
A baby’s laugh is addictive and infectious. Once you hear that first little giggle, you will do just about anything to re-create it. It helps to have a whole repertoire of tricks in your arsenal. I have discovered that all babies will laugh at least some of these tricks and some babies will find all of them hilarious. Some babies like repetition, such as dropping an object from a high point ( like from their high chair ) and having it repeatedly retrieved by Mommy or Daddy. Others like the unexpected, such as seeing a stuffed animal transported out of the room using a remote control truck.
50 Ways To Make Your Baby Laugh or Smile
Here are some very silly, sometimes stupid, but very effective ways to make a baby laugh out loud – including slight gags and the classic parlor tricks. Among these baby-tested formulas are peek-a-boos and blowing raspberries, but there are much more clever ideas.
- Disappearing Noodle : Have Daddy place the end of a long piece of spaghetti in his mouth and suck it in as quickly as possible.
- The Living Jack In The Box : Put Daddy in a large cardboard box. Then have the family sing Pop Goes The Weasel. When you get to the last line, then daddy pops out of the box!
- An Exaggerated Sneeze – Pretend to fake a sneeze that takes forever to arrive, “Ah- Ah – Ah- Ahhh – AHHHH – AHHHH CHOOOOOO”
- Have A Silly Face Content – All family members can compete for baby’s attention. Whoever gets the biggest laugh from baby is the winner.
- Play rap music while Grandma break dances using improvisational and non repetitive break dance
- This Little Piggy Toe Play – this is a game of every parent’s repertoire. Mind you, the original story of piggy’s going to the market is completely lost to Baby, but the line “Wee Wee Wee All The Way Home” always brings on peals of laughter
- Peek-A-Boo – Everyone knows this game. A favorite version is to have Mommy hide her head under a blanket and pop out at Baby with “boo!”
- Clear off a surface so there is no other objects to distract Baby. Set up rectangular blocks with just enough space between them to create a domino effect. Show Baby how to start the chain reaction.
- Baby’s Stinky Feet – Put your nose close to your Baby’s feet and make a face while saying “Pee-you Stinky!” in a high-pitched voice.
- Blow bubbles for baby with a bubble wand and soapy water ( for an extra giggle, have daddy attempt to catch the bubble with the tip of his nose )
- Fill a trash bag with about a dozen balloons and with baby watching from a stroller about 20 feet away from the house, release all the balloons at once from a second story window.
- Where Is The Baby Cookie? Place a baby cookie in a small bag, put the bag in a little box, put the box in a larger box and so on. Then have each family member open a box in front of Baby’s view, with Mommy opening the final bag and exclaiming, “HERE’s Baby’s cookie!”
- While Baby is sitting in his high chair, hold his hands down while you ask “How big is Baby?” Then, as you raise his arms over his head, add the words “SO BIG!”
- Blow a large bubble gum bubble, making sure you keep your face at a safe distance from baby. The slower you blow, the better.
- Using three times the amount of soap recommended, make a huge scented bubble bath for Daddy. Put Daddy in the tub so that only his head is showing above the bubbles. When the stage is finally set you can bring Baby in the room for Show & Smell.
- The Raspberry – Make sure your lips are moist, press them lightly against Baby’s belly or arm, and blow air out slowly to create a vibrating and tickling sensation. The louder the better.Ge
- Find The Lemon – Using three cups and a lemon, put one lemon under one of the cups, then shuffle all three cups around and have baby try to find the hidden lemon. Make sure you applaud and make a big fuss when baby finds the lemon.
- Take a small ball, such as a golf ball. Cut a hole in the cover of an old shoe box and make sure the hole is slightly larger than the ball. Invert the cover of the shoe box and assist Baby in manipulating the ball until it falls through the hole. Everytime the ball falls successfully through the hold, say “All Gone!” in a surprised and happy voice.
- Here Comes The Airplane – Feed Baby from the tip of a spoon in which you pretend is an airplane. Make whatever aerodynamic sounds you can think of as you loop the spoon in big circles in front of Baby. Then slowly and gently come in for a “landing” when you get to Baby’s lips. If Baby doesn’t open up for the airplane landing, try feeding Daddy or Grandpa this way.
- Stage A Concert – Using the cardboard tubes from inside a paper towel, pretend to play the drums in a “concert.” For some reason, all babies naturally use these tubs as instruments.
- Wake Up Dad! Daddy lays on the floor, faking sleep while emitting extremely loud, exaggerated snores. Every time Baby touches or pounds on Dads, he sits up in a mock surprise.
- Fill a clean spray bottle with warm water and spray Baby’s bare toes.
- While Mommy holds Baby on her lap facing a fully decorated Christmas tree in a room that is dimly lit, making sure that Baby is looking in the right direction, have someone turn on the Christmas tree lights. Now, this might not sound like a real thriller for you, but trust me – it will get a really great response from Baby, who is totally unsuspecting.
- Get a foam rubber or sponge animal damp so that you can compress it into a tiny ball that you conceal in the palm of your hand. Turn your palm up and release the sponge to its full size in front of Baby.
- Make hand sock puppets by painting faces with nail polish on old socks. Have Mommy and Daddy put on a four-character show by extending their hands and arms over the edge of a table so that only the puppets are visible to your Baby.
- Hold an “Elmo” impression contest, with each person introducing himself to Baby with Elmos high-pitched, goofy, hyper voice and high-pitched giggles. ( If you don’t know Elmo yet, you will soon )
- With Latin music playing in the background, form a conga line, and parade past Baby with Mommy kicking up her heels in front and Daddy bringing up the rear
- At a safe distance from Baby, have Daddy show his mastery of the Pogo stick.
- With music playing in the background, have Mommy and Daddy lie on the floor with feet against feet and do the bicycle exercise. Have someone else start and stop the music as a cue to start and stop the pedaling.
- The Magnet Trick – Place a metal object, like a spoon, on Baby’s highchair tray and drag a magnet under the tray so the object appears to move unassisted.
- Hang Baby’s favorite toy on a rope suspended from a branch and allow Baby to push the toy back & forth. Because of the pendulum effect, and the Baby’s power over her toy is greatly enhanced, it will really delight your Baby.
- Set a potted plant on a phonograph turntable at a safe distance from Baby’s reach. Put the turntable on the lowest speed and sing the song Ring Around The Rosy as the plant goes round and round.
- Chattering Teething – If you have a set of windup teeth, put them on the table and let them chatter in front of baby. The have the family members imitate the teeth.
- Do Like Baby Do – Have Daddy and Grandpa wears diapers made out of white towels or sheets and give each of them a baby bottle. Have them sit with Baby and share an afternoon snack.
- Dinner And A Show – While Baby is having dinner with the family, have the rest of the family perform by tapping glasses of water with a spoon. You need to make sure the glasses have different amounts of liquid so they will produce a variety of tones.
- Living Statues – Have members of the family dance around the room until Mommy touches someone on the top oft he head, at which point then he or she freezes in position. As Mommy continues to touch each player at random, each one is turned off and on like a windup toy.
- Have Daddy sit, facing Baby, with a paper cup balanced on the top of his head while Grandma fills the cup from a pitcher. Let Baby see at least a 10-inch stream of water. If Daddy is especially level-headed and steady, pour an additional ounce or two.
- Mechanical Soldier – Having Daddy stand as stiff as a toy solder, which his left arm extended straight out. Mom pushes down the extended arm and then Dad automatically raises his other arm, as if mechanically. Repeat this process several times. Baby will catch on and eventually you will get a laugh.
- Stage a water gun fight among all the family members in full view ( but also at a safe range ) from Baby. To make this even cooler, use different food coloring in each of the water guns.
- Holy Milk Carton – Punch small holes on the side near the bottom of an empty milk carton ( make sure not to punch the holes on the bottom of the carton ) As Baby watches, fill the carton with water and create a shower effect
- I’m Gonna Get You – From about 8 feet away, move slowly towards Baby while wiggling your fingers and repeating “I’m gonna GET you!” Be sure to emphasize on the word “Get” – tickle Baby once you “get” her.
- Draw a cartoon face on a piece of cardboard. Cut a hole where the mouth would be at. While Mommy is feeding Baby, have Daddy conceal an empty bowl behind the cardboard “face” so that Mommy can “feed” the cartoon cardboard face in between spoonfuls for Baby.
- Have Grandma squirt whipped cream onto Daddy’s face whenever Baby makes a vocal sound. Continue until the can is empty or when Baby laughs.
- Treasure Hunt – Bury Daddy in the sand up to his neck and seat Baby right next to his head. Baby can take it from there.
On a bed, let Baby crawl a few feet away from you. Then grab his legs and gently pull him back to his starting position while saying, “Ooo you come back here!” Most babies will continue to make efforts to crawl away, laughing harder with each try.
- Advanced Peek-A-Boo – Gather up several of Baby’ favorite persons in an adjoining room. Open and close the door, but instead have a different person behind the door and say “Peek-A-Boo!!!” The unexpected people change will delight Baby
- Shadow Play – In a darkened room, you can shine a flashlight against the wall. Position Baby so that the spontaneous movements of her hands and arms will create shadows. Even if she doesn’t connect them to her own body movements, your Baby will enjoy the moving patterns. You can also make a shadow puppet show for your baby.
- Tie a glove or sock to a string, and cause it to move along the table or the floor to make a life like impression. To make it even funnier, make barking or meowing noises depending on the size of the glove.
- Using Your Noggin – Attach a suction cup toy to your forehead and look at your baby while crossing your eyes ( if you can ) and saying “Huh?? What’s on my head?” Baby will find this hilarious.
- One of the oldest tricks in the book is Funny Ears. Insert your thumbs in your ears, with your fingers stretching outward and your palms facing Baby, then wiggle your fingers and stick out your tongue.
With trial and error you will learn what works best with your baby. The ideas in this article, the how to of baby laughing, are geared towards babies age 3 months (when they begin to have a sense of humor) to 14 months ( once they become more mobile it makes it harder for baby to be a captive audience)
Though the primary purpose of this article, the how to of baby laughing, was to make babies laugh, a funny thing happened. While I was experimenting with these exercises by having family perform for my baby, even the most reserved would lose their inhibitions and become goofy as the role required to be. When my baby laughed, it was a smash. But when my son would give a deadpan reaction, the scene was funnier, a roomful of grown-ups cracking up hysterically over their failed attempt to make a baby laugh. I believe that performing these routines is a great way to relieve tension and the stress of life with baby. Babies are the best audience to have, so lighten up and rediscover your sense of goofy and life with baby will be much more fun.