Why Laughter Is a Sign of Learning

How to Make Baby Laugh

Here are some great ways to get the giggles together.

Newborn to Age 1

  • Play "This Little Piggy" with gentle tickling.
  • Say "Uh-oh!" with a silly voice and face whenever your baby deliberately drops something.
  • Play peekaboo and change your facial expression every time you reveal yourself.

Ages 1 to 2

  • Play "chase/kiss": Crawl after baby ("I'm gonna get you!") and reward the capture with snuggles.
  • Make funny faces and encourage your child to imitate you.
  • Sing and speak in rhyme.

Ages 2 to 4

  • Break out your old camp songs with their silly choruses.
  • Play dress up: Encourage your child to put on your clothes and pretend to put on his.
  • Have fun with food: Make a smiley face with Cheerios in your child's oatmeal.

Emily Perlman Abedon, a mother of four, is a writer based in Charleston, South Carolina.

Originally published in American Baby magazine, October 2004.

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