Get serious about giggling

Scotland's Big Laugh is on Saturday, January 24, 2015.
Scotland's Big Laugh is on Saturday, January 24, 2015.

In celebration of Scotland’s Big Laugh today (Saturday, January 24), an entire day dedicated to laughter, PlayTalkRead is encouraging parents and carers to enjoy a giggle with their wee one.

Laughter is proven to prevent illness, boost energy levels and helps build a closer bond between you and your child. Whether it’s being a tickle monster or making a bubble beard, chuckles and smiles from your baby will help make a positive difference to their health and happiness – and yours too.

The Scottish Government’s PlayTalkRead campaign highlights easy, fun ways to give little ones the best start in life through simple, free activities. A few minutes spent laughing together can easily fit into daily routines such as changing time, on the bus or keeping them contented in their high chair. You don’t need lots of toys or extra equipment – singing songs, playing peek-a-boo or pulling funny faces are all it takes.

Acting Minister for Children and Young People, Fiona McLeod commented: “Laughter really is the best medicine; it boosts the immune system and improves your little one’s quality of sleep. PlayTalkRead has lots of ideas to make your little one laugh and children of all ages can get involved. Babies learn to laugh before they learn to talk, crawl or walk – so you can do it from day one.”

Dr Suzanne Zeedyk, co-founder of Scotland’s Big Laugh and director of Connected Baby, commented: “For children, laughter creates trust in the people who laugh with them. It boosts the immune system. It relaxes you so you can learn better. It reduces fear and anxiety. In short, laughter makes life better.

“Encouraging laughter is all about engaging little ones in a comforting way – being close and connecting over something, be it playing, talking or reading. Ultimately, laughter is about sharing. Human brains were meant to share. Little ones’ brains share whatever emotional states are offered to them by the adults around them.”

Learning what makes your little one laugh can be useful when they’ve become frustrated, which means fewer tantrums, tears and stress. Laughter is also proven to prevent illness, boost energy levels and helps build a closer bond between you and your child.

PlayTalkRead has lots of ideas to help make your little one(s) laugh, visit www.playtalkread.org to download the ‘30 things to laugh at before you’re three’ list.

What makes your little one(s) giggle? Why not capture and share with PlayTalkRead on Facebook and Twitter @PlayTalkRead?