On 18th November students are taking part in 'Voice Box', which is an annual national joke competition for schools. The competition is designed to raise awareness of the fun and importance of communication in a light-hearted and inclusive way. It is a joint initiative from the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) and The Communication Trust (TCT).
Here are some of the benefits of using humour in learning and therapeutic intervention:
- Develops language skills (understanding of non-literal and figurative language; vocabulary; semantic understanding etc.)
- Develops expressive skills (e.g. articulation, using phrases and sentences etc.)
- Develops social interaction (e.g. initiating, turn taking, sharing eye contact etc.)
- Develops social/emotional connection; builds relationships
- Encourages creativity/ thinking /problem solving
- Improves learning/recall
- Increased and sustained attention
- Carry over task (use outside of group) to share with others
- Reduces tension & anxiety
- Improves physical & mental health. Body may respond to humour in similar way to exercise. Laughter activates pathways in our brain that makes us feel good.
- Laughter uses facial, respiratory and laryngeal muscles which maximises opportunities to access voicing (vocalisations and/or speech)
- Makes session more interesting & enjoyable; students want to come back
As part of this we will be sharing a ‘joke of the day’. Jokes provide a playground for language acquisition and a template for turn taking and initiating. You could use our daily joke to think about the different ways we use language with your child (e.g. can they tell you the two meanings of a word? Can they pick out the rhyming words? etc.)
There are lots of different ways we can create humour and shared enjoyment, not just through the use of jokes. Here are some ideas of things you could do with your child to create laughter:
- Telling a Joke (learning one or making one of their own up)
- Funny story or rhyme
- Sharing a comedy sketch/clip (e.g. Mr Bean)
- Silly songs, noises or voices
- Pulling funny faces
- Dance move
- Pretend play and role play/acting out funny scene
- Silly hats/glasses/wigs etc.
- Magic trick
- Funny photo, picture or drawing.
- Pretending not to know what to do with an object (e.g. putting cup on your head)
- Laughter break/yoga- laughter is contagious,start laughing and see if your child joins in!
- Games with anticipation (e.g. peek-a-boo, chase/tag, tickling etc.)
- A character/cartoon from a TV programme, book or comic
You can find out more information about the competition at:
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