Want your kids to be smart? A new study has shown that joking and pretending with your children gives their development a boost.
University of Sheffield study showed that children as young as 16 months old naturally learn the difference between joking and pretending by picking up on their parents’ cues, and understanding the difference between the two allowed them the opportunity to learn, imagine, bond, and think in abstract ways.
Dr Elena Hoicka said that the study showed just how important play was to children’s development. Parents who pretend and joke with their children offer cues to distinguish the difference between the two and toddlers take advantage of these cues to perform.
She added that the research revealed the process in which toddlers learn to distinguish joking and pretending.
Knowing how to joke is good for maintaining relationships, thinking outside the box, and enjoying life. Pretending helps children to practice new skills and learn new information, she said.
The study is published in Cognitive Science.