Want to boost your toddler’s development? Put a toy chicken on your head

Parents who joke and pretend with their children are teaching them important life skills, research by the University of Sheffield has revealed.

The 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.

It also showed understanding the difference between the two allows children the opportunity to learn, imagine, bond, and think in abstract ways.

Researchers from the University’s Department of Psychology carried out two studies; one involved parents being asked to joke and pretend with their 16 to 20 month old children using actions. Jokes involved misusing objects like putting food on their heads and pretend play included activities like washing hands without soap or water.

In the second study, parents of 20 to 24 month olds were asked to joke and pretend verbally with their toddlers. Pretend play included parents telling their children a round block was a horse and jokes included mismatching items like saying that a toy chicken was a hat.

The research, which was published in Cognitive Science, found parents can offer explicit cues to help distinguish between joke and pretend intention contexts and children, even as young as 16 months old, pick up on those cues.

Elena Hoicka, Jessica Butcher. Parents Produce Explicit Cues That Help Toddlers Distinguish Joking and Pretending. Cognitive Science, 2015; DOI: 10.1111/cogs.12264

I love science jokes but the difference between biology jokes and chemistry jokes is huge i mean chemistry jokes are all cute like:
“Never trust an atom, they make up everything” and “Oxygen and potassium went on a date, it went OK” but biology jokes are really dirty like “I like sex like endoplasmic reticulum with ribosomes…rough” and “how do you make a hormone? don’t pay her” i mean srsly biology you could try to be less obvious