On Halloween, did you know that in some parts of the country, children have to tell a joke or do something to earn their trick-or-treat candy? In St. Louis, Missouri, and Des Moines, Iowa, the Halloween joke-telling tradition is strong.
Learning to appreciate and re-tell jokes is an important step in a child's intellectual development. Joking is great for growing brains. (Not growing brains as in Frankenstein's lab, but, you get it...)
Jokes are also good for aging brains. This is a great reason for grandparents and grandchildren to share the fun of telling jokes.
The Science Behind Joking
Scientists have studied how jokes are processed by the brain. Researchers say that getting a joke involves the process of frame-shifting. You receive information in context—the frame—but with jokes, the punchline requires you to shift your frame and look at the information in a different light.
In the case of puns, the joke leads you to interpret a word or phrase in a normal way, and to get the joke, you must interpret it in a different way. It's all about flexible thinking, and it is good for brains young and old.
In addition to providing exercise for the brain, laughter can actually provide exercise for the body. Have you ever laughed so hard that you lost your breath? The act of laughing stimulates the circulatory system and the respiratory system. In addition, laughter may release beneficial chemicals that combat stress and depression.
Sharing jokes also help us bond with others. The next time you have some time to spend with the children or grandkids, go for a big belly laugh or at least a chuckle or two. (Children are also suckers for animal jokes and food jokes, too.)
01 of 05
Witch costumes are classic and endlessly popular every year at Halloween. Have a few witch jokes handy for those who cross your path.
- Q) Why do witches wear name tags? A) So they will know which witch is which.
- Q) What do you call two witches sharing an apartment? A) Broom-mates
- Q) What is a little witch's favorite subject in school? A) Spell-ing
- Q) Why did the witch give up fortune-telling? A) Because there was no future in it.
- Q) What did the witch serve her friends who dropped in at dinner time? A) Potluck
- Q) What is the difference between a witch and the letters "M, A, K, E, S?" A) One makes spells and the other spells "makes."
- Q) How do you make a witch itch? A) Take away the "w."
- Q) How does a witch tell time? A) She looks at her witch-watch.
- Q) Why is a witch's face like a million dollars? A) It's green and wrinkly.
- Q) What do witches use on their hair? A) Scare spray.
02 of 05
These vampire jokes, like many other Halloween jokes, rely largely on puns. It's so much fun when kids get the hang of puns.
- Q) Why didn't anyone want to babysit the little vampire? A) Because he was a pain in the neck.
- Q) What is Dracula's favorite place in New York City? A) The Vampire State Building
- Q) What did the little vampire say when he went to bed? A) Turn on the dark, I am afraid of the light.
- Q) What did the vampire say to his victim? A) It's been nice gnawing you.
- Q) Why do little vampires look forward to school lunches? A) Because they know they won't get stake.
- Q) Who did Dracula take out on a date? A) His ghoul friend
- Q) What do vampires fear the most? A) Tooth decay
- Q) How do you join Dracula's fan club? A) Send your name, address, and blood type.
- Q) What's a vampire's favorite fruit? A) Nectarines
- Q) What's a vampire's favorite animal? A) A giraffe
03 of 05
For some reason ghosts are great subjects for humor, most of them playing on the theme of invisibility. Enjoy more jokes and riddles with a ghostly theme.
- Q) Why are ghosts such terrible liars? A) Because you can see right through them.
- Q) How did the little ghost learn to play the piano? A) By using sheet music
04 of 05
A clever joke is the only accessory needed for a cute skeleton costume. There are a lot more skeleton jokes where these came from:
Continue to 5 of 5 below.
- Q) Why don't skeletons like to go to parties? A) Because they have no body to dance with.
- Q) What do you call a lie told by a skeleton? A) A little fib-ula
05 of 05
Pirates are wildly popular, so why not harness that popularity for fun and learning? Pirate jokes are easy for children to improvise, too, since so many of them play on the sound of "r," as in "Aargh!" These are just some of the many crazy pirate jokes that are great for kids:
- Q) Why did the pirate buy his earring at the dollar store? A) Because he only wanted to pay a buck-an-ear.
- Q) What does a pirate look for although it's always right behind him? A) His booty