Friday, May 6, 2011

Tip 26: That's Punny - Frontal Lobe Flexibility builders

As we mature we develop the capacity to solve problems we have never seen before, plan for the future, and adapt to change. These skills depend on a mature frontal lobe and flexibility of thinking is a key omponent of these capacities. Puns (word play) are one of the most fun examples of this flexibility. At about four or five, children start to appreciate puns. My daughter Heather's first puny joke, at about four and a half years was,

"Why did the turtle cross the road?" - to get to the Shell station."

Below are some punny jokes (adapted from the website -clean one-liner puns) you can share with your youngsters at different ages  - see if once inspired your child(ren) come up with some of their own.

Simple puns, easy vocabulary -Ages 4-7 years - no reading required
1. Why didn't the turkey cross the road? Because he wasn't chicken.
2. Where do you find chili beans? At the North Pole.
3. When a clock is still hungry, it goes back four seconds.
4. Why can't a bicycle stand on its own? Because it's two tired.
5. What do you call a train loaded with gum? A chew chew

More sophisticated, higher level vocabulary -Ages 8-11-reading ability helps understanding
1. What do you call a country where everyone drives a red car?  A red carnation.
2. Energizer Bunny arrested - charged with battery.
3. Sea captains don't like crew cuts.
4. What do you get from pampered cows? Spoiled milk.
5. A gossip is someone with a great sense of rumor.
6. Dijon vu - the same mustard as before
7 a boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat

Mature puntentions - Ages Pre-teen on up
1. A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.
2.With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
3. The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.
4. He had a photographic memory that was never developed.
5. Once you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall.
6. When an actress saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.
7. Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.
8. Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.
9.Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
10. Without geometry, life is pointless.

A pun is a "play on words", because it is fun (although a little silly), but a great way to build a sense of how words are arbitrary symbols ( translation-can have double meanings)

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