How to use this site    About Us    Submissions    Feedback    Donate    Links - School Assemblies for every season for everyone

Decorative image - Primary

Email Twitter Facebook


Having a Laugh!

The power of laughter

by Claire Law

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To consider the power of laughter.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Having a Laugh!) and the means to display them.
  • Have available the YouTube video ‘Baby laughing hysterically at ripping paper’ and the means to show it during the assembly. It is 1.43 minutes long and is available at:


  1. Show Slide 1.

    Ask the children what all the people shown on the slide have in common.

  2. Explain that you are going to tell three jokes and you want the children to give a thumbs up or a thumbs down depending on how funny they think the joke is.

    - What do you call a dog that can do magic? A Labracadabrador.
    (Pause to allow time for thumbs up/down.)
    - Why couldn’t the bike stand up by itself? It was two tired.
    (Pause to allow time for thumbs up/down.)
    - How does a penguin build its house? Igloos it together.
    (Pause to allow time for thumbs up/down.)

    Point out that even though the jokes weren’t that funny, they succeeded in uniting us and brought a bit of a smile, or perhaps a groan.

  3. Explain that laughing can be really helpful when we feel under pressure, sad or alone. Over the past few months, and especially during the difficult period of lockdown, laughter has been especially important for people.

  4. Laughter has an amazing effect on our bodies, making us feel better and less stressed.

    Show the YouTube video ‘Baby laughing hysterically at ripping paper’.

  5. Explain that the video shows the interaction between an adult and a baby. The baby’s laughter is infectious; we can hear the dad laughing with the baby.

    Explain that the piece of paper being ripped up was bad news in the form of a job rejection letter. Between them, the dad and the baby find a way to manage that disappointing news through the power of laughter. The dad must have felt much more positive about life after this exchange of laughter and the baby has had a chance to connect and share a positive moment with his dad.

    It’s great that even at this young age, we can benefit from laughter. In fact, the Navajo, a Native American tribe, have a ceremony to mark and celebrate a baby’s first laugh because it is seen as an important milestone in the baby’s introduction to and membership of the community.

  6. Show Slide 2.

    Laughter connects us in a powerful way; it feels good when we share laughter with others. Laughter helps us to manage pain, strengthens our immune systems and relaxes us. It raises our mood, is good for the heart and improves blood circulation. It feels good to laugh: laughter is good for us.

  7. Of course, the power of laughter can be used in less positive ways. Sadly, many of us will have been laughed at during our lives. Sometimes, people use laughter as a way of poking fun or mocking another person. There is a fine line between gentle banter that pokes fun and cruel humour that is hurtful and unkind. It takes maturity and wisdom to understand the difference.

  8. So, how can we ensure that laughter has a positive impact that benefits ourselves and others, and avoid the use of humour to hurt others?

    Show Slide 3.

    - A good place to start is to smile more: think of smiling as a warm-up to laughter. When we smile, we show others that we are open to laughter.
    - We could think of the last thing that made us laugh really hard, and do more of that. It might be watching a TV show, spending time with a friend or doing a particular activity or sport.
    - We can also learn to see the funny side in ourselves. Learning to laugh at ourselves takes some of the pressure off and gives us permission to be silly. At the right moment, being silly is a plus. Let’s look for the funny side of things.

Time for reflection

Did you know that many religious teachers have used humour? Many of Jesus’ parables included funny images that would have made his audience laugh. Once, he spoke of a camel going through the eye of a needle and another time, he mentioned someone with a plank of wood in his own eye who was focusing on the splinter in another’s eye. Perhaps neither of these examples seem that funny to us now, but at the time, these visual images and funny observations showed Jesus to be someone who could spot and use humour within the serious.

So, let’s reflect for a moment on what we’ve learnt today: humour and laughter can connect us and help us to manage stress. Laughter is good for us and, when it is used with kindness, can help others, too.

Dear God,
We have the power to make people smile and laugh.
Help us to use this power well.
We thank you for the many people who bring us joy and laughter.
Please help us to know the right time and the right place for laughter.
Help us always to be kind and considerate.

Publication date: October 2020   (Vol.22 No.10)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
Print this page