Teaching your child to blow their nose

Winter is here… and that means the sniffles! It’s a good idea to teach children how to blow their nose as a goal before the cold weather arrives. Then they will be ready for runny noses.

Fine motor, cognitive and sensory skills are needed for nose blowing. For example, kids need to be able to use tissues or understand the sensations that signal it’s time to clear the nose.

To get things started, here are some fun activities that focus on how to breathe out through the nose.

  • Play Simon Says. It’s a great game that encourages children to follow instructions. Hold down one nostril and practice fast and slow breathing. Switch sides and try with both nostrils, then blow into a tissue.
  • Pretend to be a powerful dragon breathing. Kids love to imitate creatures. Have them take a deep breath, close their mouth, and then puff the air out through their nose.
  • Challenge them to a race, blowing a cotton ball (or something light) with their nose to a finish line. If you’re doing this with someone on Zoom, use a stopwatch and try to beat the best time.
  • Put a small mirror under the nose and breathe out to fog it up.
  • Pretend to blow out an imaginary candle with your nose. It’s a great activity for children to copy.

Give these a try and see which one works best for your child to fight the sniffles. These activities are also achievable via Zoom Telehealth.

Meanwhile, have fun and stay warm!

Jessica Lee is an Occupational Therapist at Plumtree. You can find more tips on her Instagram blog: jessthanperfect_ot

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