Toddler, Child
29th Oct 2020

For most of us, the act of blowing our noses seems like second nature. But, for young children who don’t yet have years of cold seasons and high pollen count days under their belt, it may be a challenging learning curve.

Much like other healthy hygiene habits (such as thorough hand washing and coughing into their elbow) your child may need some guidance to begin with when it comes to effectively and hygienically blowing their nose.

Have you noticed your child needing to blow their nose, but struggling to make the manoeuvre? As is the case with educating children on a day-to-day skill, there are a variety of ways in which you can coax your little one to learn how.

Four Fun Ways You Can Teach Your Little One How To Blow Their Nose

Teaching your little one a new skill doesn’t have to be boring! When it comes to blowing their nose, there are some fun ways that you can teach them how to master the motion.

The Tissue Test

In order to effectively blow their nose, you little one will need to muster the strength to blow with a bit more force than they’re used to.

The tissue test can be a helpful teacher for this skill, and can be conducted by following these steps:

1. Begin by encouraging your child to take a deep breath and clasp their teeth together while you hold a tissue in your fingers roughly three centimetres from their face.

2. Tell your child to blow through their nose only to see how far they can move the tissue.

3. Gradually move the tissue further and further away, teaching them the concept of blowing with force through their nose, while also keeping their mouth closed.

The Foggy Mirror

Another simple activity you can employ to help teach your little one how to blow their nose is the foggy mirror game.

Simply find a mirror, instruct your child to pinch one nostril closed, then encourage them to blow air through the other nostril towards the mirror.

See how much fog they can make each time as you encourage them to blow harder and with more force.

Top tip: keep a box of tissues on hand in case of any rogue mucous.

Sticker Charts

As an incentive for their hard work, you may like to craft a sticker chart to mark your little one’s progress towards mastering nose-blowing.

When they blow their nose (and remember to dispose of the tissue and wash their hands afterwards) reward them with a sticker on their chart.

This can serve to positively reinforce the behaviour and help encourage them to continue their new, productive habit.

The Blow Far Race

Another technique for teaching your little one how to blow out through their nose with force, the blow far race is just as it sounds.

Place a cotton ball, a tissue or a feather on a flat surface and instruct your child use their nasal blowing strength to move it along the surface as quickly as possible.

To up the stakes and gamify the race further, you may like to participate yourself, or recruit the help of a sibling.

Other Helpful Tips to Keep in Mind

Teach Them Early

Rather than wait until your child comes down with a cold, be proactive and teach them how to blow their nose while their nasal passages are clear.

Generally, children as young as two can begin to learn the motion (1). By breaking down the act of blowing their nose so that they understand each component, you may help to provide clarity on how to correctly (and hygienically) clear out any excess mucous.

Demonstrate The Skill Yourself

Like many other things they see during the day, your child likely enjoys mimicking your behaviour every now and then. So, why not demonstrate to them how to blow your nose? When doing it, make a point of explaining how and why you’re performing the motion and how it can be very simple with some practice.

Be Prepared

You never know when a rogue sneeze will catch your child off guard, so teach your little one to always have a tissue in their pocket or backpack to help them deal with pesky sniffles.

Then, if they feel the need to blow their nose, they’re already equipped with the tools they need.

Top tip: Remember to teach your child to dispose of their tissues after use and to remove unused tissues from pockets – nobody likes unwanted paper snow in the washing machine!

Ensuring your little one can blow their nose confidently and hygienically is an important part of teaching them healthy hygiene habits.

While it may be difficult for your child to grasp the concept, with patience and perseverance, they’ll be reaching for the tissues on their own in no time.

Looking for more helpful hints for managing your little one’s runny nose? If so, you may enjoy the following:

Healthy Hygiene Habits To Teach Your Little One

The Most Common Illnesses For Children And How To Spot Them

References:

  1. Webber, A. (n.d.). How to Teach Your Kid to Blow His Nose. [online] Available at: https://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/development/when-will-my-child-be-able-to-blow-his-own-nose/ [Accessed 7 Oct. 2020].

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