How to Teach a Child to Blow

Updated on March 21, 2010
H.S. asks from Mission, KS
11 answers


My daughter is 3 years old, and has a really hard time blowing. She can't seem to grasp the concept of how to blow out candles or blow bubbles. I have shown her, as has my husband how to purse her lips and blow, but she just doesn't seem to get that you have to keep your lips pursed while blowing. Nor does she understand that you can't blow through your teeth to do these things. I have given her musical intstruments (recorder, kazoo, etc) and she does fine with those. We tried having her blow through a straw, and that was OK, but she didn't really want to try it.

I'm not concerned about her development or anything, but I'd like to help her with this, as she gets very upset when other kids blow out her candles for her at her birthday (and they ALWAYS do because she takes so long with it). She also gets very frustrated about trying to blow bubbles.

All the other kids in our family had no trouble learning to blow, so I'm not sure how to help her. Does anyone else have any experience with this? I would appreciate any suggestions if you have encountered the same type of thing.

Firstly, thanks to everyone for your response and ideas. I like the idea of the cotton ball game or using the pinwheels. We will try those for sure! I have already tried the recorder and other wind instruments as well as a straw, as stated above, so those haven't helped much. To answer any other questions, no, my daughter does not have a speech disorder or any type of disability. She just forgets to keep her lips slightly parted and puckered for blowing. No, this is not a made up problem or attention getter. I am still open to other tricks or tactics for anyone else who has dealt with this issue.

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answers from Austin on

have her drink from straws let her work on blowing bubbles in her milk. Tell her she knows how to suck in, so now suck out...

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answers from Chicago on

Buy her a bunch of different, cheap plastic whistles. Slide whistles, whistles in the shape of a train, etc. Try your local dollar store.

Also -- play this game with her: place cotton balls on the table and blow them across table using straws.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Sometimes kids blow out their nose. I played games with my son to teach him how to blow by first talking funny when we pinched our nose. We did that then with our nose pinched we blew very small little pieces of tissue paper with a straw. The other thing is we played tickle monster running around the house alot just to get his diaphram stronger. If you blow out you'll feel it in your stomach. We made it all games though. Good luck.

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answers from Kansas City on

Not sure if you've tried this, but when I was teaching my kids how to blow I bought one of those pinwheel things ( can't remember the exact name) they are really cheap at walmart in the toy dept . They can blow one way and flip it over and make it go a different direction. They sometimes come in neat designs too to make them want to play with them. Good luck

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answers from Kansas City on

Does she seem to have any speech delays or difficulty eating?? If so, I would check with a speech or occupational therapist. My son is 2 and also has difficulty blowing, but he has other issues going on as well (speech & feeding disorders). Speech, eating, blowing, etc all require a lot of muscles and coordination that doesn't come easily for some kids and may require the assistance of an OT/SLP. If there are any concerns with her language skills and/or any eating/drinking issues, I would have her checked out. If not, then I agree with some of the other suggestions about different activities to encourage blowing... My son's therapists' use whistles, straws, blowing cotton across the table, etc to encourage him to blow. One thing his therapist recently suggested we try is catching a bubble on the wand and encouraging him to kiss the bubble - that way he is puckering up and he begins to associate that pucker with the bubbles/wand.

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answers from St. Louis on

I agree that having her blow through a straw may help her learn the concept. When we were approaching my daughter's 2nd bday and she was struggling with blowing, she could blow into one of those party noisemaker things where the curled paper opens up when you blow. We took off the paper part and let her blow her candles with that big "straw" since she hadn't yet figured out how to open her lips just a little. Using a drinking straw to blow cotton balls or bubbles is a good idea.



answers from Kansas City on

Our parents as teachers bought cheap little recorders (music instrument) and that is how we worked with the girls on blowing.



answers from St. Louis on

I'm going waaaay out on a limb here: since you've tried so many different ways to show her how to do it & she displays frustration with the other children..........hmmm, here we go.....could it be an attention-getter?

Is it possible she really does know "how", but is messing with you? I truly, truly hope I am wrong! BUT, in my daycare, one of the little girls completely & totally put one over on her Momma & me. For 1 1/2 YEARS, this child refused to sing the ABC song, refused to do ABC activities, & displayed belligerance & tears when the other children participated in the fun. She repeatedly did her litany of "I can't, I don't know how".....all in an attempt to manipulate the group & her family at home when they practiced with her & ME!!! 1 1/2 YEARS of this!

Until the day when I sat down with Mom & recommended that she seek professional help & counseling to better prepare her child for KG. Mom was upset that (in her words) I was taking the iniative in recommending help ....not because she did not think it was my place.....BUT because I was confirming what they had documented at home & feared a need to pursue - I was confirming her worst fears. We all truly believed that this child did not know HOW to do the ABCs, & the child was 5...just months before starting KG.

The VERY NEXT day, this child came in & told me a very elaborate & happy story about how MeMaw & Mommy taught her how to do her ABCs the previous night. I was ecstatic, & when she sang for me....she sang almost every letter! The whole group praised her, did the hip-hip-hooray victory dance, & I took the time to send Mom an email .....congratulating her on their breakthrough.

NOPE, Mom & MeMaw did not spend any time whatsoever with her. It was a completely fabricated story! This child knew that she was going to have to either own up to knowing her stuff (& a whole lot more)......or she was going to have to face lots & lots of extra "school" stuff to get ready for KG. She had us completely comfuzzled.....& in the end, her mother & I had a good, long laugh over how absolutely smart & manipulative & scary this child was! It was either laugh over the event OR scream in frustration!

Are you looking at a situation like this? I truly hope not.....& I wish you Peace!



answers from Santa Barbara on

Is the air coming out her nose instead of her mouth? If so, it might be an organic issue that a Speech/Language therapist can help with. Somet.hing to check on



answers from St. Louis on

Have another child close to her age or alittle older show her how to blow, children learn faster from another child because they are closer to the same
level, at least my chilren did. I had a boy and girl 11 months apart ( not planned ) my son learned things on his own while my daughter watched him and picked things up so fast, that I ask their Dr. about it and that's when I found out that they can learn from another child faster or at least
that's what the Dr. said. Good Luck



answers from Kansas City on

I have 6 grandkids and they all love to blow out any candle I light, tealights, tc.its a game I start in one room and they follow me around blowing them out, and bubbles are the nest best think. This is going to make alot of people mad but if u smoke have her blow ur cig smoke away. Or cut out a piece of paper Round like 2 inch circle bend it like a half cone and have her blow it across the table but you have got to make it fun an only you and her or daddy and her no audiance and no pressure.