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Having a cold can be tough on families, especially those with younger children who may not yet have mastered the art of nose blowing. It can be uncomfortable for kids suffering with a runny nose, and frustrating for parents trying to teach their child a new skill whilst keeping the cold from spreading to everyone else. Help your kids master nose blowing and keep those colds contained with our simple kid-friendly guide on how to blow your nose.
Teach nose blowing when they're well
If you're teaching kids to blow their nose, make sure you tackle this handy skill before they actually get a cold. Congestion can interfere with their breathing and it can be overwhelming for them to try breathing through their nose while keeping their mouths shut. Teach them some tips when they are well, as they’ll be more enthusiastic about learning something new, and find it easier to practice nose-blowing techniques without a stuffy nose.
Keep a box of tissues in favourite play spots around the house so a tissue is always on hand for that runny nose. A tissue box with a fun colourful design, such as Cushelle, will make them extra tempting!
Blow your nose by example
Take your time when teaching kids to blow their nose. They won't grasp the concept immediately, as it may take a little while before they understand that air comes out of their mouth and their nose. Start by showing them what you do when you blow your nose, and explain to them why you do it. If they see you, your partner and their older siblings using tissues, they are more likely to copy. Provide them with a pack of super-soft facial tissues, like Cushelle, so they always have them at hand.
It’s easy to accidentally leave tissues in pockets, but there’s no need to worry about cleaning up any mess – Cushelle tissues will survive the wash.
Play silly games to help kids with nose blowing
As soon as they start to interact with toys, kids learn through play. And they learn through playing games as soon as they start to interact with others. You can harness this natural development to help with teaching kids to blow their nose.
The more fun and engaging you can make any process, the more likely little ones are to take it on board. And that goes double for the seemingly mundane activities we all have to do, like needing to blow your nose. One way to start teaching nose blowing is to introduce some techniques by way of a few fun games:
- The imitation game: Modelling behaviour is an age-old method when it comes to teaching, and it’s very likely that it played a huge part in you learning how to blow your nose when you were little. Sit opposite your little one, or in a circle if there are a few of you, and take turns blowing your nose – or at least pretending to. Be really patient and don’t be afraid to lavish them with cuddles and praise when they get it ‘right’ to reinforce the correct technique. And make it a fun and enjoyable game for them.
- Bubble bath: Keeping a close watch on activities, encourage your children to blow bubbles in the bath, or ripples across the water, by blowing air out of their nose. The best way to play this game is to start off blowing bubbles using air out of their mouth. Then you can progress to teaching them how to do the same thing with air from the nose. If you try to get them to do it with just the nose first you run the risk of them not understanding what they’re supposed to do and/or getting frustrated.
- Foggy mirror: See who can fog up the mirror the most by blowing air through their nose. Show them how to pinch one nostril shut first to make it easier. This is a great natural progression from the bubble game, teaching kids how to control the airflow from their nose, which is a crucial step in learning the correct way to blow your nose.
- Feather races: Get the whole family together for a feather race. Blow feathers across the table by puffing air through your mouths, and then race again, this time just blowing air through noses, to see who can win
- Practice, practice, practice: As with anything, the more we do it the more automatic the process becomes. Whilst you don’t want to be dedicating hours at a time to nose blowing education, little and often will make a huge difference very quickly. Most of the time they won’t even know they’re practising, like bubble blowing in the bath, and when you make it fun they’ll happily play along anyway.
Plus, if you're looking for any more activities to keep your kids pepped up, why not try out some more of our ideas for games for the whole family?
The two biggest keys with teaching kids to blow their nose are to be patient and to keep it light-hearted. They will get it in time and there’s no rush, so stick at it.
Nose blowing step-by-step
Just like potty training or any other milestone in a young child's life, when you're looking at the best way to teach how to blow a child's nose, it is always a good idea to take it in simple easy steps. Breaking it down into stages will help your child to understand the process and what is expected of them. Once your child has mastered the art of blowing air through their nose, they will find blowing their nose on a tissue far easier to manage. Ask them to blow their nose through one nostril at a time to begin with, and remind them to bin the tissue each time and wash their hands afterwards.
It is helpful to explain to children the correct way to blow your nose, but the easiest way is to introduce the skill though some fun games. It can take some time to master, so be patient with their efforts, and help them to practice before they end up with a stuffy nose. Armed with some soft Cushelle tissues, they will then be confident enough to try out their new skill and keep that runny nose and cold under control – just don’t forget to remind them to wash their hands afterwards.