Tuesday, January 15, 2013

How to Teach a Kid to Blow Her Nose

You can't turn on the radio or TV right now without being sternly reminded that it's flu season. Heck, it's flu city out there right now according to my sources. An epidemic. And there's nothing you can do about it, boogity boogity! Except wash your mitts, of course. Really scrub those babies. This year's flu shot may or may not match up to the strain that's knocking people down all over the US, but hand washing is always de rigueur in times of trouble.

Still, the flu happens. Colds happen. RSV happens, though hopefully not to any preemies belonging to folks reading this. Boogers colonize nostrils and noses begin to run. Then we, as parents, find ourselves on 24-hour snot patrol with Kleenex in hand... or worse, one of those new snot sucker tubes they're selling at Whole Foods. You know, the kind where it's mom or dad's job to do the sucking. Probably mom's job.


On occasion, the common cold has found its way into our otherwise happy home, bringing with it the usual stuffy snoz. See?

How to Teach a Kid to Blow Her Nose

Teaching P. to blow said snoz has been an uphill battle. Maybe its been like that at your house, too, and there are unused wadded up tissues everywhere. Maybe your little sounds like a Persian cat on a good day. Could be there are even tears on both sides as you pray for a quick recovery.

Personally, though, I can sympathize with the frustration she feels when we're saying "Blow!" and she's inhaling with all her might. I didn't actually learn to blow my nose properly until I was in college. Oh, I knew how to blow, but I sure didn't do it right. Effectively. I just gave wee toots into tissues and then wiped daintily and tried to breath through my mouth without anyone noticing. Snorting gently.

The mister isn't going to let that sort of thing fly when it comes to our kids. Luckily, it turns out there's a game that is useful in just this situation for teaching a kid the fine art of nose blowin'.
1. Tell your little that you're going to play a game, then have them fetch a cotton ball.

2. Have them run to find a book, because might as well get some of that energy out with a little jogging.

3. Sit across from each other, holding the book flat between you at nose level. Place the cotton ball close to your kid.

4. Challenge your child to hit you in the face with the cotton ball using only the breath from her nose.

5. If she picks up the general idea quickly, you can even play Nose Blow Hockey, which is a game I just invented.
That's it! While I can't promise it will guarantee perfect compliance when nose blowing is required, you can at least be sure that your daughter (or son) understands how nose blowing works and can exhale via the nostrils at will when germs sneak into your house and knock you all for a loop!


  1. That is super cute! I love it!

    If you can tell me how to stop your kid from sticking fingers in the nose (ugh! disgusting habit made much worse by reinforcement at kinder), I am all about it. Help?

    1. P. went through a phase like that - eating it, too! But then she grew out of it. So I'm no help...

  2. Teaching a kid to blow their nose is so frustrating! We’re mean and just threaten with the bulb syringe (i.e. nose sucker). But this sounds hilarious…and oddly effective. I may have to give this a shot when our baby is old enough to learn on her own, if for no other reason than seeing my husband demonstrate.

  3. I've got to get on this asap. Thank you!


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