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It is more than common to hear children speak whose voices are especially deep, scratchy or strained. In most occasions, it is due to a voice misuse problem, due to incorrect habits or because they did not learn to work their voice correctly.
The first step for our little ones to use their voice appropriately and do not suffer from vocal pathologies, it is that they have good breathing, something that is not usually easy for them to understand and, above all, to start.
Here are some examples of how we can help you do it in a fun and visual way:
1. The first thing we should explain to children is that breathing consists of two phases: taking in the air and expelling it. However, between the two there is another important step, which is to retain the air we have taken before releasing it. Later, we will clarify that the air intake (inspiration) will always be through the nose, while its exit (expiration) must be through the mouth.
2. In this first contact, it is advisable have the child lie on a surface, face up. In this position we will ask you to place one of your hands on your chest, while the other is placed in the abdominal area, on your belly. We will tell you that the hand placed higher will be like a policeman in charge of watching that your chest does not rise. For its part, the belly will rise when you catch the air but will go down when you release it. If it is difficult for you, we can put a weight of approximately one kilo (a book, a small bag, ...) on the gut so that you can see it more easily.
3. We will train in various inspiratory and expiratory times. For example: 1 second to take a breath, pause, and another to release it; then 1 second to catch, hold and 2 seconds to eject; later, same duration of inspiration but we will increase expiration to 3. Once achieved, 2-second shots will be taken with air expulsion in 1, 2 and 3 seconds, expiratory times that we will repeat later with an inspiration of 3 seconds.
When we are sure that our little one has mastered these exercises, he will be ready to move on to other more playful activities in which, almost without realizing it, he will automate this new way of breathing.
In all of them, the adult must supervise that a nasal inspiration is taken, checking that the abdomen fills with air and that the shoulders do not rise.
1. Soap bubbles: With them you can play games like passing a pomp from one to another, directing the pomp along a small route that we have designed ...
2. Candles: extinguish or oscillate the flame, located at different distances and with the fewest possible blows.
3. Straws: blowing bubbles in the water, playing a soccer game with a handmade aluminum foil ball, making a ping-pong ball dance in a plastic cup, pouring water from a full container to an empty one, etc. It is important that the straw is held with the lips and not bitten, since in this way we will promote strength and lip seal.
4. Balloons: of different sizes, counting the exhalations necessary to inflate them, or racing to see who can inflate the most in a given time.
5. Whistles, noisemakers, pinwheels: We will play that they sound, that they do not, that they move through strong and weak, long and short blows, etc.
As you can see, the materials to use are cheap and easy to find. In addition, you will share a pleasant time with your little ones, knowing that you are teaching them to manage the respiratory function, which will help prevent possible voice problems.
You can read more articles similar to 5 games to teach children to breathe, in the Language category - On-site speech therapy.