A common question I get asks from other parents and grandparents is how can I teach my child to whistle. Whistling is definitely not the easiest thing for a child to learn but with a little practice and some helpful tips they will get the hang of it in no time. Below are some tips I recommend trying.
First and foremost, Be Patient!
At first, the child may not be able to make a sound. Let them know that it is OK and keep encouraging them to practice. Eventually they will start making a sound every few times they blow. Eventually they will get it and remember the position they are using for their lips and tongue and can use that as a base for other sounds.
Now that we know it is going to require some patience for both the child and parent, let’s jump into some tricks to help the process along.
Use a Mirror
Using a mirror serves 2 purposes. First it allows you and the child to both monitor the position of lips and tongue. Standing by your child in front of a mirror model for your child how to figure your mouth and they can watch and mimic. The second benefit of the mirror is you both get to see each others silly faces while making various puckering movements trying to whistle.
Make sure your child licks their lips as it will allow the lips form a better shape if slightly wet.
Let your child know to pucker their lips but not too tightly. It will take some time for them to figure out the right amount of pressure. You can try to give them a straw to put between their lips and remove it once the lips are in position.
Shape of the Tongue
You can show your child the shape of your tongue when you whistle. The easiest shape to start with is a U shape at the bottom of the mouth.
Time to Do Some Blowing
Once the lips are moist and we have our mouth and tongue shapes down all that is left is for the child to blow. Let them know it is a soft blow, not a hard blow like they were going to blow out birthday candles.
Of course practicing is necessary in learning how to whistle. With most children, this can be frustrating as it is not something most get the first few times they try. When they get frustrated, take a break. After a bit of time has passed, try whistling a fun song or pattern that peaks your child’s interest. This will get them right back on the practice train and before you know it the two of you will be enjoying whistling together.