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How to teach your child to whistle

How to teach your child to whistle

Whistling is hard.

My girl has been walking around for two years saying she can whistle. She hadn't quite cracked it though. I kept tell her 'good try', but it's not quite there yet.

This week she finally got it, she looked at me with wide happy eyes and knew it.

"Did I just whistle?", she asked.

"Yes, you did!" I said with adoration and excitement.

How did she do it?

She learned by not trying to learn but by practicing something else: the art of blowing bubbles.

We had made a bubble mixture with sugar to give them extra strength. She spent a good 45 minutes blowing them. She had to blow with focus and consistency.

And then at one point she just started whilsting by accident. She's still got a long way to go to learn properly, but she will get there now she understands the technique.

This is the Montessori way

All my kids went through Montessori nursery and this reminds me very much of the Montessori approach.

You don't just dive into a task, you build up to it.

To prepare for writing and to get to a good pencil grip, for example, children will start at much younger age with simpler tasks to exercise their hands, fingers and coordination.

Practicing a pincer grasp with fingers (picking up peas), peeling of oranges, and  Montessori cylinder toys that encourage the picking up and sorting with the fingers are some examples. Find more details and examples here.

And this is kind of what happened with the whistling. We didn't focus on the whistling, we found other activities that unleashed whistling skills. With this mindset, we can build upon this.

Maybe it's more bubble blowing, or some fun science or magic activities that require blowing or breathing of some sort.  All of these will unconsciously build up her whistling skills, but it comes with the awareness from the parent to actively seek things that will work for her.

Timing and willingness to participate in a self-directed way always make a huge difference.

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