The tongue is a facial muscle that we hardly realize it exists. It is in constant motion and without it we could not neither speak nor swallow correctly, so it is so integrated into our daily lives that we hardly even realize it is there.
However, like any other muscle, the tongue can be strengthened and educate, since we do not always use it properly.
Part of the problems that children have when it comes to pronouncing well or chewing, or the well-known atypical swallowing, which causes so much problems, are due to the poor positioning of the tongue.
We give you a series of tongue exercises for children to speak well and thus get a better pronunciation and better swallowing.
Using the language is not as easy as it sounds. Each letter carries a unique movement of this muscle, which with our first words we rehearse little by little, so the children go learning to speak and pronounce certain phonemes depending on the placement of the tongue inside the mouth.
The first phonemes that we pronounce are those that are done with the lips without the use of the tongue, thus the first baby games appear by vibrating the lips, later the guttural sounds, which are the most primitive, and which are produced with the throat, as if it were a growl, an example is the famous 'garlic' that babies often say.
As the child grows, he develops more movements with his tongue, and the first syllables like 'papa' or 'mama', and it is not until they are 4 or 5 years old that language develops and they are able to pronounce more complex words.
This learning varies according to the languages, so it is difficult for a child who has not learned the pronunciation of a certain phoneme from a young age, for example French vowels, it is difficult for him to learn it as an adult correctly.
For children who have problems when pronouncing a letter, such as R, S, D ... in addition to having atypical swallowing problems, speech therapists recommend performing exercises with the tongue to strengthen it.
Here are some of them:
1- Stick out and stick your tongue keeping the mouth open and without brushing the teeth.
2- With the tongue out of the mouth widen and narrow it alternatively.
3- Place all the tongue on the palate and hold it for 10 seconds while opening and closing your mouth. The tip of the tongue should not touch the teeth.
4- Play repeatedly with the tip of the tongue the 'mountain' of the palate.
5- Squeeze the tip of the tongue hard against 'the mountain of the palate'. Put your thumb under your chin to feel the force you are doing.
6- Take the tip of the tongue from the 'mountain' backward.
7- Place a piece of wafer in the anterior third of the palate. Try to take it off by performing movements of the tongue back (not toward teeth). We can do the same exercises with a little cocoa cream or other food that sticks to the palate.
8- Do the horse with the tongue, that is, click the tongue.
You can read more articles similar to Tongue exercises for children to speak well, in the Language category - On-site speech therapy.