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How to practice the mouth gym

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A funny oro facial game
The Mouth Gym Poster - Loulilou

The Mouth Gym is an original concept

created by Loulilou and illustrated by Bourgibouillons.


The mouth gym is a funny game that tones up the orofacial sphere mobilizing the voluntary mobility of the tongue, lips and cheeks.

The different positions performed on imitation require attention, tone and precision and promote good articulation.

The mouth gym is above all a game intended to explore the oral and facial possibilities in a good mood in early childhood structures or nursery schools. It is aimed at all children over 3 years old.


Mouth Gym in day-care centers and schools

The mouth gym workshop is easy to set up with a group of children and offers a fun and dynamic break from the daily routine.

This activity encourages children to grow up, making them the actors of their own articulation and orofacial mobility !


If you're planning a long-term project, it's a good idea to set up a small "language corner" equipped with :

  • the mouth gym poster

  • laminated mouth gym cards (soon for sale on loulilou.fr...)

  • and mirrors (children can bring pocket mirrors if the structure doesn't have any).


The childcare worker or teacher will begin by :

  • informing parents about this activity, which aims to discover the oro facial sphere

  • explaining this activity to the group of children "We are going to play a new funny game together. It's called 'Mouth Gym'. We are going to make together some funny faces...We are going to have fun together !"

  • explaining how it works to the child: For example, "I'm going to show you some funny expressions to make with your tongue and lips, and you're going to try to do the same as me. Are you ready? Here we go! "

  • emphasize that the child needs to concentrate in order to

  • pay attention to the instructions

  • to be able to mobilize facial muscles

  • and reproduce the movement on demand.

  • verbalize each position BEFORE presenting each expression


As an adult, you serve as an EXAMPLE, so your movements must be tonic and steady (this is very important). Your exemplary expressions serve as the child's first model, but a mirror can also help him or her to see the movement for themselves.


It's important to let the child take the time to understand the instruction, integrate the visual model you present, and then try to perform the movement. This time must be respected... because remember that a child's rhythm is not that of an adult.


It's normal for him to miss certain movements at first (e.g., he sticks his tongue down when you ask him to stick it up), but with regular practice, he'll make rapid progress. The tongue (which has 17 muscles), lips and cheeks gradually tone up, as the sensory-motor experiences and various imitation attempts progress.


It's important to value what children are doing or trying to do. Above all, it's a shared moment ofcomplicity, so have fun!


In this  mouth gym workshop, it occurs that children want to

  • watch how other children perform the movement

  • touch the buddy's cheek when it's swollen

  • touch the adult's cheek to feel the tone of the movement

  • touch the child's own cheek "when it bumps" (e.g. when the tongue is inserted).

 

After the workshop in group, you can then leave the child free to practice independently, using the mouth gym cards provided in the "language corner". It is better if children have mirrors not so far - they can also have a pocket mirror on hand.


Please note, mouth gym is practiced in relaxation and not in the search for performance... "Forcing" or any negative judgment would go against Loulilou's values ​​and would not be respectful of child.


The mouth gym must remain fun. It is above all a moment of exchange and complicity between adults and children, so have fun!

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