Oral muscle development needs to be trained to lay the foundation for language ability

Written by speech therapist Guo Zixin


Each child’s language ability is different. Some children can speak different words at the age of 1, and can speak sentences and communicate with others at the age of 2. However, some children’s language development is slower. In fact, the development of oral muscles has a profound impact on the development of eating and language skills. Parents can play different games to train children’s oral muscles and lay a solid foundation for their language ability development.



The muscles of the mouth, including the muscles of the cheeks, lips, tongue, and jaw, continue to improve with age and changes in eating experience. The strength, control, flexibility and coordination of oral muscles are also important factors that affect children’s learning to speak.



Children’s daily eating process is actually a good opportunity for practice. However, in some cases, the normal development of chewing ability is caused by the frequent consumption of finely chopped or even mashed food, which affects both eating and language development. Common conditions such as drooling and unclear or accurate pronunciation, so oral muscle problems must be addressed.



The following are some simple games to train the oral muscles, hoping to improve children’s oral muscles through interesting activities and lay a solid foundation for the development of language skills.


blowing exercises

how to play


First, prepare a basin. Parents and children face each other and place the basin between them. Then add half a basin of water, put a paper boat on the parent’s side, and put food or small gifts (such as stickers, etc.) that children like in the boat. Parents first blow the paper boat in the direction of the children, and the children can take away the food or small gifts in the boat. If the children want to get food or small gifts, they must blow the boat in the direction of the parents.


Through this type of blowing practice, the ability to retract the tongue and round the mouth can be strengthened, the stability and control of the jaw can be strengthened, and the speech clarity can be improved.

chewing exercise
how to play
Cut hard vegetables or fruits (such as carrots, cucumbers, celery, apples, etc.) into strips, the length and thickness of which are about the same as your index finger. Parents hold the end of the vegetable stick and place the food between the children’s big teeth to encourage the children to use their big teeth to chew. Parents need to fix the position of the food. When the child bites, the parent pushes the food in until the child eats the whole vegetable strip. Practice alternately on the left and right sides. Parents can adjust the thickness and hardness of the food bars according to their children’s abilities.



When chewing, the mouth muscles such as the lips, tongue and jaw need to coordinate with each other, and the development of speech is also through the cooperation of different oral muscles to produce different sounds, so chewing training can help improve pronunciation clarity.