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Why do kids stick out their tongues?

Have you ever noticed your kid sticking out his tongue while doing something? If yes, have you ever wondered why they do this?

Typically, children stick out their tongue when:

  • they are deeply involved in the task. If a kid feels like doing something (doing a puzzle, a meccano, drawing a picture, etc.) concentrating his attention on monotonous, painstaking work, he can stick his tongue out;
  • they fail to do something. If a kid fails something at the first time (paint a picture, read a syllable or a letter), the brain does not follow all the processes because of this overexertion.

However, the surprising thing is that children tend to stick out their tongues more during some tasks than others, and most of all in the knock and tap game. Scientists explain that the knock and tap game involves rapid turn-taking and hand gesturing– which can be considered as “the foundational components of a communication system”.

Furthermore, kids tend to stick out their tongues to the right, which is suggestive of control by the left-brain hemisphere. The left side of the brain is the side that is more dominant for language in nearly all right-handers, so there is a suggestion that children’s gestural activities are accompanied by tongue protrusions because of the tongue and hands sharing a link with language and communication.

Overall, it can be said that the nervous system of 3 to 5-year-old children is not yet well developed, so many children, concentrating hard on some complicated task, can unconsciously stick out their tongue. When they concentrate their attention on an object, their brain can not follow all the processes yet, but this moment at this age is the norm. Over time, the kid will learn to control his body and such situations will come to naught.



stick out – висовувати

wonder – дивуватися, задаватися питанням

feels like – (тут) серйозно налаштований

meccano – дитячий конструктор (тип дитячої іграшки яка складається з металевих і пластикових деталей, які можуть бути встановлені разом, щоб побудувати моделі таких речей, як мости, машини і автомобілі)

painstaking work – копітка робота

at the first time – з першої спроби

read a syllable or a letter – читати склад або літеру

overexertion – перенапруження

knock and tap game – ігри, які включаюсь в себе постукування та натискання

rapid turn-taking – швидка зміна заняття

hand gesturing – жестикуляція руками

the foundational components of a communication system – основоположні компоненти комунікаційної системи

left-brain hemisphere – ліва півкуля головного мозку

gestural activity – жестова діяльність

accompany – супроводжувати

tongue protrusions – випадання, висовування язика

tongue and hands share a link with language and communication – язик і руки мають  зв’язок з мовою і спілкуванням

unconsciously – підсвідомо

come to naught –  зійти нанівець


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