Children who put toys in their mouths, chew on their clothing or bite their pencils at school may be seeking oral motor/sensorimotor input to help their bodies reach an optimal arousal level. We want to provide them with strategies to get this input in an appropriate manner. Here is a list of alternative strategies to support your child’s oral motor/sensorimotor needs.
Strategies For Children Seeking Oral Input:
- Engage in activities such as whistling, blowing bubbles and using blow pens
- Play games with straws (i.e. hockey by blowing cotton balls or splatter painting by blowing on paint using a straw)
- Have them eat sweet and sour candies
- Chew gum
- Blow up balloons
- Make a chewy necklace out of cheerios and licorice
- Drink thick liquids (e.g. applesauce, pudding) through a straw
- Drink water through a water bottle with a straw
- Make a bubble volcano: Fill a bucket with soap and water, and have your child use a straw to blow bubbles to make the volcano. This is an activity you can use at home to help with self-regulation.
- Send chewy, crunchy snacks (e.g. pretzels, granola bar, fruit leather, bagels) for lunch
- Purchase products designed for chewing:
• Chew tubes and similar objects: http://www.therapro.com/Designed-to-Chew-C307786.aspx
• Other fun oral motor tools: http://funandfunction.com/oral-motor-chewies-c-65_107_110.html
• ChewEase pencil toppers: http://www.amazon.com/3-Clear-ChewEase-Pencil-Toppers/dp/B001G2DAK8