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:
1. Engage in activities such as whistling, blowing bubbles and using blow pens
2. Play games with straws (i.e. hockey by blowing cotton balls or splatter painting by blowing on paint using a straw)
3. Have them eat sweet and sour candies
4. Chew gum
5. Blow up balloons
6. Make a chewy necklace out of cheerios and licorice
7. Drink thick liquids (e.g. applesauce, pudding) through a straw
8. Drink water through a water bottle with a straw
9. 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.
10. Send chewy, crunchy snacks (e.g. pretzels, granola bar, fruit leather, bagels) for lunch
11. 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