Eyes may be the window to the body, but the mouth is the door. The oral sense is vital to your child’s health and happiness.
If you have an oral seeker, they obviously want more and more sensory input in their mouth. They’ll love the activities listed below! Don’t forget to get overall proprioceptive input. Even if it doesn’t directly involve the mouth, your child’s oral needs will lessen with regular heavy work activities in their daily life.
If you have an oral avoider, the activities are the same, but the goal is different. Your child needs to experience oral input on their terms, in a controlled environment. It will be hard! Don’t force anything, try and make it fun. It can take many many many invitations to get your child to try these activities. But eventually, they’ll grow more comfortable with the sensations. (For sensory related food issues, I can’t recommend this course by mom and OT Alisha enough! Seriously, check. it. out.)
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Make silly faces
Roll your tongue
Any type of heavy work/proprioceptive input will help even if it doesn’t involve the mouth.
Common Household Items
Chew gum or other chewy foods
Chomp on crunchy foods like carrots
Suck a smoothie through a straw
Use a straw to blow items around (ie ping pong balls, cotton balls, even paint!)
Chewable keychain and zipper pulls
Vibrating toothbrush (Find out why vibration helps with oral seekers AND avoiders!)