Oral Motor Activities
Updated: Apr 22
Oral motor games can increase awareness, strength, and coordination for the mouth, jaw, tongue, and lips. Children that have problems chewing or drinking from a straw could benefit from these oral motor activities to work on coordination and muscle tone.
When should my child do oral motor activities?
If your child has difficulty with any of the following you may consider working on oral motor activities at home or with the assistance of a speech or occupational therapist.
Struggles with chewing food well
Has difficulty sucking from a straw
Is defensive to food textures
Struggles with teeth brushing
Frequently chews items
Drools or has poor lip closure
The following activities could be used to provide sensory input and awareness to mouth/jaw for children that are under or over sensitive to touch around their mouth. Children that are defensive to eating different food textures or brushing their teeth could benefit from playing these games. As well as, children that chew on clothing or toys would benefit from extra sensory input in a safe and fun way. The following activities are fun games to help provide oral motor input and work on coordination.
Games to Try
Cotton Ball Races (straw and cotton ball) (blow cotton ball across surface using straw)
Snowball Transfer Game (use straw to pick up cotton ball by sucking into straw and transfer to a cup)
Bubble Craft (1 tablespoon of bubble solution mixed with a few drops of food coloring) (Using wand dip into mixture and slowly blow onto paper for oral motor painting craft)
Musical Instruments (harmonica, whistles, kazoo, flute)
Party Blower Game (use a large party blower to knock over toys lined up on a table)
Bowl Bubble Blowing (half fill a large bowl with water, add few drops of dishwashing liquid and have child blow water thru straw until bubbles spill over bowl, DO NOT DRINK WATER just focus on blowing into straw)
Ping Pong Maze (make a maze using tape or string, have child blow ping pong ball with straw thru maze)
If you have concerns about your child's oral motor development we encourage you to speak to your pediatrician, occupational, or speech therapist.
Article by: Kylie Hinton, OTR