OT Activity of the Day:
Whistles, balloons, and gum
Target Age Range: 2 and up
When children are seeking input they are simply looking for ways to make their body "feel better". The start of school is a huge transition and often children will find ways of regulating their body, however these makeshift "strategies" are not necessarily appropriate for the classroom. OT can help provide both families and schools with appropriate, and safe, ways that a child can receive the input they are looking for both at home and in school.
At this time of year I will have many parents express concerns that their child is chewing their shirt constantly throughout the day. They will come home with a collar, or sleeve, that is completely soaked. When this happens I usually provide them with a "oral motor grocery list" filled with items and foods that will give their child the input they are looking for without having to chew their clothes. In the picture I have provided, I'm showcasing a few of the ideas that are included on the list. We have balloons, gum, and whistles (there are noiseless whistles out there so don't worry that your house will be filled with high pitched sounds) just to name a few. Other simple ideas include giving your child a sports bottle to drink water out of throughout the day or giving them crunchy or chewy foods for snacks or in their lunch.