Oral Motor Activities for Proprioceptive Input

Does your child like crunchy foods? Do they like to chew gum? Do they move their mouths when they are overstimulated or stressed? If you see these behaviors, your child may be seeking proprioceptive input to calm and organize their body through their oral system. Along with fun activities like crashing into mats, jumping on a trampoline, wall pushups, and animal walks, you can help your child receive the same proprioceptive input through oral motor activities.

Biting and Chewing Activities:

  • Tug of war with washcloth or toothbrush

  • Gum chewing 

  • Imitate train engine or dog growling

  • Encourage child to open and close jaw making clicking sound with teeth. Count the number of clicks in 5 seconds. 

  • Have child hold something between his teeth and time how long he can hold it

  • Have child bite off pieces of toast, pretzels, etc., while you hold it. Start with front teeth then move to molars.

  • Have child squeeze a clothespin placed between teeth (with supervision) 

  • Have child bite sturdy squeak toys until they squeak

Food Items to Encourage Biting and Chewing for Proprioceptive Input:

Things to Crunch:

  • Apples

  • Breadsticks

  • Cheerios

  • Veggie Chips

  • Graham Crackers

  • Granola

  • Nuts

  • Pickles

  • Pretzels

  • Popcorn

  • Rice Cakes

  • Raw Veggies

  • Toast

Things to Chew: 

  • String Cheese

  • Dried Fruits

  • Raisins

  • Sugarless Gum

  • Oranges

  • Gummy Candies 

  • Marshmallows

Written by Kayleigh Rall, MS OTR/L