10 Ideas for Oral Sensory Seekers in the Classroom

10 Ideas for Oral Sensory Seekers in the Classroom10 Ideas for Oral Sensory Seekers in the Classroom

Do you see students chewing the tops off of pencils, mouthing their fingers, chewing their t-shirt or making excessive mouth noises?  Maybe these oral habits increase during stressful times in the classroom.  Some children seek oral input to help with self regulation and attention span.  Providing children with appropriate oral input may also help to calm the body.  Other children may dislike or avoid certain foods and textures in the mouth.  It is important to determine a child’s sensory preferences before providing the following suggestions.  Consult with a pediatric Occupational Therapist if you have questions.

Here are 10 ideas for oral sensory seekers in the classroom:

  1. Chew gum
  2. Drink from a water bottle
  3. Use a chewy tube specifically for children who seek oral input
  4. Eat crunchy snacks i.e pretzels, carrots, etc
  5. Eat sour foods i.e. lemon or lime flavored lollipop
  6. Eat chewy foods i.e. bagels, fruit leathers
  7. Drink thick liquids through a straw
  8. Deep breathing exercises
  9. Blow a cotton ball on the desk
  10. Vibrating toothbrush around the mouth

Remember, check with your Occupational Therapist to determine the best recommendations for your children or students.  Oral input requires adult supervision.  When you introduce new oral input, try only one at a time.  Observe if the oral input helps the child.  If it does not, try a different type of oral input.  This will help determine which suggestions is benefitting the child.  If possible, collect data to track a pattern of change in self-regulation, attention, behavior or emotional state following the oral input.  You can use the Sensory Tools in the Classroom packet to help jump start your data collection.

All students can benefits from breathing breaks to provide oral input, mindfulness and a calm body.

Breathing Breaks: This digital download is a collection of 16 deep breathing exercises and 3 tip sheets. Deep breathing exercises can help to decrease stress, reduce anxiety, remain calm, strengthen sustained attention, sharpen the ability to learn and more! This packet includes 16 full page breathing exercises and 3 tips sheets in color or black and white. In addition, the breathing exercises are provided 4 to a page to make smaller cards or booklets.  FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION.

10 Ideas for Oral Sensory Seekers in the Classroom