Sometimes the kids need an outdoor challenge to get moving and add active play to their day. I’m really excited to add a new activity challenge here on The OT Toolbox website. It’s a fun summer activity for the whole family and can be used to help kids stay active and build skills. This list of oral motor activities for summer is actually a fun way to add calming activities and alerting activities to sensory diets for kids. In fact, this page is part of a series of backyard sensory activities for kids.
This is such a fun list of Oral Sensory Processing activities that can be done at home right in the backyard this summer. If you are new to this blog, you might know that I’ve put together a lot of sensory activities here on the website. In particular, you will want to check out all of the summer occupational therapy activities here on The OT Toolbox!
Today, I’m sharing one part of that backyard sensory play list and outdoor activity challenge. These oral sensory processing activities can be done frugally and right in your backyard. Getting the kids outside to play is important with all of the research out there telling us that kids are not playing outdoors as much as they used to. These backyard sensory ideas are sure to bring smiles to your kids’ faces while sneaking in some sensory input.
Understanding development of oral motor skills is a great place to start when it comes to oral sensory processing concerns. Oral sensory input or challenges with oral motor skills can impact self-regulation in kids as well as improving attention, focus, and adding a calming component to slow down a sensory seeking child. Adding simple oral motor sensory breaks throughout the day can make a big impact in a sensory diet for kids.
Oral Motor Skills and sensory Activities
Try these backyard oral sensory processing activities this summer:
RELATED READ: Animal Cracker Oral Sensory Activity
Affiliate links are included below.
Dandelion Race- Pick several dandelions and place them into two piles. Kids can race another child to blow all of the seeds from the dandelions one at a time. Blowing dandelions is a proprioceptive activity that provides calming sensory input through the mouth.
Balloon Bin- Help your child blow up a bunch of balloons and place them into a large bin. An under the bed storage bin works well for this activity. Once the bin is full of balloons, spray in a bottle of shaving cream. Mix the balloons and shaving cream around to coat the balloons. Ask kids to scrape off the shaving cream with their hands to reveal the color of the balloon. This is a tactile sensory activity as well as an oral sensory activity.
Smelly Bubbles- Most kids agree that there is nothing more fun or summery than bubbles. Try adding a scented component by using scented bubbles. Blowing bubbles is an oral sensory calming activity for kids.
Kazoo Parade- Gather kids from the neighborhood and pass out a bunch of kazoos. Blowing a kazoo is a sensory activity that provides proprioceptive input through the mouth. This is a calming activity and can be used for self-regulating or improved focus.
Hot and Cold Taste Test- Alternate between hot and cold taste sensations in a taste testing game. Prepare cold foods like ice cubes, chunks of popsicles, and frozen vegetables alongside a hot foods tray like warm applesauce, warm sun tea, and toasted bread. Set up a roadside stand for taste testing and create a “most liked” survey.
RELATED READ: Plastic Egg Boats Oral Sensory Activity
more backyard sensory ideas for summer
The Summer OT Bundle is a collection of handouts, activities, and more that build skills this summer. You’ll find everything you need to keep the kids active, learning, and building skills this summer.
You’ll find ideas to use in virtual therapy sessions and to send home as home activities that build skills and power development with a fun, summer theme. Kids will love the Summer Spot It! game, the puzzles, handouts, and movement activities. Therapists will love the teletherapy slide deck and the easy, ready-to-go activities to slot into OT sessions.
Working on building skills this summer? The Summer OT Bundle is for you!
Work on fine motor skills, visual perception, visual motor skills, sensory tolerance, handwriting, scissor skills, and much more so that kids can accomplish self-care tasks, learn, and grow through play all summer long.
This bundle is perfect for the pediatric occupational therapist who needs resources and tools to use in summer therapy sessions, home programs, or extended school year therapy plans.
This bundle is perfect for parents, grandparents, and caregivers looking to provide developmental fine motor activities designed to help kids build skills.
- Send kids back to school in the Fall without worrying about the “Summer Slide”.
- Use these materials to work on areas like hand strength, fine motor development, scissor skills, handwriting, pencil control, pencil grasp, sensory play experiences, and much more. Just pull out the pages or activities you need for your child, and develop skills through play!
The Summer OT Bundle includes 19 resources that you can print and use over and over again:
- (NEW) Summer Fine Motor Kit ($20 value)- 90 pages of fine motor work, pencil grasp activities, strengthening, and eye-hand coordination tasks.
- (NEW) Summer Writing Lists ($5 value)- 28 pages of weekly writing lists
- (NEW) Summer Memory Game ($2 value)
- Summer OT Pack ($20 value)-14 individual products including Spot It game, slide decks, and much more.
- Summer Sensory Activities Guide ($5 value)
- Outdoor Play Sensory Diet Cards and Challenges ($8 value)
Helping children develop and achieve functional skills this summer was never so easy (or fun!)
Be sure to grab the Summer OT Bundle, a HUGE resource of therapy tools and activities for all things building skills this summer.
The BONUS is that there is a special added bonus item with the Summer Activities Kit right now. Grab the packet of activities now and get the Summer Sensory Activities Guide to keep the kids moving with the senses all summer long.
More outdoor activity challenges
Bookmark this page for the summer fun. Be sure to check out some of the other backyard sensory activities in this challenge for kids:
- Proprioception Sensory Activities for the Backyard
- Oral Sensory Activities for Backyard Sensory Play
- Visual Sensory Activities for Backyard Sensory Play
- Auditory Processing Sensory Activities for Backyard Sensory Play
- Vestibular Sensory Activities for the Backyard
- Sensory Handwriting Summer Camp
More oral motor activities you will love:
Oral motor activities are perfect for addressing self-regulation, focus, attention, coping, and sensory input needs by adding a calming effect or alerting effect. Try some of these oral motor activities: