Today, I’m sharing one part of that list. 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.
These ideas would be a great addition to all of our summer occupational therapy activities here on The OT Toolbox!
Oral sensory input can help self-regulation in kids as well as improving attention, focus, and adding a calming component to slow down a sensory seeking child. Try these backyard oral sensory processing activities this summer:
RELATED READ: Animal Cracker Oral Sensory Activity
Oral Sensory Processing with a Summer Backyard Theme
- 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.
Looking for more backyard sensory ideas for summer?
The Summer Sensory Activity Guide is the place to find everything you need for a summer of sensory input. Use the sensory activities described in the booklet as a guide to meet the individual needs of your child. The activities are not a substitute for therapy. Rather, they are sensory-based summer activities that are designed to address each sensory system through summer play. Activities are described to involve the whole family. Check out the Summer Sensory Activity Guide today!