O is for Oral Sensory Input

Affiliate and Referral links are used below to promote products I love and recommend. I receive a commission on any purchases made through these links. Please see my disclosure policy for more details. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

I am excited to have Dayna of Lemon Lime Adventures sharing with us today as part of the A-Z's of Sensory Play for Kids series. She is sharing some great oral sensory input ideas for you all.

I am excited to share today about Oral Sensory Input. When we first started learning about sensory needs and supporting a healthy sensory system, we knew nothing about the importance of oral sensory input and what this could look like in all children.

Oral Sensory Input ideas for kids. www.GoldenReflectionsBlog.com


What is Oral Sensory Input?

Our oral system allows us to sense the world around us through our mouths. It allows us to make important decisions about our surroundings, and is responsible for our ability to chew, swallow, and even communicate.

We receive information from our oral system through our mouth, allowing us to experience textures, temperatures, and flavors in everyday life.

I have always connected the oral sensory system to the sense of taste. Little did I know it was so much more and responsible for so many more functions and processes. You can learn more by reading here.

Click Here button

Simple Ways to Support Oral Sensory Input

Often times many of us overlook this system unless we have a problem or see a struggle in our children. However, by including these simple activities and/or tools in your daily life you can help support a healthy oral sensory system (gustatory sense) .

Introduce New Foods Often | Many times child like or dislike foods due to their texture as opposed to their tastes. It is great to offer a wide variety of foods that span the different tastes such as salty, sour, sweet, and savory. In addition, it is also helpful to offer a variety in the texture such as chewy, crunchy, soft and hard.

Offer Chewing Gum | Using a sugar-free, dye-free chewing gum can give children both oral and proprioceptive input they desire that helps them organize the world around them. It allows their brain to focus and attend with more clarity. We love the chewing gum from Project Sensory.

Play Games | Blowing bubbles, pom-pom races, and other fun games that include blowing and sucking are absolutely fabulous ways to encourage healthy and appropriate oral sensory input!

Straws | Straws are fantastic! Don't just put them in water, add them to a good thick milkshake or even to applesauce to add resistance. This is great for giving children that have a desire to put their fingers in their mouth something else to use instead. We absolutely love the water bottle and bite valve from Project Sensory to assist in this support!

Offer Appropriate Chewing Devices | I know many of think if we just say “hands out of your mouth, “stop biting” or something along those lines the behavior will end. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Your child is doing these things because they are seeking out a way to regulate their emotions or their sensory input. Chewable jewelry offers a great alternative to clothing and fingers!

Dayna is a National Board Certified teacher, with over 12 years of experience in early childhood education, who now homeschools her 3 children, one of which struggles with Sensory Processing Disorder. She is the author at Lemon Lime Adventures and owner of Project Sensory, where she is dedicated to sharing real life stories with parents and educators about the pretty and the not so pretty days involved in raising children. You can connect with Dayna over on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and G+!

Follow ‘s board Sensory Fun on Pinterest.
A-Z's of Sensory Play Ideas for Kids Series. www.GoldenReflectionsBlog.com

Heather Greutman, COTA

Heather Greutman is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant with experience in school-based OT services for preschool through high school. She uses her background to share child development tips, tools, and strategies for parents, educators, and therapists. She is the author of many ebooks including The Basics of Fine Motor Skills, and Basics of Pre-Writing Skills, and co-author of Sensory Processing Explained: A Handbook for Parents and Educators.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. My son is five and still puts everything in his mouth. I’m going to try to incorporate some of these things so that he can get the support he needs without licking shopping carts (seriously). I especially like the chewable jewellery idea. Maybe he needs something like that .

  2. Hi Kalista, Yes the chewable jewelry is a great option. I have one for my two year old and she uses it in church as well. I need to remember to take it with us when we are grocery shopping because she likes to lick the carts too. I hope these tips were helpful for you!

CONTENT DISCLAIMER: Heather Greutman is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant.
All information on the Website is for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for medical advice from a physician or your pediatrician. Please consult with a medical professional if you suspect any medical or developmental issues with your child. The information on the Websites does not replace the relationship between therapist and client in a one-on-one treatment session with an individualized treatment plan based on their professional evaluation. The information provided on the Website is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied.

Do not rely on the information on the Website as an alternative to advice from your medical professional or healthcare provider. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment as a result of any information provided on the Website. All medical information on the Website is for informational purposes only.

All activities outlined on the Website are designed for completion with adult supervision. Please use your own judgment with your child and do not provide objects that could pose a choking hazard to young children. Never leave a child unattended during these activities. Please be aware of and follow all age recommendations on all products used in these activities. Growing Hands-On Kids is not liable for any injury when replicating any of the activities found on this blog.

YOUR RESPONSIBILITY The Website was developed strictly for informational purposes. You understand and agree that you are fully responsible for your use of the information provided on the Website. Growing Hands-On Kids makes no representations, warranties, or guarantees. You understand that results may vary from person to person. Growing Hands-On Kids assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions that may appear on the Website.