News From The Occupational Therapist

Blowing cotton balls!  Blowing bubbles into water! Blowing into party blowers!  These are just a few of the many oral motor games your children have been playing during OT time.  They have been learning and / or practicing blowing skills to help calm and organize their bodies before a transition or an activity that requires focus and attention.  Besides being a lot of fun, these activities are also building strength in the mouth musculature for speech and eating skills and improving posture.  It has been amazing to watch all the children engage in the blowing activities for longer and longer periods of time.  They are excited and having fun and then they are usually ready to move on to the next activity in a calm alert state.  Although we have been focusing on blowing activities, sucking is also a good activity for organizing.  The following oral activities are just a few that you could try at home to help calm and organize your children before a big event, before bedtime or a shopping trip, etc.  As the holidays quickly approach, keep in mind these quick activities to help you keep your sanity during changes in routines and schedules.


•    Blowing through a straw into a tub of water with a few drops of dish soap or baby shampoo to make bubbles
•    Blowing a cotton ball across the table with or without a straw
•    Blowing cotton balls or ping pong balls along a tape line on the floor into a “corral”
•    Blowing feathers off the palm of your hand or their own hand
•    Blowing party blowers
•    Blowing ice cubes around in a tub of water with a straw
•    Blowing on a kazoo or harmonica
•    Sucking applesauce or yogurt through a straw

Enjoy!

Lynn Vosbeek, OT