Incorporating Oral Sensory Activities into Your Preschool Curriculum
Preschool programs are designed to help young children grow and develop in preparation for attendance at an elementary school. While there are many different types of preschool programs available to the public, the incorporation of oral sensory activities within your program will help prepare your children for a more successful future. These types of activities can help children learn to regulate and control their breathing, preventing stress and allowing them to avoid escalating behaviors.
Here are three oral sensory activities to incorporate into your preschool program to give your children the best chance at success in the future.
1. Foam Animal Races
Having children use straws and airflow to move a foam animal from one end of a table to the other can be a beneficial activity when it comes to fostering better breathing regulation. You can make this type of activity more exciting for children by pitting two or more kids against one another in a race.
The children will enjoy competing with their classmates, and the effort required to push air through the straw and guide the foam animal across the finish line will create deep breathing and diaphragm control skills children can rely on in the future,
2. Pick-Up Art
While foam animal races teach children to regulate their exhales, pick-up art can be an effective tool in teaching children to inhale with purpose. All you need to complete this activity is the outline of a tree drawn onto a piece of paper and some apples cut out of red construction paper.
Place several dots of glue in the branches of the trees. Instruct preschool children to use a straw to pick up the paper apples, move them over the dots of glue, then release the apples and secure them in place. The children will need to inhale continuously as they transport the apples from the pile to the tree, allowing them to gain valuable experience regulating their breathing.
3. Curly Straw Drinking
Incorporating oral sensory activities into your preschool program can be as simple as adding curly straws to snack time. By having children drink their juice or water through a curly straw, they will be required to put forth added effort in order to quench their thirst.
The additional lip and cheek strength required to successfully drink through a curly straw will give children the muscle tone needed for regulatory breathing exercises in the future.
Finding ways to add oral sensory activities to your preschool program isn't challenging. Try incorporating foam animal races, pick-up art projects, and curly straws into your curriculum to increase your student's oral control. Talk to an educator like Family Ties Child Center for more information about the importance of developing sensory awareness.