When you think about it, your mouth is one big muscle. The tongue, lips, and jaw are all muscles that require intentional movements repeated over time to build tone and strength up. By strengthening these muscles in our mouth and face, we develop the coordination and tone needed to produce clear and precise speech. As we discussed previously, feeding and meal times are a great way to incorporate oral motor activities into your daily routine. Another fun way is to play! Here are some fun and easy ways to incorporate oral motor into everyday play.
Blow horns, whistles, noisemakers, harmonicas, or the paper towel roll!
Blow bubbles. This is hard at first for little ones, but to start you can blow the bubbles and then they can blow them off the wand once you have caught it.
Blow through a straw. Play a game with this one. Grab a cotton ball and blow the cotton ball across the table.
Make popping sounds with your lips. When they are laying on the changing table this is a great time to entertain them with this.
Kiss the mirror and make a lip print. Kiss the stuff animals. Kiss mommy!
Fill your cheeks up with air and have your little one pop them! They love this one!
Gently wash their face with a warm wash cloth and massage the cheeks and lips for a few seconds extra.
Make noises during play. Car sounds, animal sounds, cooking sounds "sizzle"
Again, oral motor exercises lay the foundation to speech development. These activities paired with phonemic awareness and literacy based activities will help your child's speech and language skills flourish.
*Sources- Super Duper Handy Handouts
Ashley Vineyard, M.S., CCC-SLP: A Therapist Spotlight
June 19, 2019
Oral Motor Strength- The Foundation to Speech (Part 1 of 3)
August 9, 2018
Caitlin Spalding M.A., CCC-SLP: A Therapist Spotlight