My 16.5 month old DS chews everything. It looks like we have a new puppy in the house as there are bite marks in everywhere. I know it is very normal for babies and toddlers to mouth things, especially when teething but he seems to have an insatiable appetite for non-edible items.
I find it particularly frustrating when he wants to draw because he just ends up eating whatever he is using. I've tried praise when he does actually put the texta/crayon/pen to the paper, but once he gets a taste for it, the drawing is all finished and he gets obsessed with chewing. As soon as he starts chewing it's like he just wants more and more.
At playgroup I have to distract him away from any drawing activity otherwise all the pencils end up being chewed. I want him to be able to be expressive and creative as I was a big painter/drawer as a child. I've tried just letting him go for it with cornflour paint etc, but he actually ate so much of it he didn't eat lunch!
I used to let him play in some of the kitchen cupboards but have had to stop that as anything that had a rubber type handle or edge will end up being chewed to bits. Even the bath plug has to be hidden because he will gnaw away at it. All his wooden toys have bite marks in them, as well as our furniture.
It just doesn't seem right to me. I've seen children chew on things, especially when teething but this is insane!