Sensory toys for kids have numerous benefits to help a child diagnosed with sensory challenges:
- Increase focus
- Improve mood
- Reduce anxiety
- Encourage the development of fine motor skills
- Support cognitive thinking
With that said, let’s explore 12 helpful sensory toys to help soothe or stimulate one’s senses through interactive play.
Be sure to stick around until the end to access these sensory toys on Amazon and your bonus resource at the end. 🙂
Body sox is an interactive toy that works by letting your child put on a colorful and breathable sensory sock.
The pressure produced by this sock helps relieve anxiety and initiates relaxation among kids with autism or sensory challenges.
It’s very lightweight and easy to take with you on the go.
Final Verdict: Helps a child to develop body awareness, muscle strength, and motor planning skills.
Hence the name “super chews” this material is super tough.
It is made for those 6 months and up who are teething or for aggressive chewers.
The purpose of a chew toy is to reduce a child’s stress and anxiety.
It provides a safe alternative chewing solution to clothes, pens, hands, or other unsafe things kids may want to put in their mouths.
Final Verdict: This chew toy supports challenges of sensory issues, ADHD, Autism, and little ones who are teething.
Think of a relaxing “deep pressure therapy” session because that’s what you experience sitting in the Cozy Canoe.
This sensory tool is made for those who experience anxiety or who are touch-sensitive.
While sitting down, the soft vinyl material surrounds you while applying deep even pressure around your body.
The deep pressure helps you stay upright.
How to use it…
- Have your child sit in it next to you while they read, play, or watch their favorite flick
- Cozy up with a weighted blanket to enhance the sensory experience
- Sit lengthwise for added deep pressure
- Sit sideways to lounge
- Sit sideways to rock back and forth or to challenge balance reactions
Final Verdict: This makes the perfect sensory tool for a child who has anxiety, is sensitive to touch, or needs upper body support to sit upright. It’s great to use in the home, daycare, classroom, or clinic.
For kids who need to get their energy out, a crash mat provides a safe way to do this.
These mats are fantastic versatile tools to use for movement-based activities like:
- Sitting or resting
For added safety, place the mat under things like a swing or slide to protect you from bumps and bruises.
Final Verdict: An incredibly versatile tool for ages 3 years and up. It offers sensory input to protect high-energy kids from injury. Use it in sensory rooms, schools, clinics, or at home.
Fat Brain Dipl Baby Toy
This toy holds a little one’s attention (even adults) with the bright-colored silicone bubbles.
You can’t help but keep staring at it!
Most importantly, your sensory skills are put into action as you poke, pop, or push the colorful bubbles.
Final Verdict: A great fidget toy or tool to encourage sensory play for babies and toddlers.
Fat Brain pipSquigz
Research shows that sensory play builds nerve connections in the brain’s pathways, which lead to the child’s ability to complete more complex learning tasks.
Hence, the importance of sensory integration early on for infants and toddlers.
That’s precisely what this toy, pipSquigz, is all about.
Stick it to smooth surfaces, rattle it, or push and suction the shapes together.
Final Verdict: A great sensory tool to encourage tactile exploration and fine motor development.
Fidget spinners are ideal for a kid with autism, attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), or attention deficit disorder (ADD).
As the spinner rotates fast with a smooth rotation, children tend to find it entertaining.
The spinner can help release stress and excess energy while strengthening numerous skillsets like:
- Visual tracking
- Fine motor
- Hand-eye coordination
Final Verdict: Fidget spinners improve focus by having your hand occupied.
Foam Ball Pit
Does your child need an entertaining play toy? Not to mention, a super cute one?
A ball pit is the perfect sensory activity for infants and toddlers.
Plus, it’s an engaging way to strengthen the muscles.
Kids can’t help themselves but throw and roll around in the ball pit!
The ball pit comes in a variety of soft colors.
Final Verdict: A wonderful sensory outlet that’s safe for infants and toddlers to enhance motor development.
Pin artboards are considered to be highly essential among kids with autism.
They feature a steel pin that allows you to make designs with your hands as well as look at imprints within the pins.
The soothing texture of the pins makes it ideal for improving one’s sense of touch.
Final Verdict: Pin art is an excellent tactile activity to either calm or stimulates the imagination.
Pop Fidget Sensory Toy
Have you ever popped bubble wrap?
That’s exactly what this bubble popper toy is like.
It helps kids to relieve stress, improve mood, and promote tactile stimulation.
Rest assured the material is safe and washable since it’s made of high-quality flexible non-BPA silicone.
Final Verdict: For kids who need an effective sensory tool to relieve stress, and anxiety, and improve mood.
For kids who like to fidget or grasp things, these pop tubes are an excellent sensory tool.
There are numerous ways to play with these plastic tubes by stretching, connecting, or popping.
This is a beautiful activity to get fingers moving to improve fine motor strength or to focus.
Final Verdict: For kids who struggle with sensory processing disorders or who are anxious, the pop tube is a perfect toy to get. Use it as a physical therapy tool during sessions, at home, in the classroom, or in clinics.
Push Pop Building Blocks
Does your child like to build things with their hands?
If you answered yes, this building toy provides sensory interaction to inspire creativity.
Design numbers, letters, robots, and a dinosaur…there are endless shapes to create.
Each push pop is smooth to the touch with no tiny parts, making it a safe sensory toy for toddlers.
Final Verdict: A wonderful hands-on sensory activity to build learning skills.
Water Beads Sea Animals Tactile Sensory Experience Kit
To inspire sensory play in kids, this toy takes it to a whole new level!
Add a little water to the beads in the ocean play mat and watch the magic unfold.
The water beads become elastic and slippery which creates a soothing sensory experience.
Navigate your fingers through the water beads to move and play with different ocean creatures.
Final Verdict: From toddlers to teens, this is the best toy to inspire sensory exploration.
Wily Fox Sensory Toy
Developed by a speech therapist and disability specialist, this educational activity enhances a child’s speech.
Consider this toy a ‘speech therapy’ tool for a child to learn through play.
How it works…
Enjoy this simple puzzle game where you “sort” the animals by color.
The game includes an assortment of things like 36 cardboard animal flashcards, stickers, velcro, and 4 colorful game boards of different habitats (farm, forest, ocean, and jungle).
Final Verdict: A fun learning game for kids who experience a speech delay or who love animals.
Wooden Number Puzzle Sorting Montessori Toys
An engaging STEM activity to help with early math skills.
Learn shapes, numbers, and colors.
Get hands-on by stacking blocks or dropping the counter rings over the pegs.
Final Verdict: STEM activities are great sensory toys for toddlers to encourage focus while developing early math skills. Use it in the classroom (grades Pre-K to Kindergarten), at home, or in clinics.
Common Questions and Answers
What are sensory toys?
Sensory toys are meant to stimulate one or more of your senses. Especially, if a child tends to be overly anxious or overwhelmed easily, a sensory toy is a helpful tool to help calm or reduce one’s anxiety.
How does a sensory toy calm an autistic child?
According to the American Psychiatric Association, sensory toys are considered a diagnostic protocol for kids who have been diagnosed with this condition.
Sensory toys are designed to stimulate one or all of a child’s five senses (touch, taste, sight, smell, and sound).
These interactive toys often include elements like sounds, bright contrasting colors, and various unique textures.
What are the benefits of sensory toys?
Sensory toys are made to stimulate the brain to improve sensory processing systems which can benefit your child in several ways:
- Support communication skills
- Improve social skills
- Encourage problem-solving skills
- Increase motor skills
- Help build nerve connections in the brain to improve sensory processing
Why are sensory toys good for kids?
When “sensory processing” occurs the nervous system is receiving messages from the senses and turns them into responses.
An engaging sensory toy or activity helps a child process the sensory information that goes into their brain and how to appropriately respond to that experience.
Why use a sensory toy?
You may have already come across different types of toys that are available in the market that are ideal for improving one or two senses in your child.
While playing, children will begin to grasp their senses way better and manage them with ease.
To Wrap It Up…
Each child’s condition is unique which is why choosing the right sensory toy to best suit your kiddo is important.
Using sensory toys can allow your child to explore their senses in a fun and interactive way.
The toy is an investment in the sensory benefits to encourage skillsets to…
- Mentally process senses
It is important to keep in mind that these toys do not replace formal and evidence-based treatment.
This means that the sensory toys are designed to help your precious ones learn about their senses while decreasing their fear and discomfort.
It allows them to play in a more natural way.
We want to wrap up by extending our gratitude to thank you for stopping by today!
What other sensory toys do you recommend?
Let us know in the comments below. ♥
Was this information helpful to you? If so, you’d make our day by sharing it! 🙂
→ BONUS RESOURCE: If you are undergoing financial constraints to care for a child with special needs, click here for a list of potential funding resources to help you with the purchase of sensory products. ←
About the Author
Lindsey is the co-founder of The LENN Foundation and content creator of the Intensive Therapy for Kids blog.
When she isn’t busy playing Godzilla with her son or chasing around her mischievous Rottweiler pup, she loves creating experiences and memories with her loved ones (traveling, watching a good flick, trying new n’ yummy restaurants). Speaking of restaurants, one of her favs is Taco Bell!
Most of all, she is grateful for her supportive circle of family, friends, and to live out her passion for helping kids with Cerebral Palsy (like her sweet nephew Lenny).
If you’re curious about The LENN Foundation, you may see the kids’ helped and feel-good content here. ♥
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