We use sensory play in our home to calm kids down, process emotions, and decompress. Here are some of our favorite sensory toys.
Click to read also: Calm Down Toys for Toddlers
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Sensory Toys for Kids
Portable quiet books make wonderful first sensory toys for young children. You can find several different quiet books on Amazon. Handmade quiet books are available on Etsy as well.
This classic toy continues to be a hit with kids! A Koosh ball is easy to catch and throw, and provides lots of sensory input.
Spiky and bumpy sensory balls come in different sizes with different types of textures. Kids enjoy throwing them, catching them, and rolling them.
You’ll find fidget toys in lots of different shapes and sizes. Fidget spinners and fidget cubes seem to be favorites with most kids. Check out this LEGO fidget spinner and LEGO fidget cube!
You can buy some of these, but they are super simple to make at home. DIY sensory bottles can be as simple as a little water and glitter! Add glycerin if you want a thicker (slower moving) base. Corn syrup also works, although it’s messier if the bottle somehow comes open.
Thinking putty is like silly putty with special effects. There are many different kinds of Thinking putty to choose from! We love the color changing and iridescent versions. This isn’t advertised, but we find that the color changing putty is much denser (more resistant) than your basic Thinking Putty, and the iridescent versions seem to be the softest (least resistant).
It’s easy to forget that sound is an important sense that kids enjoy developing! I’m a huge fan of challenging kids to create different sounds using basic household materials. Rhythm instruments are fun for kids to use and get them thinking about sound in new ways.
I’ve never seen pattern blocks on a sensory toy list, but if you think about it, they clearly belong! These brightly colored toys provide a great textural play experience, while developing spatial reasoning. Try using them to create sensory wall mosaic art, or use this tip to make pattern block play on a flat surface less frustrating.
Finger painting is an amazing sensory experience! Can’t handle the mess? Try this no-mess finger painting alternative!
Don’t Forget Nature!
Getting outside is the ultimate sensory experience! While all of the toys mentioned above are great, nothing can match a day in the mountains, at the beach, or simply walking around your neighborhood.
What are your favorite sensory toys for kids? Share ideas and recommendations on my Facebook page.