What Are Sensory Toys?

What Are Sensory Toys?

Jun 19, 2024
Sensory toys are designed to stimulate one or more of the senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell) to help with sensory processing, development, and overall well-being. They are often used for children, particularly those with sensory processing disorders, autism, ADHD, and other developmental conditions, but they can also be beneficial for adults, especially those with sensory sensitivities or those looking to reduce stress and anxiety.

Here are some examples of sensory toys categorised by the senses they engage:

Fidget spinners and cubes - Provide tactile stimulation and help improve focus.
Textured balls and squeeze toys - Offer different textures for tactile exploration.
Playdough or slime - Allows for manipulation and can be soothing to squeeze and mold.
Weighted blankets and lap pads - Provide deep pressure stimulation which can be calming.

Light-up toys - Capture attention with visual stimulation.
Bubbles and bubble lamps - Soothing visual effects that can be calming and mesmerising.
Kaleidoscopes - Create patterns and colors that engage visual processing.

Musical instruments - Encourage auditory exploration and can improve auditory processing.
Rain sticks and shakers - Produce calming sounds that can help with relaxation.
Sound machines or white noise machines - Provide consistent sound to help focus or relax.

Aromatherapy toys - Infused with essential oils to provide calming or stimulating scents.
Scented playdough - Combines tactile and olfactory stimulation.

Chewable necklaces and bracelets - Safe materials for oral sensory exploration.
Flavourful, safe-to-eat sensory items - For taste exploration.

Sensory bins - Filled with various materials like rice, beans, or sand for digging and exploring.
Activity boards (busy boards) - Combine locks, buttons, textures, and sounds for multi-sensory engagement.
Interactive books - Include textures, sounds, and flaps to engage multiple senses.

Benefits of Sensory Toys
1. Improved Focus and Attention - Helps in concentration and calming for tasks.
2. Developmental Skills - Enhances fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and cognitive abilities.
3. Stress Relief and Calming - Provides comfort and reduces anxiety.
4. Sensory Integration - Aids in the development of sensory processing abilities.
5. Social and Emotional Development - Encourages interaction and communication, especially in group play scenarios.

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