Sensory play is great for kids to use their senses to learn. We love sensory activities and toys to practice motor skills and encourage and improve hand-eye coordination and creativity. We curated some of the best sensory toys for toddlers, so you can check out the top picks and get right to playing with your child.
What are sensory toys? They cater to your child’s senses. Also, they are often used for kids with a sensory processing disorder, sensory issues, ADHD, or Autism Spectrum. Of course, they don’t replace an occupational therapist or doctor, they can help with focus, relaxation, and calmness.
While there are sensory toys and activities for younger kids, we focus in this article mainly on ages 3+ toddlers. When dealing with small pieces you need to make sure they are not a choking hazard and that your child is aware not to put stuff in their mouths. Supervision is still recommended and for some activities, an absolute must.
Sensory bins are amazing sensory toys for ages 3+. Our little ones get to really get in there and practice fine motor skills with shovels, tweezers, and other tools including their hands. Colorful beads, pebbles, and sand give them the opportunity to explore different textures. There are sea life, dino, and unicorn pre made bins.
This set has been one of our favorite sensory toys. The set includes a nice case perfect for storage as well as 7 Molds and Tools. The sand doesn’t dry out and keeps the wet sand feel, making it easier to keep together and clean than normal sand. Also, it is great and super easy to build things. Makes a great gift!
Sensory Stretchy Strings
With these 6 different strings, your child can explore different textures and firmnesses. They are brightly colored for visual stimulation. They are very sturdy and stretchy. While designed for autistic children in mind giving tactile stimulation, this toy is loved by all kids and really calms them, giving them stimulation they like.
Marble Maze Mat
This mat is the perfect sensory toy to teach your toddler focus and develop motor skills. The fabric is soft and colorful. You don’t really have to look at the mat to move the marble around but can be used as a fidget toy. You will love taking it on road trips or other situations that can get a bit boring for kids.
Science Sensory Tubes
These are great STEM sensory toys for toddlers! They come with caps with and without holes. This way you can use the caps with no holes if you want to put liquids like water in it. The caps with holes offer smell exploration. There are no limits as to what you can put in there. Leaves, flowers, rice, water with glitter, figurines, … The set comes with 4 tubes, there is nothing inside, it is for your own finds.
You know children love swings! This cocoon swing will for sure be one of the best toddler sensory toys. It hugs you and really might be used daily depending on your kid’s sensory needs. It has great quality and comes in a bright red color. Swings are awesome also because they are popular toys among big kids so you can really have a lot of use of it.
Fat Brain Suction Cup Toys Bundle
Fidget toys are great to relax and focus, for adults and kids alike. Fat brain toys are great for fun sensory input. This set is all bright colors! The suction toys stick to each other as well as flat surfaces, which you can just pop off again. You also have stackable cups and 3 cute fidget spinners.
There are different types of sensory toys for kids:
These are toys with music or sounds like bells, making a beat, playing a song.
These toys move in different directions and at different speeds like a swing, scooters, or a skateboard.
Here we want to look for visual input, something interesting to see. They are toys that might have bright lights that light up or change colors.
They are toys that give tactile input meaning through our sense of touch, like textures, movement, or weight.
For sensory seekers there is also things you can do at home to diy your own toddler sensory toys. If you have empty plastic bottles, you can fill them with water and rice or drop in watercolor and glitter and water beads to create your own sensory bottle.
Really, you can create your own custom sensory experience depending on your own and your child’s interests. There are lots of creative ways to make sensory bins, or if you have a sensory table you even have a dedicated space that holds bins.