20 Best sensory toys for special needs children

Girl In Red Dress Playing A wooden Blocks

20 Best sensory toys for special needs children

Sensory toys are valuable tools that can enhance the sensory experiences and development of children with special needs. These toys are specifically designed to engage and stimulate various senses, promoting exploration, relaxation, and skill-building. In this article, we will delve into the world of sensory toys and provide guidance to parents seeking the best options for their special needs child.

– Hannah, who is known for her roles in films such as “Blade Runner” and “Splash.”

I see the world in a different way, and that’s what makes me unique.

20 Key Sensory Toys :

  1. Fidget Toys: Fidget toys are excellent for promoting focus, reducing anxiety, and improving fine motor skills. Examples include stress balls, squishy toys, and sensory rings. These toys provide tactile stimulation and offer a soothing outlet for restless hands.

  2. Sensory Balls: Sensory balls come in various textures, sizes, and colors, providing tactile and visual stimulation. They can be squeezed, rolled, or bounced, promoting hand-eye coordination, motor skills, and sensory exploration.

  3. Weighted Blankets: Weighted blankets offer deep pressure stimulation, which can have a calming effect on children with sensory processing challenges or anxiety. These blankets provide a sense of security and promote relaxation, improving sleep quality and overall well-being.

  4. Musical Instruments: Musical instruments like drums, keyboards, or xylophones allow children to explore sound, rhythm, and coordination. Engaging with music can foster self-expression, sensory integration, and auditory processing skills.

  5. Sensory Play Kits: Sensory play kits provide a range of tactile materials such as kinetic sand, water beads, or slime. These kits encourage exploration, creativity, and fine motor development. They offer a hands-on sensory experience that can be tailored to a child’s preferences and sensitivities.

  6. Visual Stimulation Toys: Visual stimulation toys, such as light-up toys, fiber optic lamps, or projection devices, provide captivating visual effects that can engage and fascinate children. These toys promote visual tracking, attention, and visual processing skills.

  7. Chewable Toys: Chewable toys are designed for children who have a need for oral sensory stimulation. They offer safe and durable options for chewing and biting, helping to reduce anxiety, improve focus, and satisfy oral sensory needs.

  8. Sensory Brushes and Massagers: Sensory brushes and massagers provide deep pressure stimulation and tactile input to the skin, supporting sensory regulation. These tools can be used for gentle brushing or massaging techniques that promote sensory integration and relaxation.

  9. Balance and Coordination Toys: Balance boards, therapy balls, and trampolines help develop balance, coordination, and gross motor skills. These toys provide opportunities for physical activity while improving body awareness and stability.

  10. Visual Timers: Visual timers assist in promoting time management skills and supporting transitions. They use visual cues and countdowns to help children understand the concept of time, enhancing predictability and reducing anxiety during daily routines.

  11. Sensory Integration Swing: Sensory integration swings provide a therapeutic and calming experience for children with sensory processing difficulties. These swings offer gentle swinging motions that can help regulate the vestibular system and promote relaxation. They provide a safe and comfortable space for children to experience soothing sensory input.

  12. Tactile Exploration Kits: Tactile exploration kits are designed to stimulate the sense of touch and promote sensory exploration. They include various textured objects such as fabric swatches, textured balls, or tactile discs. These kits encourage children to engage their sense of touch, develop tactile discrimination skills, and enhance sensory processing.

  13. Visual Sensory Bottles: Visual sensory bottles, also known as calm-down bottles or discovery bottles, are clear containers filled with various materials such as glitter, beads, or colored water. These bottles provide mesmerizing visual stimulation and can help children calm themselves and regain focus. They can be used as self-soothing tools during moments of stress or anxiety.

  14. Therapy Putty: Therapy putty is a moldable and pliable material that offers both tactile and hand-strengthening benefits. It can be squeezed, stretched, and molded, providing a sensory-rich experience. Therapy putty is beneficial for developing fine motor skills, hand strength, and finger dexterity.

  15. Sensory Walk Path: A sensory walk path is a designated space with different textured surfaces, such as foam mats, carpet squares, or stepping stones. This allows children to experience various tactile sensations underfoot as they navigate the path. Sensory walk paths can be set up indoors or outdoors and offer opportunities for proprioceptive and tactile input.

  16. Communication Picture Cards: For children with communication difficulties, communication picture cards can be helpful tools. These cards feature images representing objects, activities, or emotions, allowing children to express their needs, wants, or feelings. Communication picture cards support language development, social communication, and expressive skills.

  17. Adaptive Art Supplies: Adaptive art supplies are specially designed tools that make art activities more accessible for children with fine motor challenges. Examples include easy-grip paintbrushes, chunky crayons, or adaptive scissors. These tools allow children to engage in creative expression while accommodating their unique needs.

  18. Sensory Storybooks: Sensory storybooks combine storytelling with tactile elements, such as textured pages, interactive flaps, or scratch-and-sniff features. These books engage multiple senses, making reading a more immersive and interactive experience. Sensory storybooks can enhance language skills, sensory processing, and overall engagement in literacy activities.

  19. Calming Sensory Kits: Calming sensory kits provide a collection of tools and resources to help children regulate their emotions and reduce anxiety. These kits may include stress balls, sensory brushes, aromatherapy items, and visual timers. Calming sensory kits can be customized to meet the specific needs of each child and can be used at home, school, or during transitions.

  20. Augmented Reality (AR) Games: Augmented reality games combine digital technology with real-world sensory experiences. These interactive games utilize smartphone or tablet apps to overlay digital elements onto the physical environment. AR games provide engaging and stimulating experiences that can enhance sensory integration, cognitive skills, and social interaction.



In this blog post, we have explored a variety of sensory toys and tools that can benefit children with special needs. These toys are designed to engage the senses, promote development, and provide therapeutic benefits.

We started by discussing fidget toys, sensory balls, weighted blankets, and musical instruments as effective options for sensory stimulation and relaxation. We then explored sensory play kits, visual stimulation toys, chewable toys, and sensory brushes and massagers, which cater to specific sensory needs and promote exploration and regulation. Additionally, we highlighted the importance of balance and coordination toys, visual timers, and the use of technology such as augmented reality games in supporting development and engagement.

Furthermore, we discussed the benefits of communication picture cards, adaptive art supplies, sensory storybooks, and calming sensory kits in promoting communication skills, creativity, and emotional regulation. Lastly, we introduced the concept of augmented reality games as an innovative way to combine technology with sensory experiences.

By incorporating these sensory toys and tools into their child’s routine, parents can support their development, enhance sensory integration, and provide opportunities for exploration and engagement. It’s crucial to consider the individual needs and preferences of each child when selecting these resources.

In conclusion, the use of sensory toys and tools can play a significant role in the growth and well-being of children with special needs. These toys offer a range of benefits, including sensory stimulation, regulation, communication support, and skill development. By creating a sensory-rich environment and providing access to these resources, parents can empower their children to thrive and reach their full potential.

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