Exploring the World: Sensory Toys Every Toddler Will Love

Renu Sharma September 18, 2023

Exploring the World: Sensory Toys Every Toddler Will Love

Sensory Toys

Sensory processing is the way our nervous system receives and responds to information from our senses. However, for some children, this process isn’t as seamless.

Sensory issues, often associated with disorders like Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, and others, mean that a child might be over-responsive or under-responsive to certain stimuli. This can manifest in various ways such as sensitivity to touch, aversion to certain textures, and difficulty with balance.

Sensory toys for kids are designed to help kids with these challenges. They engage one or more of the five senses in a therapeutic manner, allowing the child to explore, play, and develop vital skills.

The popularity of these sensory toys has grown tremendously. For instance, interest in toys, like weighted stuffed animals, has grown by 63% in the past year.

Benefits of Sensory Toys for kids

Research shows that kids with sensory disorders have low school participation. Thus, sensory toys for kids play a pivotal role in child development, especially for children with sensory processing issues. Here’s a list of the benefits of using sensory toys:

1. Enhanced Brain Development: Sensory toys stimulate various neural pathways in the brain, aiding in cognitive growth, problem-solving skills, and memory enhancement.

2. Motor Skill Development: Many sensory toys require grasping, pinching, stacking, or threading, all of which can help refine both fine and gross motor skills.

3. Emotional Regulation: Sensory toys can provide a calming and soothing effect, especially for children who tend to become overwhelmed or anxious. Weighted toys or toys with particular textures can be especially helpful in this regard.

4. Improved Focus and Concentration: Sensory toys can enhance the attention span. Engaging with them can teach kids to focus on the task at hand and improve task persistence.

5. Social Skills Development: Sharing, turn-taking, and cooperative play are essential social skills that can be encouraged when children play with sensory toys in groups.

6. Tactile Learning: Sensory toys promote hands-on, tactile learning. Children can explore different textures, shapes, and materials, giving them a broader understanding of their environment.

7. Speech and Language Development: Toys that engage the auditory sense can enhance listening skills, phonetic awareness, and even language development.

8. Adaptive Response Development: Sensory toys can help children develop appropriate responses to new sensory information, especially for children with sensory processing disorders.

In conclusion, sensory toys offer a multitude of benefits for children of all abilities. By integrating these toys into their playtime, parents and educators can provide a rich, engaging, and educational experience. 

Best Sensory Toys for Toddlers

As you can see from above, sensory toys for kids can be incredibly beneficial, especially to working moms who need to balance work and family. Here is a list of the best sensory toys available in the market.

1. Weighted Stuffed Animals

Stuffed Animals                                                                                     

  • Description: These are plush toys filled with weighted beads or pellets. They give a comforting pressure and can help with anxiety and calm meltdowns.
  • Why It’s Great: They provide deep touch pressure which can have a calming effect on the nervous system.

2. BUNMO Pop TubesBUNMO Pop Tubes                                                                               


  •  Description: BUNMO Pop Tubes are flexible, bendable tubes that can be stretched, connected, and popped. When stretched or compressed, they make a unique popping sound.
  •  Why It’s Great: BUNMO Pop Tubes aid in the development of fine motor skills and provide tactile and auditory stimulation. Their engaging nature can also enhance focus and offer a fun way for kids to explore cause and effect.


3. Tactile Play-Dough

Tactile Play-Dough


  • Description: More than just regular play-dough, this variant can have different textures, from grainy to smooth. Playing with it stimulates tactile senses.
  • Why It’s Great: Helps in fine motor skills development and offers an opportunity for imaginative play.


4. Nutty toys 8pk Pop Tubes Sensory Toys

Nutty toys


  • Description: These bright coloured pop tubes are EASY TO CONNECT together like lego blocks giving the little ones freedom to explore designs and applications of their own; teach the kids LETTERS and SHAPES with this educational stem toy and get toddlers to improve their motor skills or simply let them fidget on a car ride
  • Why It’s Great: These are PERFECT for ADHD, Autism, Calm or Stress Relief on the go; Thanks to their UNEVEN TEXTURE and SATISFYING POPPING SOUND the pipes have a soothing effect and  helps in motor skills development.


5Sensory Water Beads

Sensory Water Beads


  • Description: These are tiny, colorful beads that expand when soaked in water. They create a squishy and smooth texture.
  • Why It’s Great: Enhances tactile stimulation and can also assist in color recognition.


6. Rainmaker Toys

Rainmaker Toys                                                                                         

  • Description: These are tubes filled with small beads that make a sound reminiscent of rain when tilted.
  • Why It’s Great: Stimulates auditory senses and can be a soothing experience.


7. Sensory Mats

Sensory Mats


  • Description: Mats with varied textures, sometimes with elements that make sounds or have visuals.
  • Why It’s Great: They are perfect for tummy time and can engage multiple senses at once.


8. Kinetic Sand


kinetic sand toy

  • Description: This is sand that sticks together, allowing toddlers to mold and shape it without the mess.
  • Why It’s Great: Enhances tactile and visual stimulation and also promotes creativity.


9. Bubble Tubes


                                                                                                            bubble tube

  • Description: Tall tubes filled with water and a mechanism to produce bubbles. Often equipped with color-changing LED lights.
  • Why It’s Great: Visually stimulating and can also serve as a calming focus point.


  1. Fidget Spinners and Cubes:

  Fidget Spinners                                                                                                            

  •  Description: Small handheld devices that children can fidget with.
  • Why It’s Great: Helps with concentration, reduces anxiety, and provides tactile and visual stimulation.


  1. Balance Boards

balance boards


  • Description: Curved or flat boards that children can stand on to improve balance.
  • Why It’s Great: Aids in developing core strength, enhances vestibular processing, and improves gross motor skills.


  1. Chewelry (Chewable Jewelry)



  • Description: Necklaces or bracelets made of safe, chewable materials.
  • Why It’s Great: Provides oral sensory stimulation, can be calming, and can help children who have a need to chew or bite.


  1. Magnetic Blocks

Magnetic Blocks


  • Description: Magnetic blocks are interlocking construction sets where each piece has embedded magnets. They come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, allowing children to assemble them in numerous configurations based on magnetic attraction.
  • Why It’s Great: Magnetic blocks promote creativity and spatial awareness. They also aid in the development of fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination while introducing basic concepts of magnetism and physics. 

FAQs on Sensory Toys for Toddlers

  • Q: Are sensory toys only for kids with sensory processing issues?
    • A: No, while they are beneficial for those kids, sensory toys are great for all toddlers as they stimulate brain development and motor skills.
  • Q: How do I introduce sensory toys to my toddler?
    • A: Introduce them during playtime and let your child explore the toy at their own pace. Always supervise, especially with toys that have small parts.
  • Q: Can sensory toys be used as therapy tools?
    • A: Absolutely! Many occupational therapists use sensory toys as part of their treatment plans.
  • Q: How do I clean sensory toys?
    • A: Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. In general, most can be wiped down with a damp cloth and mild soap.

To sum up, sensory toys are not only engaging and entertaining but also play a pivotal role in the developmental journey of toddlers, especially those with sensory challenges. By incorporating these toys into their playtime, you’re paving the way for a richer, more stimulating environment that caters to their unique needs.

Note: Always supervise toddlers during playtime, especially with toys that have small parts or might pose a choking hazard.

Happy Parenting!

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