Compiled and written by Teresa Hans, OTR/L & Brittni Barnes, OTR/L
Ever wanted to know what toys therapists LOVE for different developmental stages?
Progressive Pediatric Therapy staff have compiled a list for the different ages and stages to foster development! Check out our favorite sensory toys for children of all ages! These toys have provide increased sensory input to children through sight, sound, or touch!
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- Baby Einstein Magic Touch Piano: Occupational therapist, Ms. Teresa, recommends this piano for children with motor challenges and sensory concerns, stating “This piano activates with very light touch, allowing virtually every child the ability to activate the sound and music. You can add stickers, puffy paint, or other another textures to outline the keys for added sensory input during play!”
- Light Up Spinning Wand: This light up wand provides fun sensory input during play for children of all ages! It can be used in pretend play as a princess or fairy wand or be used by a sorcerer to cast spells!
- PlayDoh: Playdoh is one of our favorite play items for everyone! Great as a calming tool to squeeze and pinch during play. Put playdoh in the fridge for a cold play experience, or try a DIY recipe and add scents!
- Light up Spiky Bouncy Balls: These fun balls provide sensory input through touch and sight! The balls are textured, and light up when bounced!
- Water Beads: Fill up a container of these for a soothing sensory experience! Hide bath toys or plastic animals inside to “discover”, or put some in a baby pool with some water for extra fun during the summer!
- Kinetic Sand: Another fan favorite, Kinetic sand offers sensory input with a sand-like material that is moldable and easy to clean up! It’s ease of cleaning makes Kinetic sand a great option for play at the table or on the patio.
- Therapy Putty: Putty is a great choice for unstructured sensory play. It comes in several resistances, allowing you to provide your child choices during their play!
- Cheerleader Pom Poms: Poms, especially two-toned poms, provide high sensory play in a small package! These are great for kids who have sensory deficits in vision and motor skills, as it provides sensory feedback in what they hear, feel, and see when they move and interact with them!
- Sensory Sock: These full body socks provide children with deep pressure and touch input they crave in a way they can access themselves! Being inside and pushing against the cool, smooth lycra material is a calming sensory experience for many! Sensory socks comes in different sizes to accommodate children of all ages.
- Peanut Therapy Ball: As therapists, we use therapy balls to work with children on strengthening and to provide sensory input every day! A peanut ball is a great choice for beginners, as it is more stable than a round therapy ball. It can be used to bounce on, sit on during seated play, used as a “bulldozer” to provide deep pressure, or to roll on for movement!
- Liquid Floor Tiles Sensory Toy: Create your own calm down corner or relaxing space for your child to play or take a break in! These liquid tiles provide calming input your child can touch and see!
- Vibrating Teether: Many kids crave oral sensory input, and a vibrating teether can provide them with something to satisfy that need!
- Pop Sensory Tubes: These fun and colorful tubes provide a therapeutic pull and push for children, and make a fun sound!
- Monkey Stretch Noodles: These fidget and tactile sensory toys can be stretched, pulled, wrapped, or twisted any way you want and then bounce back to their original shape!