When it comes to toddlers with sensory disorders, many parents and family members have questions about which toys are the most helpful and educational. Whether you’re a parent of a sensory-seeking toddler looking for new toys or a family member looking for gift ideas, check out this list of great educational toys!
1. A Pounding Bench
Any kind of toy with a hammer and something to pound into holes will do. Sensory-seeking children will particularly love the feeling of hitting the pegs, and they’ll be learning hand-eye coordination in the process! This one by Imaginarium costs around $16.99.
2.Wooden Stacking Toys
Toys like this Melissa and Doug Geometric Stacker ($9.98 on Amazon.com) are really great for all toddlers, especially ones with sensory disorders. They help develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination while providing a lot of hands-on fun!
3. Chunky Wooden puzzles
Puzzles are great for kids of all ages, but the best ones for young children with sensory issues seem to be the ones like this one. These are especially enjoyed because the pieces are heavy but colorful, and they help with cognitive development and motor skills. They cost around $9.99 and can be found on Amazon and in most toy stores.
4. Musical Instruments
Some children can be overwhelmed by certain musical or electronic toys, but they have a great time playing musical instruments. I suggest finding something the child’s size that they can control and play easily, such as a small hand drum, xylophone, ukulele, or harmonica. Musical instruments are not only lots of fun for kids, but they also engage their senses and teach them cause and effect.
5. Sit N’ Spin
Kids with sensory disorders crave constant movement. Toys like a Sit N’ Spin ($24.99) can work wonders in helping them feel like they are getting the movement they need! They also are lots of fun and build upper body strength.
6. A Tangle Fidget Toy
These come in a variety of colors, sizes, and even textures. They’re like a plastic necklace-meets-a-puzzle and are great for kids (and adults) who tend to fidget. They’re sold in sets and individually, and here is the Original Textured Tangle for $6.18.
7. A Magnetic Maze
Magnetic mazes like this one from Lakeshore Learning (currently $24.99) are fun for kids to play with and build color recognition along with fine motor skills.
This is just a short list of the many toys that are great for all kids, especially those with sensory processing disorders. Enjoy helping your toddler learn and have fun!