Does your child have trouble with focusing, fidgeting, or overstimulation? Have you asked, “What are sensory toys” while learning how to care for your child? You have come to the right place for information on sensory toys for kids.
All kids have sensory needs. Autistic and special needs children may have stronger desires, however. Many kids need oral stimulation. These kids may chew on inappropriate objects without proper toys. Kids may also become overwhelmed with bright lights or loud sounds. These children can find relief with white noise machines and dimmer lights. Other children may prefer toys with appealing lights, such as machines that put stars or patterns on the walls.
Autistic children can also have problems with certain food or clothing textures. It can take some trial and error to find the right meals, clothing, or blankets. Stuffed animals and pillows may help them relax and feel comfortable. Each child is different. You must consider your child’s unique needs.
Using sensory toys can improve your child’s daily routine. When you satisfy specific sensory needs, your child feels more comfortable and gains control of their emotions. Sensory toys may help make children less anxious in uncomfortable situations, as well. Parenting an autistic child takes a lot of energy. Parents often depend on sensory toys to ease the stress of daily activities for everyone involved.
One main issue with sensory sensitive kids involves chewing on things they shouldn’t. Oral stimulation may calm the child, however, it can cause worries for parents. They may choke on inappropriate items or simply ruin their clothing. Obsessive chewing can also expose kids to extra germs, causing them to fall ill more often. Chew toys and jewelry made of silicone gives your child a safe option when they need to chew.
Silicone chew necklaces by Senso Minds have colorful, textured pendants in a variety of softness levels. They also have safe quick-release clasps to prevent choking. The toxin-free silicone is a reassuring feature for parents with kids that chew on everything.
Parents may become frustrated trying to find safe and durable sensory toys. Many toys with desirable textures work well for average or older kids. They may have small or detachable parts, however. You may need extra safety features on toys for autistic and other special needs children.
With numerous products to choose from, parents can become overwhelmed. Sensory toys need to remain safe and durable. Autistic children may become attached to a certain toy and become frustrated if it breaks or wears out. A reliable company can solve these issues. They must offer a steady supply of the items and provide safety information to consumers.
We have found some of the best sensory toys to ease your child’s anxiety and increase focus. We have read reviews and considered different features that may help you. Many toys can also be used together with other products to form a unique sensory experience. Use these products as a starting point to make a collection for your child.
Many people chew gum to increase their focus or reduce stress. The repetitive motion, texture, and flavor can make it easier for you to handle things like academic tests and social situations. Gum, however, does not work in all situations. Chewable necklaces work as a great replacement. Schools usually don’t allow chewing gum in class. Young or fidgety children may also choke on chewing gum. Chewable necklaces work can go with your child anywhere. The need to chew can strike at any time, making special chew toys a beneficial addition to your sensory collection. There are several important features to look for when choosing a sensory necklace.
- Safe material (food grade silicone)
- BPA free
- Safe size to avoid choking
- Safety clasp on the necklace to prevent choking
- Variety of shapes and textures
- Money-back guarantee
Many parents report relief with chew necklaces. They can finally get a break from children soaking their clothes when chewing on them. Many children also find dangerous things to chew on when the urge becomes overwhelming. When children have a chew necklace around their neck, it is easy to reach for instant satisfaction. You may also find it easier to complete tasks such as eating in a restaurant or grocery shopping with your child.
Chew necklaces make it easy to satisfy sensory needs for busy families. You can take them anywhere without having to pack a large bag of sensory supplies. You may need to try a few different shapes and textures to find the one that works best for your child. Different age groups may also chew harder than others. It is important to monitor your child while using these products, as some children may chew through them, causing pieces to break off.
Saucer Tree Swing
The outdoors is a great place to help many kids relax. Your backyard can become an escape from the smells, sights, and noises inside your house. Autistic kids may self- soothe by rocking themselves back and forth. Swinging can help simulate this repetitive action in a more relaxing way. A Saucer Tree Swing provides plenty of space for your child to sit in a comfortable position while you control the speed and direction of the swing. Kids can also use their bodies to move the swing themselves. This swing can help kids with physical skills and reduce stress.
- Raises awareness of the effects of body movements
- Engages vestibular sensory system (using muscles in relation to gravity)
- Develops gross motor skills
- Enforces the awareness of speed and direction
- Repetitive swaying motion can ease anxiety
- Calming activity after overstimulation or drama
- Enjoyable for all the children and adults in the family
Users find this swing helpful to get reluctant children outdoors. Unlike a regular swing, kids can sit in a relaxing position on this trampoline style model. Since this swing hangs from a tree, you can place it in the shade. The adjustable ropes allow for placement on branches of different heights, as well.
Some families in colder climates installed the swing indoors for the winter months. One of the most positive aspects of this swing is the multiple person capacity. This allows kids to swing together without having to wait for a turn on the swing. After the kids go to bed, parents can also enjoy this spacious swing.
It is important to pay attention to the instruction manual that comes with this swing. Some users report a difference in how much weight it can hold. The description states 700 pounds, while some manuals stated a lower number. The company, however, responded to the calls for verification and updated manuals.
The middle of this swing can sag over time, as well. Teach your children to sit properly in the swing and adhere to the weight requirements to minimize damage.
Sensory Boxes with Water Beads and a Variety of Toys
Sensory boxes work well for all ages. It is important, however, to only use age-appropriate toys in them. Parents can make these for their kids by combining a variety of small toys in one box. These boxes can be made with different themes to teach kids about things like letters, colors, and seasons. You can use sand, rice, and toy animals to create a box with your child’s favorite things. Water beads remain one of the most popular choices for sensory play. Consider these features when you look for toys to add to your sensory bin.
- Various textures
- Variety of colors
- Age-appropriate to lower the risk of choking or injury (consider your child’s mental age and personal habits)
- Themes (examples include seasonal, holidays, and letters)
Your sensory box can include anything you like. Kids can sit with a box and feel the different items. You can also include toys with a purpose. Combine small cups and shovels with fake flowers for kids to “plant”. This is an example of a seasonal box. You can also look on the Amazon website for pre-made sensory boxes. These are often filled with small toys that children can use in groups or individually. Expect some of these benefits from your sensory box.
- Soothes your child
- Improves coordination and develops fine motor skills (children can use toy tweezers, kitchen tongs, and shovels to pick up items in the box)
- Math skills – you can ask your child how many specific items they find in the box (example: How many dinosaurs can you dig out of the sand?)
- Communication and language skills ( ask your child to describe how things look, feel, and smell)
- Calming experience for an upset or overstimulated child
Parents may find it challenging to make a safe sensory box for younger kids. Children with special needs may also lack the skills to play safely with small items. This can limit the experience of a sensory bin. Parents can solve this problem by making their own with various sensory toys and items from around the house.
Features, Benefits, and Frustrations
Children’s toy purchases often cause complications for selective parents. Sensory toys often fit into a category for autistic and special needs children, making it even more difficult to find the right ones. Safety concerns override sensory needs. Each child has unique needs and habits, as well. It is important to research each sensory toy well before purchase.
Children’s toys often go through rigorous safety tests before making it to store shelves. Toys have age suggestions on the packaging so you can pick something that works best for your child. You may not find these age suggestions valid for autistic and special needs children, however. Safety features for children involve materials, size, and toxicity.
Many parents find themselves constantly on alert for small items in the home. Little kids put things in their mouths and can easily choke. Kids seem to find things on the floor even when you think it is all swept and clean. Sensory toy manufacturers often focus on textures and the feel of the toys. It may take more time and research to find sensory toys for younger children or those at risk of injury.
You may not find the right sensory toys on your first try. If you have friends or family members with sensory toys, it can help to try out a few before you purchase them. Many sensory sensitive kids have unique preferences. You may also need a variety of items for different situations. You can easily pack smaller toys in a bag for long car rides or trips to the store. Larger toys may work well in a sensory room at home.
You may spend a lot of money on special toys to keep your child calm. Many autistic kids need a sensory closet or room to “hide” when they feel overwhelmed. Large items, such as special lighting, soft mats, and chairs can raise your expenses quickly. Once you have the room set up, however, it can last a long time. You can ease the expense by purchasing items to fit your child as they grow. A child-size chair, for example, needs replacing when your child gets bigger. Start with a larger model.
Kids Get Bored
Some kids become bored with the same toys, while others prefer familiar items. If your child needs a constant rotation of new toys, put some away in the closet for a few weeks. You can switch their toys out every few weeks to keep things interesting. You can also trade with friends to give kids new items to play with. Keep boxes of toys in several different rooms of the house so kids can have a change of scenery when they need it, as well.
Sensory toys offer benefits for all kids, not just autistic children. Kids need familiarity and comfort as they learn to navigate the world around them. All kids can become emotional and overwhelmed. Sensory toys help kids learn, develop skills, and calm down. Research online and ask friends for recommendations before you purchase new sensory toys. You can also take note of your child’s specific needs. Perhaps your child likes blankets wrapped around them or likes to rock. They may also need to chew or squeeze toys in their hands. When you take the proper safety measures, you can help your child thrive with sensory toys.
How can sensory toys comfort my child?
Sensory toys can help your child calm down after a tantrum and remain calm in stressful situations. They work by distracting the child from environmental stressors, such as noise, crowds, and bright lights. Sensory toys also satisfy the need to chew, rock, or feel.
What sensory toys should I buy first?
It is important to research some of the most popular sensory toys and read customer reviews. Start with basic toys to meet each of your child’s sensory needs. This includes chewing toys for oral stimulation, toys with various textures, and something to cancel out sound.
How do I know what sensory toys my child needs?
If your child has a therapist, you can ask for some sensory toy recommendations. You can also find toys to fit your child’s unique needs. Think about your child’s daily habits and routines. You can search online for toys that meet these needs.
Hope this article and our website provided you helpful information about sensory toys.