How embracing Sensory Toys can help you connect with sensory-seeking children - Little Kids Business

How embracing Sensory Toys can help you connect with sensory-seeking children

In today's fast-paced world, busy mums and parents face the unique challenge of nurturing sensory-seeking children while managing various responsibilities. Embracing sensory toys is more than just play; it's about forging connections and fostering growth in the midst of everyday activities. 

What exactly are sensory toys?

Sensory toys are specially crafted toys that engages one or more of the senses, including sight, touch, sound, smell, and taste, to provide stimulation and promotion of sensory development and serve as avenues for exploration and growth, offering a sanctuary where children can thrive amidst their unique sensory experiences.

Sensory toys

Sensory Toys for Sensory-Seeking Children

For mums navigating the whirlwind of parenting sensory-seeking children, these toys serve as essential tools for fostering understanding and bonding. Sensory-seeking kids are energetic explorers, constantly craving sensory stimulation to fulfill their unique needs. They may display traits such as heightened sensory interactions, distractibility, and repetitive behaviours.

Importance of Engaging Stimulation

For these children, engaging stimulation is essential for their development and well-being. It helps them regulate their sensory input, improve their focus and attention, and channel their energy in a positive way. Sensory toy options cater to these needs by providing dynamic and interactive experiences.

Sensory chew toy
 Baby sensory chew toys are designed to stimulate a baby's senses while also providing relief during the teething phase (safe and appropriate to chew on). These toys typically feature different textures, colors, shapes, and sometimes even sounds to engage a baby's senses of touch, sight, and hearing.
peppa pig chimes piano
Auditory toys that have music, metronome beats, chimes or bells.
sensory light up music toy
Interactive toys that light up, flash, run in patterns or stimulate colour captures the attention of sensory-seeking children with their bright colours and changing lights.
Keezi Kids Nest Swing Hammock Chair - Little Kids Business Dynamic movement toys, such as swings or bouncing balls, provide opportunities for body awareness and help children regulate their body movements.

These sensory toys not only provide fun and enjoyment but also support the development and growth of sensory-seeking children by providing them with the stimulation they crave in a safe and beneficial way.

Navigating the importance of Sensory Toys with Special Needs

For children with special needs, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or sensory processing disorder (SPD), research shows that sensory play and certain sensory toys play a crucial role in their development and well-being as pillars of support. Sensory toys offer opportunities for sensory exploration, helping children to regulate their sensory input, improve focus and attention, develop fine and gross motor skills, enhance communication and social interaction, and reduce anxiety and stress levels. These toys offer a safe harbor, a sanctuary where they can explore, learn, and thrive at their own pace, empowering them to learn and engage with the world around them, fostering confidence and independence in their journey of growth and development.

Differences in Sensory Processing

Kids with special needs often experience differences in sensory processing compared to neurotypical kids. This can manifest in various ways, including hypersensitivity (over-responsiveness) or hyposensitivity (under-responsiveness) to sensory input. For example, some children may be hypersensitive to loud noises, while another individual may seek out intense sensory input to feel grounded. Understanding these differences is vital for tailoring support strategies to meet the unique needs of each child.

How Sensory Toys Can Help

Sensory toys play a vital role in supporting individuals with special needs by providing opportunities for sensory exploration and regulation. They can help individuals develop self-regulation skills, improve focus and attention, and alleviate sensory-related stress or anxiety. By offering a range of textures, shapes, and sensory features, these toys empower children to engage with their environment in a way that feels safe and comfortable for them, promoting overall well-being and quality of life.

Wooden kitchen toy playsetTips for Choosing the Right Sensory Toy
When selecting a sensory toy, experts recommend it’s crucial to assess the child's specific needs and preferences. Consider their sensory sensitivities, motor skills, and developmental level. Toys with repetitive or predictable actions, or weighted toys can be soothing for children with ASD, while others may enjoy pretend-play or social interaction.

For example:

 Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may benefit from chewable toys, necklaces or bracelets: designed for children who have a need to chew on objects for sensory input.
fidget spinner
Items such as fidget spinners, stress balls, pop its children with ASD regulate their sensory systems and maintain focus. These toys provide physical stimulation and can help redirect restless energy. They provide a safe and socially acceptable way to satisfy this sensory need.
fidget ball
Materials such as kinetic sand, textured balls, or squishy toys can provide sensory touch and exploration for children with ADHD.
  • Toys that encourage reaching, grasping, and other motor skills are helpful for children with developmental delays.
  • A child who is hypersensitive to noise may prefer toys with quiet or adjustable sound levels or noise cancelling headphones.

Other sensory toy ideas that offer a cost-effective and creative way (if you make them yourself) to provide children with stimulating sensory experiences.

  • Busy boards, made from a variety of materials such as wood, fabric, and plastic, provide opportunities for tactile exploration and fine motor skill development.
wooden busy board large


  • Soft textures and fabrics, such as fleece, velvet, or faux fur, can be used to create sensory blankets or pillows even stuffed toys that offer tactile comfort and promote relaxation. These soft textures provide a soothing sensory experience, making them ideal for calming and comforting children in times of stress or anxiety. 
  • Calming sensory bins or trays, filled with materials like rice, beans, sand, coloured water, or orbeez (water beads), along with small toys or objects (matching to your child’s interest) for exploration, offer a multi-sensory experience and lots of entertainment.
montessori sensory tray sensory toy

How sensory toys benefits mum and kids

Sensory toys offer a multitude of benefits for both mum and kids. So, to every busy mom juggling the demands of parenthood, take heart – for in the world of sensory toys lies a treasure of moments waiting to be discovered, cherished, and celebrated. As children explore and engage with sensory toys, mums can also find solace in the calming and stress-free effects of sensory play whilst promoting improved sensory regulation for kids.  Lastly, sensory toys facilitate play-based learning, allowing children to explore and discover the world around them in a hands-on and experiential manner.

To a busy mum juggling multiple responsibilities, exploring sensory toy options may seem like an additional task. However, it's crucial to recognize the immense benefits that sensory play can offer. Incorporating sensory toys into daily routines can provide moments of relaxation, connection, and parenthood joy amidst the busyness of life and create memorable experiences, thriving together with our children.

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