Sensory kids can be tricky.
Different kids can like or dislike different sensations. I like to recommend weighted things because I find that they can be calming and grounding for children who are sensory seeking, anxious, impulsive, or hyperactive. They can also be used as “heavy work” for kids who need to “wake up” or get moving.
Picking out a gift can be so frustrating.
This year I thought I’d make a quick list of my top favorite NEW sensory toys – ones that are unique and probably not already in your child’s toy box.
Affiliate links have been included for your convenience.
A Weighted Teddy Bear
This weighted teddy bear is too adorable. It looks like a typical toy but provides a weighted sensation that can be comforting. Check it out!
A Weighted Cap
This weighted cap is so cool! I love that it looks just like a regular hat, but it is weighted to provide extra input to the head. Such a brilliant idea! Learn more here.
Do you know a child who LOVES to be buried deep in the sand? OR, maybe you know a child who DOESN’t like to put their feet in the sand. This could be a good “bridge” to get the child engaging with the texture of sand. Not only is it weighted, but it’s also scented! Who thinks of these things? Learn more here.
Emotions Putty changes color as you squeeze it, encouraging kids to twist, pull, and squeeze. You can put it in the freezer, too. The colors are engaging and fun. I love putty because it gets those fingers nice and strong! Get your emotions putty here.
Vibrating Sensory Snail
So many of my students love toys that vibrate. This snail is tactile and has lots of different textures for fidgety fingers, but it also has a pull string, too. Adorable! Check it out!
The Desk Buddy
This is such a great gadget for homework time. If you’ve got a wiggly, fidgety kid, try the desk buddy. Your child can use it for tactile input and appropriate “fidgeting” while remaining seated for homework time. Many parents have sent one in for the classroom, too. You can buy it here.
Chewable jewelry is a safe alternative for children who tend to put everything in their mouths. Rather than biting their pencil or their shirt, they can stick this non-toxic chewable necklace in their mouth instead. Check out the different styles.
This one was a favorite at the sensory clinic where I used to work! I love anything that gets kids crawling because it works on so many other skills. The resistive fabric of this tunnel provides sensory input as your child climbs and crawls through. It’s SOOO fun! You can buy it here!
Kids who love to move, jump, and wiggle love this board. And the ones who are scared, frankly, really need it! This board wobbles as you balance your weight on it. It’s great for kids who need to get their wiggles out. It’s also wonderful for working on balance, fear of heights, or more. Learn more here.
This cushion/lap pad creates an active seat so kids can wiggle while they stay in place. You can sit on it for tactile input, or put it on your lap for calming input. Learn More
The Snuggle Sheet
Is there any better gift than a good night’s sleep? If you have a child who struggles to get to sleep or stay asleep, this sheet may be the answer! Made of a resistive lycra stretchy material, it softly squeezes the child, which is calming to the nervous system. You can buy it here.
Sensory Theraplay Box is SO COOL! If you know a child who is totally “sensory”, this is the gift. So, it’s a subscription sensory toy box.
BUT, you can just buy one box if you want.
This is perfect for a grandparent, aunt, uncle, godparent, or a child with sensory needs. It comes full of hand-picked therapy toys and tools to address a variety of sensory issues and desires. Ever stuck in that position where you have NO idea what to get? This is the answer.
Sensory Hammock Swing
The perfect gift for kids who love to snuggle or swing, these Hammock swings are good for outdoor or indoor use. All the accessories are included and it even comes with a warranty! Learn More
Crashing into a giant cloud is so much fun for a sensory kid, but this crashpad can also be used as a relaxing oasis to “calm down”, read, or just chill. Perfect for a sensory or playroom. Get it here.
For Sensory PARENTS & CAREGIVERS
A book that offers hope, peace, and a unique point of view.
No Child Left Unwrapped, written by Audiologist Shelly Francis, is the perfect book for parents, caregivers, teachers, and therapists who work with children who don’t “fit a certain mold”. The author has a unique and beautiful way of looking at children. Do you know a child who struggles to pay attention? To communicate with other children or adults? To manage their highly sensitive feelings? To show the “right” emotions? Do you worry that life is going to be hard for this child… forever?
No Child Left Unwrapped challenges us to look at our children differently than we ever have before. Our society is based on an old paradigm that is no longer serving our children and youth of today. It’s time for us to help our children discover their unique awesomeness because every child is born with beautiful gifts that are meant to be unwrapped and shared with the world.
What are your favorite gifts this year?