Happy New Year!! The new year means new sensory-friendly toys that help promote fine motor work, sensory benefits, or motor skill development. Today, we are sharing toys and activities that can improve tactile sensory awareness.
Playdoh can be used just by rolling it, making shapes with cookie cutters, or placing coins/beads in it and having your child pull them out. There are a lot of great kits like this Melissa and Doug set you can buy that come with the play dough and cookie cutters or play dough tools.
Squish balls come in many varieties. Some have textures inside-sand, beads, or beans. The outside of the squish balls can be pointy, smooth, or bumpy. These stress balls with a mesh covering are a popular fidget tool that kids love to squeeze. You can even make your own by taking a balloon, water bottle, and sand. Pour sand into an empty water bottle, place the balloon over the top and then pour the sand into the balloon.
Scented bathtub Finger paint by Crayola Crayons can be used as a body wash or to color the walls of the bathtub! This is great because they can get messy and then easily clean. Plus, it is scented which is great for the olfactory system.
This Sense and Grow Sensory Bean Bags come in a cute and practical burlap sack. The set includes nine bean bags in a nice size for children to grab and hold, even if they have difficulty with motor skills. Each bean bag has a unique and interesting texture, from scales to fur, satin to sequins. This sensory toy provides visual and tactile stimulation, helps with shape and color recognition, and can be used in multiple ways. It includes a useful sensory play guide with ideas for games to engage fine motor skills, improve hand-eye coordination, and develop memory and creativity.
The Teeter Popper is a great toy for autistic kids because it can be used in a variety of ways. Depending on their skill set, kids can sit down and rock back and forth, ride it like a teeter-totter, or stand up like they are surfing. In this way, the Teeter Popper engages the vestibular system to strengthen balance and coordination.
Leapfrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book – Best for Nonverbal kids but to use the book, children need only to turn to a page and begin touching pictures. Whenever a picture is touched, it will be repeated in one of three modes: words, colors and counting, and fun sounds. For example, if a child touches the picture of a cow, the fun sounds mode would say, “moo!” However, some of the photos may not look realistic, so parents and caregivers may need to offer clarification. This book also includes two bonus bilingual songs and features a handle to take it on the go. There are six books in this series, all of which have bilingual settings and can alternate between English and Spanish or English and Chinese.
There are so many fun toys that keep children engaged and help with developing tactile tolerance. Check out any of these items by clicking on the highlighted link in the description and it will take you to Amazon where you can purchase these items!
Check out Fun and Function to shop by category, age, and sensory that you want to focus on for your child. After taking the small quiz it provides a list of toys/items that promote helpful skills to improve tactile sensory awareness!