By Amber Bliss
A sensory toy is specially designed for individuals who want extra stimulation for one or more of the senses. Sensory toys may be more appealing for children on the autism spectrum because they can control the sensory experience and helps the child remain calm.
1. Fidget Cube
Fidget cubes are designed to give stimulation for the sense of touch and hearing. This one specifically allows the user to click, flip, spin, roll, glide, and breathe. The glide, roll, and spin functions give the user a sensory experience of touch, while the click and flip functions give the user touch and hearing experiences. The breathing function is modeled after worry stones which are ancient tools used for anxiety relief. During a counseling session, this can help the individual relieve anxiety and provide a distraction while giving them a sensory experience.
2. Liquid Timer
Liquid timers are designed to give stimulation for the sense of sight. The liquid drops in a rhythmic flow and can be calming to watch. Once the liquid gets to the bottom, the user can flip it back over to restart the process. The different colors of the liquid is also soothing because they never mix together.
3. Chew Toys
Chew toys are designed to give oral stimulation. They may be helpful for children who bite or chew when overstimulated in order to regain balance. There are several forms of chew toys that are available like the Q and the T tube pictured above. These can also be tied on a necklace or clipped on a lanyard for easy replacement when chewing or biting.
4. Kinetic Sand
One of my personal favorites – kinetic sand. Kinetic sand is designed to give stimulation for the sense of touch. This specially designed sand allows the user to mold, build, and create objects out of this sand, however, it doesn’t slip through your fingers like normal sand at the beach. This sand molds and sticks together, but can still fall apart as the user desires.
5. Stepping Stones
Stepping stones are designed for children to improve their stability, balance, coordination while also providing proprioceptive sensory feedback. There are different heights of the stepping stones and the user can place them as far apart or close together as desired. These are also great because they can be used inside or outside.
6. Push-Pop Bubble Fidget
These bubble fidget toys give the user stimulation for the sense of touch. The bubbles can be popped in and out and are easily portable for traveling. These are also helpful for relieving anxiety, anger, or stress. They are reusable, washable, and water-friendly.
7. Noise Cancelling Headphones
Noise-canceling headphones are designed to block out undesired noises from the external environment. They are great for individuals who are affected by sensory overload and they also apply slight pressure to the head which can pleasant for those individuals.
Your Child Can Be Excited About Therapy
As a therapist, I love finding new items to add to my collection for my clients. These seven items are great for all ages and can be used for sensory stimulation or relieving anxiety. There is a variety of toys available for replacements of these specific items. Picking a specific toy can be geared towards the individual’s unique preference. Learn how counseling can help your child become their best version.