Sensory toys are specifically designed to stimulate your child’s five senses: touch, sight, sound, smell, and taste. They may consist of discrete components like bright colors, different textures, or other sounds. These toys are intended to help kids develop their five senses in a natural and safe environment with play. Parents and caregivers know that children need to see, hear, touch, and taste to learn and develop properly. Toys are an essential part of early development, so it is very important to introduce them early.
When looking for sensory toys for kids with autism, keep in mind the interests of your child. For example, if your child is interested in music, you may want to choose instruments or musical games that can stimulate those senses. If your child is interested in learning about the universe, a science kit or rocket can also stimulate his sensory functions. If your child likes to tell stories, puzzles, or animals, you can use sensory stories, tactile dolls, or soft toys. As you explore the different options, you can teach your child to interact with his environment to make him understand and meet his needs.
The main objective behind sensory toys is to provide your child with a heightened awareness of his surroundings. This can be done through the use of white noise, sensory integration, weighted blankets, and movement. White noise can consist of the sounds of ocean waves, wind, rain, and birdsong. Heated blankets and moving toys like balls and Legos can help promote deeper interaction with his environment.
Sensory toys for kids with autism that also incorporate movement are very helpful for many children with special needs. With many children with autism, a special need involves the use of the muscles in the face and head area. Bowling balls, swimming balls, and activity gyms are great sensory toys for kids with autism that also include movement.
Bowling balls can help boost sensory processing disorder and increase hand-eye coordination in kids. Swimming balls can be fun because they can imitate real water hazards like the beach or a sloping lake. In addition to the above-mentioned balls, there are many other balls specifically designed for kids with autism. Some specialty sensory toys for kids with autism include: balls with slides, ball chairs, spinning activity gyms, and activity stools.
Ball chairs are great sensory toys for kids with high needs because they can imitate many different types of chairs. For example, wooden ball chairs can easily copy the chair they sit in real life such as a rocking chair, chaise lounge, or rocking chair. Spinning activity gyms are great toys for kids with high levels of stimulation, because they allow kids to move and twirl around on their own. Most spinning toys have large spinning wheels with small plastic targets for children to hit.
Sensory toys stimulate and engage sensory processing areas of the brain. Parents and caregivers should look for these specific types of toys and see how well they stimulate and help children with autism.