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The Ultimate Sensory Toy Gift Guide

Just in time for the holidays

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The holidays are a fun and exciting time and can be a great opportunity to give your child a gift that will continue supporting their development and sensory needs at home. All of us have unique sensory systems that take in information and respond to our environment in different ways. It can be hard to determine what types of sensory input your child needs to be able to best engage in their environment. Whether your child is always on the move, loves getting messy or avoids it at all costs, needs extra support to feel calm and focused, or maybe all the above, you can use the gift guide below to get them a gift that has their sensory needs (and goals) in mind! If you’re not sure what toys would best support your child, would like additional gift ideas, or want to know how to facilitate your child’s play with these items, reach out to your child’s occupational therapist.

Toys are broken into different categories below. Within each category, there will be a short description, the toys, and links to the products.


For the kiddos who are always on the move. These items provide opportunities for movement and increased input into a child’s joints and muscles (so that they don’t have to keep climbing on the furniture or jumping on the couch).

Yoga or Hopper Ball

Scooter Board


Tunnel or Tunnel + Tent Combo


Fort Building

Doorway Gym

Weighted Balls

Sit and Spin

Tactile Exploration

These items are great for the child who loves getting messy, as well as the child who avoids mess (though they may need more support to play). The following products provide opportunities to explore new tactile (touch) sensations, which helps to increase body awareness, fine motor skills, and the ability to differentiate between tactile sensations, such as wet vs. dry, rough vs. smooth, etc.

Kinetic Sand

Sensory Table


Instant Snow

Discovery Putty

Slime & Make your Own Slime Kit

Bristle Blocks

Sensory Regulation

For the child who needs some extra support to feel calm and comfortable in their bodies. Talk to your child’s occupational therapist to see what types of input help your child feel calm, regulated, and focused.


Last, but certainly, not least is the sensory toys that the world has come to know very well over the years.


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