Inside: Use this list of the 35+ best sensory toys and gifts perfect for kids who are sensory seeking or need to fidget in order to concentrate.
When my eldest daughter was a toddler and a preschooler she probably would have been diagnosed with sensory processing issues due to her low vision skills.
She is incredibly light-sensitive, would not walk on the sand with her bare feet, and strong animal smells (farm, zoo, petting zoo, dogs) made her panic. She refused to touch anything sticky or dirty, even when she cooked or baked, which she loves to do.
But at the same time, she loved water play, her bean pit (we bought bags and bags of it at Costco) and she could spend hours “making cookies” with Playdoh. She loved to swing (and still does as a high schooler) and so we have swings, hammocks, and rocking chairs.
Even if she didn’t love it all, we surrounded her with a variety of sensory toys and activities.
And then we needed a whole new slew of sensory toys for my son who relied on fidgets to stay focused during academic activities he wasn’t excited to complete.
So when we switched to homeschool for the year to avoid Covid, we had fidgets in every corner of the house to give him access to objects that would support him and his learning needs.
We’ve also discovered fidgets and chew necklaces to help alleviate the stress and anxiety our kids felt due to Covid and a year home without friends.
So whether your kiddo is sensory seeking like my son or sensory avoiding like my daughter and/or has higher levels of anxiety, these sensory toys and gifts will be helpful.
Sensory Toys: Fidget Advent Calendars for Christmas
My kids love Advent Calendars and we usually get LEGO ones…but these look so fun!
Best Sensory Toys: Playdoh and Kinetic Sand
Melissa and Doug Tools – One of my most favorite things my kids had when they were little and a favorite go-to gift for toddlers!
Want to make your own playdoh? Use this homemade playdoh recipe.
I personally can not stand slime and don’t love having it my house because it ends up smashed into my carpet every single time. But if you have a higher tolerance for it, you will love these slime recipes.
Best Sensory Toys: Fidgets
Fidget Grab Bag We keep these in a bin near my son’s workstation and he loved being able to grab whatever suited his needs for the moment.
Baby Yoda Pop It My son just got this for his birthday and is obsessed with it!
Related: 100 of the Best Star Wars Gifts
Sand Art These were my favorite when I was a kid!!!
Coil Ring My older daughter and I love these!
Fidget Spinning Rings – I just got this for my daughter to help her from biting her nails and she loves it. Plus it’s pretty!
Gem Chew Necklaces – I got these for my youngest to help her and since she loves how cute they are, she wears them and chews on them when she’s feeling anxious.
Related: Best Lego Gifts for Lego Lovers
Best Light Up Sensory Gifts
Lava Lamp Go old school because lava lamps are mesmerizing.
Moon Light My daughter has this in her bedroom and loves it!
Touch and Feel Books
Sensory Toys: Outside