I have always loved playing with sensory toys with my son Harry. They are fun as well as educational, and I find that there are certain toys that stimulate his senses the most and keep him engaged. For example, Harry has always liked toys with textures, or those with little doors to open and flaps to lift. He has always gone for the bright colored noisy toys as opposed to the pretty wooden ones!
If you’re new to sensory toys, this list will help you get started. Here are our 5 favorite sensory toys…
I absolutely love play houses, and I wish I had bought one when Harry was younger, as I know he would have played with it for hours. Fun, brightly colored houses for plastic dolls often have multiple textures and clicking sounds, is great for developing your little one’s imagination.
Balls come in all kinds of shapes, sizes and textures. For example, a soft fabric ball is such a simple sensory toy for very little ones. Bright colors and patterns can engage your baby’s developing sense of vision. When Harry was small, he had a ball with various textures, sounds and colors all in one, which proved to be a great toy to introduce him to sensory toys.
Toys that make simple sounds are great for hard-of-hearing babies, as they can help train the brain to hear specific sounds. Just make sure the toy is not too loud, or the sounds too abstract. One of Harry’s favorite listening toys is one that makes ocean sounds when you tap on it. It was a very visually stimulating toy when Harry was a baby, before he had his cochlear implants. It then turned into a listening toy when he was able to access sound from his cochlear implants. We now use it as an instrument and we talk about the different noises it can make.
Little ones love to bash and hammer things, and plastic or wooden tool benches are great toys for just that. Not only are tool benches fun, they are great for developing motor skills and hand eye coordination as well as listening for the “bang” of the hammer.
Touchy-feely books have always been a firm favorite for Harry. I think being deaf as a baby made his other senses so much stronger so he found it really engaging when he found something with unusual textures for him to feel. Each page of this book is specially designed to be visually stimulating with simple, eye-catching illustrations.
Do you have a favorite sensory toy? I would love to hear about it in the comments section!