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When my boys were first diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder I spent hours searching for the best items that would help them regulate their little bodies. Now years later, we’ve tried a number of things- some we’ve loved and some they didn’t really use. Today I’m sharing my favorite sensory gifts for sensory seekers.
The ZURU Tangle is a fidget toy that provides sensory and motor stimulation that has been found to help stimulate and maintain attention. It’s also a great tool as a means to relieve stress and anxiety. The shape, color, texture and visual impact of Tangle stimulates the brain and makes Tangle a fun and functional toy for children and adults alike. Tangle come in a variety of colors including Classic, Crazy, Metallic, and Sparkle. You can get multiple Tangles and connect them to create longer and more colorful Tangles! For under $5, it’s an affordable and collectable toy for everyone. ZURU’s Tangle is available at Walmart and Toys “R” Us.
In our old home we had a doorway “gym” hanging in the doorway of the boy’s room. The most used piece was a hammock but our set also had a swing, rings, pull up bar and rope to climb. The set was perfect for days we were stuck inside and the hammock swing was good for restoring balance to the vestibular system and providing deep pressure (both of which help kids on the spectrum feel more in balance). I can’t recall the name of the set we had but it was similar to the one linked below on Amazon. Whichever set you choose I recommend finding one that doesn’t need to be screwed in and has multiple ways it can be used.
If you are looking for a sensory toy that doesn’t take up much space you’ll want to consider a lycra tunnel. These soft, resistant fabric tunnels encourages heavy work and is the perfect activity for coordination, gross motor skill development, low tone and sensory-seeking.
If you have a child who constantly has to be moving you will want a trampoline to let them burn off energy- especially during the colder months. We had a small square one with a handle that my sister-in-law had bought but I really like this one because it’s enclosed.
Theraputty is great for strengthening hand muscles and improving fine motor skills. It is sold in a set of various colors, each one having a different firmness. Children can start with the softest one and switch to different colors as their hand muscles strengthen and they find the putty easier to manipulate.
HOOT for Kids Subscription Box
Children on the spectrum can have a limited range of interests and play materials, which can make it difficult to engage in purposeful play. HOOT for Kids encourages the use of sensory materials that can help children reach developmental milestones in a unique way by tailoring each toy and activity to their specific needs. HOOT for Kids’ Treasure Boxes are tailored for your child by the in-house Pediatric Occupational Therapist. Starting at just $34.99, each Treasure Box includes a personalized activity card with suggested tips for play, including instructional tips for parents on how to play with their kids utilizing each of the hand-selected toys. This subscription box is well thought out and I love that it comes with the activity card to help parents navigate playtime with their child.
Weighted Blanket or Lap Pad
Weighted products, including lap pads, have proven useful as a calming tool for individuals with sensory issues, ADD, ADHD, autism and hyperactivity. I’m linking to one that has good reviews and is affordable but you’ll want to ask your child’s therapist what weight they’d recommend since each child’s needs will vary. You can also look online for tutorials to make your own weighted blanket or lap pad.
We didn’t have playfoam when the boys were younger however we just recently got some of this last weekend at the Chicago Toy & Game fair and it’s great for creative tactile play! Kids can squish, squash, roll, and sculpt while molding the muscles they need to write, draw, and manipulate objects with their little hands. Best of all, playfoam has a great no-stick formula and never dries out.
What would you add to this sensory-friendly gift list?
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