31 Awesome Gifts for Kids With Sensory Issues
Article updated on October 17, 2019.
Kids with sensory issues process sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touch differently than others. Some kids are sensory seekers (their brain needs more input from the senses), while others are easily overwhelmed by certain senses and are sensory avoiders. Kids with sensory issues usually gravitate towards toys and activities that involve touch, textures, calming lights or activities that help their sense of proprioception.
If you are looking for gift ideas for a child who has sensory issues, we’ve got you covered. We reached out to our parenting community and asked what gifts they’d recommend for children with sensory issues.
These are their suggestions:
Who doesn’t like Play-Doh? You can squish it, mash it, mold it, sculpt it, cut it and create whatever your imagination (and hands) wants.
2. Silly Putty
Another great gift for kids with “busy hands.” You can stretch it, kneed it and mold it.
Our pick: Original Silly Putty ($4.27).
3. Water Beads
You put them in water and they expand. They are bouncy and squishy — create a sensory tray or roll them in your hands.
Our picks: 45,000 Orbeez Rainbow Beads ($6.99) and Dew Drops Water Beads Ocean Explorers Tactile Sensory Kit ($9.95).
4. Noise-Blocking Headphones
For kids who get overwhelmed by sounds, a good pair of noise-blocking headphones can make a big difference in how they handle certain social situations.
5. Kinetic Sand
Great sensory toy without the mess of real sand!
Legos are fun for all ages, but their unique texture makes it a great sensory experience. Not to mention the sky is the limit when it comes to building.
Our pick: LEGO Classic Medium Creative Brick Box (27.99).
7. Indoor Tents
8. Bean Bag Chair
For some wiggly bodies, bean bag chairs provide enough sensory input to make them a preferred sitting option. You can plop on them, crash on them, take them inside your tent or move them around the house.
Our picks: Junior Bean Bag Chair ($73.64) and Extra Large Stuff ‘n Sit – Stuffed Animal Storage Bean Bag Cover ($28.95).
9. Indoor Swing
Many children with sensory issues find it calming to swing; it helps them regulate their bodies. Some sensory swings create a feeling of being in a cocoon, while other swings help with proprioception.
10. Indoor Trampoline
For those who need to move and bounce to get regulated, an indoor trampoline is a great option.
11. Finger Paint
A great sensory experience that encourages creativity!
12. Ocean Light
Turn off the lights and let the mesmerizing lights of the ocean reflected on the ceiling (along with ocean sounds) provide a calming atmosphere.
Perfect for little hands and to work on spatial awareness.
Our pick: Melissa & Doug puzzles ($5.94 to $19.99).
14. Squishy and Tactile Toys
Some kids with sensory issues enjoy playing with small toys of different textures. Toys they can squish, bend, bounce or pull.
15. Bouncing Balls and Therapy Balls
They work for fun and for therapy!
Our pick: Hopper Balls ($13.98).
16. Marble Run
Hours of fun building and creating.
Our pick: Marble Run ($13.99).
17. Pin Art
Pin art is a great sensory experience for hands, face, arms and knees… whatever you can “pin.”
Our pick: Pin Art Board ($17.99).
18. Fidget Spinners
A classic, right?
Our pick: Anti-Anxiety 360 Spinner ($12.99).
19. Fidget Cubes
Another classic for kids with sensory issues.
Our pick: Fidget Dice Anti-Anxiety Cube ($6.99).
20. Weighted Blanket
For some kids with sensory issues, having pressure on their body is calming.
21. Wobble Chair
Some kids like a little wiggle when they sit and this chair is perfect to help them wiggle and keep good posture.
Our pick: Active Kid Chair ($51.99).
22. Velcro Toys
Velcro toys provide sensory input when pulling pieces apart.
23. Magnetic Blocks
Building with magnets is a fun sensory experience that encourages creativity.
Our pick: Magnetic Blocks Building Set ($23.39).
24. Lava Lamp
The visual stimulation of a lava lamp makes it a great gift.
Our pick: Original Rainbow Lava Lamp ($20.49).
25. Fish Tank
For some kids, a fish tank is a perfect gift. The bubbles from the tank, the lights and the fish provide a pleasant sensory experience. And sometimes, no real fish are necessary.
Our pick: Tetra Cube Aquarium Kit ($36.36).
26. Puzzle Ball
It’s a fidget, puzzle and toy, all in one!
27. Disco Lights
Disco lights are a fun and visual treat.
Our pick: Disco Ball Lights ($17.49).
28. Spin Disc Toys
There are several types of spin discs, but the end result is the same. For some kids with sensory issues, the spinning motion helps their sense of proprioception.
29. Flex Bands
Some kids with sensory issues might need to work on their muscle tone and enjoy the pressure and stretchiness of flex bands. It can be used for therapy, but some kids enjoy using them as a sensory and hands-on activity.
Our pick: Resistance Loop Bands ($9.99).
30. Sensory Boards
Sensory boards are perhaps one of the most common activity toys to find at play structures, kids’ areas, libraries and doctor’s offices.
Sensory chew necklaces are a chewing option to help reduce anxiety and stress for children with sensory input disorders. They provide a safe, non-toxic alternative to chewing on hands, pens, clothing and hard objects
Our pick: Sensory Chew 6-Pack ($12.99).
Looking for more great gifts for kids with disabilities? Try our Mighty gift guides:
- 16 Interactive Toys for Nonverbal Kids
- Cool Gifts for Kids Who Don’t Like to Play With Toys
- 17 Educational Gifts for Kids With Disabilities
- 16 Books, Games and Toys for Kids That Feature People With Disabilities
- 12 Items You Can Use to Create a Sensory Room
- How to Support Kids With Sensory Needs
- 9 Developmental Toys for Children With Disabilities