Sensory Toys and Sensory Tools
Therapy and sensory toys, tools and aids for babies, kids, children and teens.
Sensory tools are used to help support focus for learning and development. Sometimes this is to help a person be calmer and less anxious, sometimes it's to give the person the sensory input they need to stay in the 'just-right head space' - not too fast, not too slow!
We refer to sensory processing resources as both tools and toys. The sensory tool might need to look like a toy for a child to engage with it. However, there is a fine line between something that is engaging enough to address the sensory need, but not so 'engaging' that it's a distraction. This is especially important when using sensory tools in the classroom. We advise teachers to introduce sensory tools for children at school carefully - the key message being that children need to agree to show you as the teacher how the sensory item helps them to concentrate better and to learn. They need to have a very clear understanding that it's not a toy.
Sometimes it takes some trial and error to find the resources that best suit a child's sensory needs. Occupational Therapists are the professionals who are best qualified to assist in this area and they can help reduce the need for trial and error.
OT's assess the child's situation using sensory profiling. This is useful in that it helps the people in the child's world have a better understanding of the issues for the child and how to support the child (or teen). Depending on the child's age OT's can also teach the child to recognise and manage sensory issues for themselves.
On this page:
- Sensory Processing Disorder Therapy
- Toys for Sensory Seekers
- Toys for Sensory Avoiders
- Sensory Tools for Children